As of this year, the state system of higher education in Belarus is comprised of 42 colleges and universities. There are currently 15 private institutions of higher education. At present 243,700 students (out of a population of 10 million) are enrolled in some kind of higher education program.
About 50 percent of these students are attending programs in economics and the humanities, while interest in technical and science education has waned in recent years. All students are required to complete three years of foreign language study. However many fields offered at state universities — international relations, international economic relations, international law, etc. — require proficiency in two foreign languages. Some private schools also require the same.
Belarus is popular among international students (especially those from the former Soviet republics ) for a number of reasons:
- The quality of education is high
- Tuition at Belarus institutions is less expensive than what is charged in Russia
- The language of instruction is Russian, which is widely understood within the former republics of the Soviet Union
- Many claim that Belarus is far safer than Russia.On the down side, the present system of higher education in Belarus is not yet compatible with the Western credit system. As a result, students who go abroad to study do not receive official recognition for the courses they took in other countries.
— International Higher Education