Aleksandr Kozulin: “In Europe it’s normal if students freely express what they think”
Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich directed the Ministry of Education to discuss the question of attracting students from European countries for education in Belarus. Former principle of the Belarusian State University Aleksandr Kozulin in the interview to Euramort.org doubts that European students can eagerly come to study in Belarus.
Reported by BELTA, the Prime Minister noted that in the future time Foreign Ministry together with National academy of science will introduce a draught project of the export development program including export of non-conventional services. However, Mikhail Miasnikovich stated that during his and the new Minster of Education’s discussion of the perspectives of development of Belarusian education system and export of educational services it was mentioned that education costs are much more higher in Europe that in Belarus. “Why do we cater on attracting youth only from South-East Asia to study in our universities, - Prime Minister asked a natural question. – Why our Ministry of Education, our diplomatic body don’t work on attracting the youth from European states including Baltic and Eastern Europe?” With all commitment to market reforms, I think export of services should be increased in 3,5 in 5 future years”. – It’s a good initiative, but for some nuances, - says Aleksandr Kozulin. – Now quality of Belarusian education is low and I doubt that Europeans will be eager to study here in Belarus. – How much does education in European universities differ from education in Belarusian ones? And what is more important what the difference is? – We must adjust to European system of education for Europeans come to us. We must enter Bologna process by accepting a new educational system. And to do this one must act, not only speak. And I think out Belarusian officials clearly understand this if they make such announcements. – But there have been such a practice. – Yes, students from Europe did study in BSU. But we lost much for our Belarusian diplomas were valuable in Europe. I shall repeat that if we entered Bologna process we would of course really have our representatives in Europe and European students could really study in our country. It would show the flexibility of student education form the point of the possibility to study in any European university and pass from one country to another without loosing anything in education. This is what European educational system was invoked for. Bologna process is widening of students’ possibilities and flexibility. – What do they put emphasis on in higher education in Europe? – Now everywhere it is emphasized that students must learn to think in-system. One must not only receive knowledge, one must be able to use it. – Starting from September 1 Belarusian students will study by contract system… - We’ll see what it will result. But if this system will become a legalized fight with students’ freethinking Europeans won’t come to us for sure. Things like that are just impossible in civilized countries. In Europe, on the contrary, students freely express what they feel. It’s normal. Moreover, imaginative ability is born in discussions. Aleksandr SAMUSIEVICH.