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Larger quotas for Belarusian students in Russian universities suggested

28.09.2020

MOSCOW, 28 September (BelTA) – Quotas for admitting Belarusian students into Russian universities should be considerably increased. The statement was made during the panel session held as part of the 7th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia on 28 September to discuss education as the foundation of historical memory and further integration development of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, BelTA has learned.

In his speech Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Studies Association named after Andrei Gromyko, Prorector of the State Academic University for the Humanities (GAUGN, Russia) Vyacheslav Sutyrin said that since 2013 the number of Belarusian students studying at Russian universities has been halved to 10,700 people. He pointed out that the figure was registered before the pandemic and more than half of the figure – 5,676 people – are extra-mural students. Meanwhile, since 2013 the number of Belarusian students in Polish universities has increased by 2.5 times to about 7,000 at present. In other words, there are more Belarusian students in Poland than full-time Belarusian students in Russia.

Talking about the overall dynamics in the Eurasian Economic Union, he mentioned that while there were over 75,000 students from EAEU countries in Russian universities in 2013, the number reached 84,000 in 2019. “So, the number has increased but thanks to citizens of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan while cooperation with Belarus has shrunk,” Vyacheslav Sutyrin pointed out. “We understand that the continuation of today's trends will lead to weaker friendly ties between our nations in the near future.”

The official believes that these trends are not natural. “They don't even reflect the structure of economic relations between our countries,” he stressed. “Belarus has a well-developed manufacturing sector. Not only Belarus is proud of many Belarusian enterprises, our entire Eurasian space is proud of them. Certainly, Belarusian products with a high added value sell in remote countries, too, but they are mostly exported to Russia. If fewer and fewer Belarusians and Russians study together, one wonders for how long we will be able to maintain the structure of our economic ties.”

“This is why it is advisable to consider Belarusian-Russian programs on academic mobility and to consider an increase in quotas for Belarusian students in Russia,” Vyacheslav Sutyrin concluded.

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