Belarus has over 50 higher education institutions including classical universities, specialist universities and academies, institutes and higher colleges. These include both public and private institutions. Over 20,000 international students study in Belarus each year, with the majority coming from the rest of the CIS (63.8%) and Asia (29%). For further information on Belarusian higher education institutions please see the Ministry of Education’s website at https://edu.gov.by/en-uk/.
Belarus joined the Bologna Process in May 2015 and as a result of this, most undergraduate courses now last for four years rather than five. Belarusian students are admitted to higher education on the basis of centralised examinations and students can choose between full-time courses, evening classes and extramural studies. There are over 300 specialities available for both Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Technology courses are particularly popular and prestigious, as IT specialists receive one of the highest average salaries in the country. International students are advised to apply directly to the institution of their choice and will need to provide the following documents: a completed application form, copies of relevant educational diplomas, a copy of passport and birth certificate, and a medical certificate copy. All documentation can be supplied in either Russian or Belarusian and documents in other languages will need to be translated. Courses in Belarus are mostly conducted in Russian or Belarusian, though there are a limited amount of courses taught in English. Most international students opt to complete a one-year language course in Belarus before commencing their studies.
Fees for international students range from $700 to $3500, depending on the course and the institution. Grants and scholarships are available to Belarusian students but the recipients of these are often obliged to take a specific job for at least two years after graduation. The Belarusian government provides about 100 scholarships to international students each year.
Information for International Students
Once the student is accepted by the institution, the student will need to apply for a student visa. Universities in Belarus can assist international students with their visa application. All colleges and universities in Belarus have an accommodation department and can assist international students with finding accommodation and acquiring a residence permit. Most students in Belarus live in student hostels, which cost about $15-$30 per month and the cost of living in Belarus is generally quite low. It is important to note that international students are not allowed to work during their studies, a student visa prohibits any form of employment. It is essential that international students contact their university immediately after their arrival in the country, as they will need to enrol, undergo a medical examination and receive temporary registration. Most universities in Belarus also require that international students attend an interview shortly after arrival to ensure they are proficient in the language of instruction for their chosen course. International students are advised to check the Education Ministry’s official website for foreign citizens at http://studyinby.com.