Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives (BTEU, Gomel) is the only cooperative higher education institution of Belcoopsoyuz in the Republic of Belarus training qualified specialists for the system of consumer cooperatives, as well as for other spheres of national economy. At present lifelong learning system of BTEU represents a variety of levels of education and forms of education and a great number of opportunities for self-realization and self-improvement. Representatives of different generations study at the university's educational programs – starting from the elderly at the Third Age Institute to younger school children (KoperLing children's camp) and preschool children (foreign language courses); modern educational and methodological approaches to teaching and upbringing are applied.
History of the University had its beginning in 1964 with the opening in Gomel of the Consultative unit of Moscow Cooperative Institute of Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives of the USSR (Centrosoyuz). On its basis the Department of Correspondence Course of Moscow Cooperative Institute was opened in 1968, which was reorganized into Gomel branch of the Institute in 1975. In 1979 in accordance with the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR as of 29.06.1979 № 632 Gomel branch began to function as an independent institution - Gomel Cooperative Institute of Centrosoyuz.
Further milestones of status formation of the educational institution corresponded to historical changes in society and development of national educational system. In 1992 in connection with the termination of activity of Centrosoyuz of the USSR, Gomel Cooperative Institute was handed under the supervision of Belkoopsoyuz. Then, in 1993 at a joint board meeting of Belkoopsoyuz and the Academic Council, Gomel Cooperative Institute of Belkoopsoyuz was defined as basic educational institution in the system of cooperative education of the Republic of Belarus including also six educational-industrial complexes of “Vocational-technical school - technical college” and one specialized school. In 2000 the Institute was recognized as the leading educational institution in the system of continuous cooperative education in the Republic of Belarus.
In 2001 Gomel Cooperative Institute successfully passed certification on compliance to educational institution of university type and same year was renamed into Educational Institution “Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives”. In 2004 by Presidential Decree of the Republic of Belarus as of 14.09.2004 № 447 the University as an institution of higher education of consumer cooperatives was provided with the rights of state educational institutions.
In April 2016 the University successfully passed state accreditation following which by the order of the Ministry of education of the Republic of Belarus as of 27.04.2016 № 360 the Certificate № 0000532 on the state accreditation of Educational Institution “Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives” on compliance to the declared type of profession-oriented university was issued (in accordance with the order of Department of quality control of education of the Ministry of education of the Republic of Belarus as of April 26, 2016 № 178-i).
In context of state policy aimed at extending the processes of integration of higher education institutions with institutions of vocational and secondary specialized education of Belarus and formation of “educational clusters” in the 2016/2017 academic year Minsk Trade College of Belcoopsoyuz was attached to the university as Minsk branch of Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives (with the possibility of admitting students to the I level of higher education) in accordance with the resolution of the Board of Belkoopsoyuz №310 as of 30.11.2016; in 2017/2018 academic year Mogilev Trade College of Consumer Cooperatives was attached to the university as a branch of Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives “Mogilev Trade College” in accordance with the resolution of the Board of Belkoopsoyuz as of 24.11.2017 № 276.
Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives is a progressive scientific and educational park and the only economic institution of higher education in Gomel region with 55 years of experience.
In accordance with the special permit (license) of the Ministry of Education for the right to carry out educational activities № 02100/125 issued on the basis of the decision № 190 as of February 27, 2004 (with amendments and additions based on the decision № 306 as of April 18, 2019), currently at the university educational programs of higher education are being implemented:
Functioning of the Faculty of Qualification Improvement and Personnel Retraining allows implementation of a number of educational programs of additional education for adults, children and youth:
Starting from 2014 implementation of an educational program of additional education of children and youth (in the form of association on interests (club) – “English (the 1, 2, 3 levels) on basis of educational-methodical complex “Fairy Land”, and associations on interests (club) “Linguistic camp for school pupils” is being complemented (starting from 9 years).
In the period of 2014 - 2019, training in new specialties that in demand in labor market was opened:
During the same period 5 new retraining specialties were introduced: 1-23 01 77 – “Psychology of Management”; 1-25 01 86 – “Corporate Management”; 1-25 01 87 – “International Trade Cooperation”; 1-26 02 89 – “Internet Marketing”; 1-40 01 72 – “Information Systems Software Design”.
