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MA degree not a must - Education Minister

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Ihar Karpenka / BELTA

Belarusian Education Minister Ihar Karpenka supports the "law on draft deferments" signed the other day by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

He said that universities are planning to expand benefits for those who have served in the army. "Today, there are some preferences for those who have served in the Armed Forces when entering educational institutions. It is planned to expand the list of benefits in the future," BelTA quoted him as saying.

Today, those who have been dismissed from the reserve after the military service and have a good recommendation from the military unit can be enrolled without competition by certain Ministry of Defense departments, as well as in other similar universities. It is planned to expand the list of higher education institutions and specialties that can be entered under similar conditions.

Graduates of the vocational education system who have joined the army and then decided to enroll in higher education institutions will also receive a number of benefits when enrolling in correspondence courses -- most likely, they will be accepted out of the competition.

Also, the Ministry of Education has made a proposal to amend the Housing Code to give students of universities and colleges, who served in the army, the right to get a place in a dormitory in a fast-track manner.

The new law leaves only one draft deferment for students. According to Minister Karpenka, this does not affect the right to education and will not significantly affect the entry to the Masters and postgraduate courses.

"Let's be blunt: not many people have studied at the Master's Degree level. This year, we have about 56 thousand graduates who have completed training at the first level of higher education, while only 3 thousand will be enrolled in the free Master's level course. This is an optional degree of education, it focuses on scientific, innovative and scientific-pedagogical activities", - explained the Minister.

He is sure that the break in training can be beneficial: a person will work, gain practical experience, get ready for academic activity.

By the way, the Ministry of Education is developing new standards for online training. This will allow students who study in civilian universities with no military departments to be trained in such programs in the universities where there are such departments.