Round table on questions of cooperation between Belarus and EU in the field of higher education took place in Minsk on February 6.
It presented an opportunity for extensive discussion on EU-funded programmes that are currently opened for Belarus and the projects that are being implemented in their framework. In addition, Belarusian and EU experts exchanged their views on formal and informal education, crisis of higher education and the need for reforms in this sector, as well as problems related to protection of the intellectual property in Belarus.
Among other topics, participants of the event from leading state and private universities of Belarus, the Ministry of Education, various non-governmental organisations and think tanks, experts of the European Commission and journalists actively discussed the issue of Belarus' readiness for joining the Bologna process.
Deputy chief of the department on higher and special technical education of the Ministry of Education, Mr Shautsou, informed the audience that Belarus is ready to join the initiative in 2010. However, he noted, due to the common state with Russia, norms and standards of higher education in Belarus have to be coordinated with the Russian ones. Independent experts argued that the new legislation on higher education that is in the process of development contains some "anti-Bologna" provisions.
The round table "EU and Belarus Policy: Sharing Knowledge" was organised by the Office for a Democratic Belarus in close cooperation with the EU representation office in Minsk, the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) and with financial support of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.