The development of higher education in the Republic of Belarus is characterized by a gradual transition to a multilevel system of training, based on the so-called two-stage model consisting of two cycles. The first education cycle is designed for specialists receiving higher education, and provides the opportunity to get an academic bachelor’s degree. The second cycle aims at proficient training of specialists as well as providing the opportunity to obtain an academic master’s degree.
The introduction of this system promotes:
- differentiation and individual-based approach to training
- expanding capacity of higher education to meet the broadest educational needs of the society and the individual
- improving quality of general educational, scientific and professional specialist training while taking into account modern requirements of the labor market
- ensuring further integration of the national education system into the international educational area.
Transition of higher education of the Republic of Belarus to the two-level system of training consists of several stages:
- The first preparatory stage (2004 – 2007) lays off the necessary regulatory, legal, scientific and methodological framework
- The second experimental stage (2005-2009) introduces experimental approbation of new approaches
- The third stage (since 2010) is a large-scale transition to the two-level system of higher education.
Since 1994 higher education has been evolving in accordance with a number of legal documents:
- The System of Standards in Higher Education (1996)
- The Concept of Higher Education Development in the Republic of Belarus (1998) and the Program for Its Implementation
- The Concept of Development of Teacher Education in the Republic of Belarus (2000)
- The Program for Development of Higher Education in the Regions of the Republic of Belarus (2001)
- The Regulations on Stages of Higher Education (2002)
- The Law on Higher Education (2007)
- The Education Code of the Republic of Belarus (2011)
- The State Program for Development of Higher Education for 2011-2015.
- The State Program “Education and Youth Policy for 2016-2020»
In 2003 entrance exams to higher education institutions were replaced by centralized testing. Taking into account the fields educational institutions specialise in, some unified admission requirements were developed for this purpose. Other significant changes are as follows: a streamlined structure of specialties and worked-out classification of occupations and qualifications, development of higher education standards as well as introduction of a 10-point assessment scale. Adoption of the Education Code was the final stage.