In 2018 the University confirmed its accreditation in the State Committee for Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus as a scientific organization (certificate as of December 22, 2018 № 216).
Structure of the University includes: 2 branches (Minsk branch of Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives and branch of Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives “Mogilev Trade College”), three faculties of day and correspondence forms of training (including 12 departments, 10 of which are graduate departments), Faculty of Qualification Improvement and Personnel Retraining (including 1 department), Department of Postgraduate Course, Department of Distance Learning Technologies and Innovations, Department of Career Guidance of Youth, Department of Coordination of Scientific Projects and Programs, Department of International Relations, etc.
УО «Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives is a leading educational institution in the system of lifelong integrated learning which unites institutions of various levels of education of consumer cooperatives.
Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives In addition to BTEU with two branches, the cooperative educational cluster includes 5 colleges, the founder of which is the Belarusian Republican Union of Consumer Societies (Gomel Trade and Economics College, Grodno Trade College, Baranovichi Technological College, Molodechno Trade and Economics College, Polotsk Trade and Technology College).
The university consistently implements and introduces the main ideas of the concept “University 3.0”. For this purpose a number of activities and projects are being carried out, such as: inclusion in the curricula for training students of academic disciplines aimed at studying the issues of innovation and entrepreneurship and formation of knowledge, competencies and skills necessary for doing business; functioning of Center for Business Education which unites active students who are ready to take on entrepreneurial risks; annual holding of the international championship “Youth and Entrepreneurship”; functioning of the Startup School; periodic meetings of students with entrepreneurs; implementation of international projects funded by the EU under the Erasmus+ program and aimed at the development of youth entrepreneurship (HEIFYE, SMART), etc.
Currently, the educational process at BTEU is performed by more than 140 qualified full-time lecturers, more than 60% of which have academic degrees of doctor and candidate of sciences and academic titles of professor and associate professor. Many of the lecturers are graduates of the University's postgraduate course. The university has formed and is developing three scientific and pedagogical schools known both in Belarus and in distant and near foreign countries (“Techniques and methodology of performance evaluation of labor and sphere of commodity circulation”, “Integration of accounting and balance sheet methodologies with financial management, budgeting and controlling at micro and macro levels”, “Research of consumer properties, quality, competitiveness and safety of non-food products and raw materials”).
The staff constantly improves pedagogical and professional skills, uses innovative technologies in the educational process and closely cooperates with organizations and enterprises of consumer cooperatives and other forms of ownership. Teaching and, accordingly, formation of competencies of future specialists is carried out taking into account modern requirements dictated by the labor market. BTEU is actively developing distance education: since 2009 - at advanced training courses for executives and specialists of consumer cooperatives: since 2014 - in full-fledged educational programs of the I level of higher education have been implemented in the distance form, since 2016 - the II level of higher education (Master's degree course). Innovative technologies and interactive teaching methods are being introduced into the educational process; electronic educational and methodological complexes are being developed, the quality of which is confirmed by obtaining the stamp of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.
To ensure flexibility in obtaining higher education at the university in correspondence, including distance learning, for students living in the regions of operation of educational institutions of the consumer cooperatives system, online communication with remote classrooms (electronic platforms) is organized. Remote audiences are organized in Minsk and Mogilev branches of BTEU, as well as in the colleges of Belcoopsoyuz (Molodechno, Baranovichi, Polotsk, Grodno).
The University is actively pursuing a policy of integration into the world educational, scientific and cultural space. BTEU hosts a number of international scientific events that have already become traditional ones (international scientific and practical conference for students “Innovative potential of youth in the modern world”, international forum of young scientists “Youth for science and innovation: developments and prospects”, International Spring Forum, etc.). In 2016 in cooperation with partners the first edition of the international scientific almanac “Global World” was carried out.
BTEU actively uses opportunities of participating in academic mobility of faculty and students. Agreements on mobility have been concluded and are in force with a number of foreign institutions of higher education in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan: Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law; Russian University of Cooperation; Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University; Smolny Institute of the Russian Academy of Education; Karaganda Economic University of Kazpotrebsoyuz; Academician E.A. Buketov Karaganda University; Tajik State University of Commerce; Tajik State University of Law, Business and Politics.
