Seventy-four-years-young Belarus State Economic University today became Vi's 19th member university and the second, along with Ukraine's Vadym Hetman Kiev National Economic University, from a transition economy.
Interest in joining the Vi network started in September 2006, when BSEU's Vice-Dean of Finance and Banking participated in the UNCTAD Course on Key International Economic Issues held in Belgrade.
Subsequent consultations between the Virtual Institute and the Permanent Mission of Belarus in Geneva, and a joint invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the BSEU led to a field mission conducted by Vi's Chief, Vlasta Macku, March 29-30, 2007. After evaluating the university's impressive qualifications and international trade programmes, the mission concluded that BSEU met the requirements for Vi membership.
Founded in 1933, BSEU is a leading institution in economics education, preparing its 25,000 students for jobs in the government (including for posts abroad), as well as the business sector. The faculty consists of more than 1,500 lecturers, among them 69 doctors of science, 72 professors, 448 candidates of science (PhD) and 302 associate professors.
International economics/economic relations are taught as a mandatory course in all the specializations at the university. In addition, there are a number of Master level programmes specifically focusing on international economic issues, and several PhD programmes building on the Master level education.
In parallel with teaching, BSEU staff conducts research work, publish, and develop teaching materials and manuals for students. Results of the research are regularly published in scientific magazines and books and presented both at national and international conferences. In 2006, the university produced 43 monographs, 62 textbooks and study guides, 1,356 articles and 1,352 presentations at conferences.
The University proposes to contribute to the Network by providing certain course outlines developed by the University staff, exchanging articles and results of the research work in the areas of mutual interest, and conducting cooperative research with other Vi members. In return, it is eager to exchange experience in teaching and research activities, and to establish direct and multilateral relations with VI member universities. BSEU has already signed agreements of direct cooperation with 54 universities in different countries.
BSEU's Vi member coordinator, Alena Petrushkevich, Associate Professor, Department of World Economy, holds a Ph.D. in Economics, and teaches courses on World Economy, International Investment Activities and International Economic Relations. Her research interests include international economics, international investments, TNC, foreign direct investments, investment policy and economies in transition.