SCIENCE & EDUCATION
Science and Education in Belarus
Belarus is a country with highly developed science and advanced education. The adult literacy rate in Belarus is 99.7%, and the country has a high primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio (98.7 % according to the UN Human Development Report 2014). The ratio of university students (355 per 10,000 people as of 2014) the same level or higher than that of leading European countries.
The Belarusian educational system includes 3,951 preschool institutions, nearly the same number of comprehensive schools, colleges and lyceums, and 54 higher educational institutions. More than 19,000 students from 98 countries study at the Belarusian universities.
Belarus ranks high in the number of scientists and engineers per capita. As of 2015, the total number of organizations and institutions conducting scientific research is 439 with approximately 26,200 scientists and engineers being involved in applied and fundamental research (The National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus). Of the total scientific population of Belarus, about 20 percent have a postgraduate academic degree, namely 648 are Doctors of Sciences (equivalent of Prof.) and 2,822 are Candidates of Sciences (equivalent of Ph.D.). Young people under the age of 29 years make up a quarter of the Belarusian researchers.
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, founded in 1929, is the leading scientific center of Belarus. The Academy scientists have achieved significant success in R&D activities in the field of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science, social sciences and the humanities. The staff of the Academy and affiliated institutions amounts to 8,700 specialists and comprises 30 percent of the total number of R&D experts in Belarus. Intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in the field of sciences and technologies have been signed with 60 countries, including Great Britain, Germany, India, China, Russia, the US, and Japan.
In May 2015, Belarus joined the Bologna process and the group of 47 countries forming the common European Higher Education Area (EHEA). For Belarus, young educated people are the main asset today. Belarus produces over 16,000 technical graduates annually and the level of brain drain is comparatively low.
Belarusian students are famous for winning medals at science Olympiads and contests, as well as international programming competitions and championships, including ACM ICPC. The projects of Belarusian scientists are recognized at technical fairs. Over the recent years, Belarusians dominate in the Google Code Jam rankings, Google Hash Code, Yandex.Algorithm, TopCoder Open, Kotlin Challenge, VK Cup, and Facebook Hacker Cup.