Students are provided with opportunity to start an international career and simultaneously obtain 2-3-4 diplomas of higher education: BTEU, European universities (Great Britain, Bulgaria) and Russian universities (with a European supplement to the diploma).
For the purpose of implementation of state policy for the growth of export of educational services, the university pays great attention to increasing the contingent of foreign students in various educational programs. Over the past 5 years, more than 700 foreign citizens have been admitted to the university for all forms of education. The geography of export of educational services is represented by students from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Israel, Iran, Yemen, Lebanon, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia.
In 2016, on the initiative and with the direct participation of BTEU, the Network University “Cooperatives” was created - a promising project for integration of cooperative institutions of higher education, which is aimed at uniting potentials of participating universities and serves as an important factor in convergence and integration of higher education systems, increasing their competitiveness in the international market of educational services. The consortium for creation of the Network University “Cooperatives” has united nine cooperative institutions from seven CIS countries: Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives (Belarus); Karaganda Economic University of Kazpotrebsoyuz (Kazakhstan); Cooperative Trade University of Moldova (Moldova); Belgorod University of Economics, Cooperation and Law, Russian University of Cooperation, Siberian University of Consumer Cooperatives (Russia); Lviv University of Trade and Economics, Poltava University of Economics and Trade (Ukraine); Tajik State University of Commerce (Tajikistan).
On November 14, 2017 an agreement was signed on establishment at Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives of the UNESCO Network Chair “Education Throughout Life” as a section of the UNESCO Chair “Education for Sustainable Development of Cooperatives” at Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law.
BTEU has a well-developed material and technical base. The educational and sports buildings, the Palace of Culture, the library, catering facilities and the hostel complex are compactly located. Nearby is the Festivalny city park and the Sozh river. Four comfortable hostels of the university fully provide a comfortable place to live for all nonresident students and employees in need of housing.
The educational process is fully provided with modern computer technology and equipment (multimedia complexes, video conferencing, Wi-Fi, etc.), which makes it possible to conduct classes in a more interesting and motivating environment, to apply modern multimedia teaching technologies for the “digital generation” of students.
Library of BTEU has one of the best in the Gomel region fund of economic and managerial literature, an electronic library is being developed. Sports base of the university includes a sports building with a full set of necessary sports and gymnasiums, four sports grounds, a stadium with a soccer field for mini-football, a basketball court, a running track and a long jump sector.
The university has its own editorial and publishing center and a scientific and practical journal “Consumer Cooperatives” which is included in the List of Scientific Publications of the Higher Attestation Commission of the Republic of Belarus. There is a student mass media “Copernicus” published at the university. The next stage of the university's innovative development in the field of informatization was creation of video studio “Koper” in 2018. The student club has a large assembly hall for 800 seats, 8 rehearsal rooms and a dance floor.
The University is an active partner of the Gomel Economic Forum, in particular, International Championship of StartUp-projects “Youth and Entrepreneurship” is regularly held on the basis of BTEU. Since 2016, on the initiative of BTEU, for the first time in the Gomel region a new educational project “Startup School Gomel” is being implemented. BTEU students have unlimited opportunities for student life: intellectual and sports competitions, volunteering and charitable activities, creativity, entrepreneurship, etc.
The long-term activity of the university in the training of highly qualified personnel for national economy has always been appreciated by the state. BTEU was awarded the Honorary Diplomas of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus in 2005 and 2014; in 2010 - Certificate of Honor of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus. On the basis of performance for 2014 and 2017 the university was recognized as the winner in nomination “The best institution of higher education” in Gomel and the Gomel region. In 2017 and 2018 BTEU became the best among institutions of higher education in Gomel region. In 2017 the team of BTEU was awarded in the nomination For High Achievements in Personnel Training by Belcoopsoyuz.
In 2019 Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives celebrated its 55th anniversary. Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives approached its anniversary with a rich baggage of educational and scientific traditions. The University is proud of its graduates, including famous scientists, public and state figures, heads of organizations, representatives of business community and lecturers. Further promising development of the university is based on active use of innovative educational technologies, all-round development of scientific potential, international cooperation, close interaction with consumer cooperation organizations and government agencies, and generally aimed at well-being and success.
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