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Uladzimir Dunaeu: Higher education in Belarus should acquire European character

18.01.2013  |  Society   |  Yulia Inysheva, EuroBelarus,  
Uladzimir Dunaeu: Higher education in Belarus should acquire European character

The Public Bologna Committee has assessed the situation with the autonomy in Belarusan universities using the methodology of the European University Association.

This was reported to the EuroBelarus Information Service by the member of the Public Bologna Committee Uladzimir Dunaeu.
He explained that over several years the European University Association has been monitoring and analyzing the condition of the institutional autonomy in the countries the universities of which are members of this European organization. In yet another report “University autonomy in Europe” published in 2012 not only 29 education systems of the European countries are described but the mechanism for their assessing according to the four indicators, which are organizational, financial, personnel and academic autonomy as well.
In each of the four indicators a number of parameters are included. For example, in the parameter defined as “Organizational autonomy” ability to make decisions concerning academic structure, the voting procedure and the procedure of a chancellor’s dismissal are included.  
Financial autonomy among other parameters presupposes an ability to possess buildings and an ability to set up a price for education for national and foreign students.
Personnel autonomy takes into account the possibility to make decisions about senior administration employment and dismissal as well as the possibility to decide upon their payments.
Academic autonomy is the possibility to construct the content of the educational programs and to choose the quality control procedures, the possibility to select students and to establish their number, the possibility to open and close down educational programs.
The members of the Public Bologna Committee tried to employ this methodology in order to evaluate the condition of the university autonomy in Belarus. “Though the above mentioned criteria have been worked out for the European conditions, we have adapted the methodology of the European University Association for Belarus and, basing on it, have presented our view on the situation, - said Uladzimir Dunaeu. – There is such an opinion that the claims to the level of the university autonomy in Belarus are politicized. And here we observe absolutely technical parameters; there is no politics”.
The results of the analysis show that Belarus has a distressingly low level of the university autonomy. In university autonomy Belarusan higher school is far behind European universities. But the university can carry out its mission successfully only when it has a sufficient level of autonomy.
Though there are no recommendations in the report, they are still obvious. The Public Bologna Committee with the participation of the international experts will prepare a higher school reform program by midsummer. It will include specific recommendations of what and where should be changed in order for Belarus to enter the Bologna process without trouble. The representatives of Belarusan universities are also participating in this work – someone is doing that openly, and someone prefers to keep it secret.

- First of all, we would like these suggestions to be considered and taken into account within Belarus. This is our contribution for the accession to the European Higher Education Area. And it is important that the students and the lecturers as well as other social partners clearly understood what should be done so that our higher education would acquire European character, - noted Uladzimir Dunaeu.  

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