MINSK, 1 June (BelTA) – A multidisciplinary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) research center will be established at premises of the Belarusian State University. The plans are stipulated by the project designed to modernize Belarus' higher education system. The World Bank will lend €100 million for the project, representatives of the World Bank office in Belarus told BelTA.
The project intends to create or modernize educational labs and scientific research infrastructure in universities, provide classrooms with modern equipment, create or modernize common use centers with unique education and research equipment. Investment steps will be accompanied by training on how to use the new equipment, the source said.
Providing the infrastructure to set up a STEM center in the Belarusian State University will be an important part of the work. The STEM center will allow organizing practice-oriented education in various innovative fields. It will definitely meet needs of branches of the economy. The center will have about 30 educational labs focusing on interdisciplinary research in biology, chemistry, physics, and informatics. The center is expected to host educational events and work out programs in the areas that are not represented in Belarusian universities yet, including bioengineering, nanochemistry, synthetic and systemic biology, biotechnologies, pharmaceutics, bioinformatics, and biomechanics.
A major overhaul of the buildings and educational facilities of Belarusian universities will be performed as part of the project. Barrier-free environment will be created and energy effectiveness will be improved.
Setting up an independent education quality assurance agency is part of the project. The fact that the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) 2015 will be used is of key importance. Countries participating in the Bologna process as well as Belarus follow the guidelines.
Since the Republic of Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, the country has borrowed $2.1 billion. As much as $31 million has been granted to Belarus. The active investment portfolio of the World Bank in Belarus includes 11 projects totaling $1.15 billion. The World Bank is considering granting financial support to small and medium businesses in Belarus and the possibility of financing measures to expand social security programs.