International Sakharov Environmental Institute is
- the leading educational institution of Belarus for specialist training on environmental specialties
- the base organization of the CIS countries on environmental education
- a distinct life philosophy of harmonious relation development between nature and humans corresponding to the co-evolution principles
- unique environmental specialties
The Chernobyl Disaster of 1986 dramatically changed the life and consciousness of a significant part of our planet population. It became obvious that professionals with combined knowledge in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine were needed to minimize the consequences of this disaster. Such specialists were not trained at that time.
A.M. Lyutsko was one of the first in the country to realize the need to train specialists in radioecology. Thanks to his efforts and persistence, the project «International Sakharov College on Radioecology» supported by the participants of the First International Congress in memory of A.D. Sakharov was included in the UN program of international cooperation on solving the Chernobyl issues in May, 1991. UNESCO also supported the establishment of the college. On January 20, 1992, the Decree of the Council of the Ministers of the Republic of Belarus № 20 «On the opening of International Sakharov College on Radioecology at V.I. Lenin Belarusian State University» was issued.
The College was assigned the following tasks:
- training and advanced training of specialists in the field of radioecology, radiation safety, radiobiology, radiation and nuclear medicine, radiation technologies;
- conducting research in the field of radioecology, radiation technology, studying the consequences of radiation accidents;
- participate in providing information for enterprises, organizations, institutions, and population on radio-ecological issues;
- international cooperation on educational and scientific issues of radioecology.
According to the Decree, a land plot of 8 hectares was provided in Minsk to construct a complex of buildings for International Sakharov College on Radioecology. On January 27-28, the first meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the college was held, E.G. Bonner, A.D. Sakharov’s wife attended the meeting. The first academic year at the College began on November 3, 1992. 65 students, who completed a two-year course of higher education institutions in the majors of natural sciences and medicine, became the first students with training in a three-year program. The college was provided with 8 rooms in the building of Minsk Correspondence Polytechnic (Dolgobrodskaya str., 23/1) to organize the educational process. Student practice was held in Khoyniki, Gomel region, where a field station was established. The departments of Nuclear Physics and Radio-chemistry, Radio-biology, Nuclear and Radiation Medicine, Technical Support and Humanitarian Education were formed as the Chairs. They provided training in the specialty «Radioecology» with majors «Nuclear Physics and Radio-chemistry», «Radiobiology and Radiation Medicine», «Radioecology and Agro-biology». The educational process was under extreme conditions due to the lack of special literature, established discipline programs, lack of premises, training equipment, and highly qualified lecturers. In 1993, the second recruitment of students was made. The training program was designed for four years. Applicants with secondary education were also accepted at that time. The specialty «Radiobiology and Radiation Medicine» major in «Medical Ecology» was opened at the end of the academic year. The college completely received the building on Dolgobrodskaya str., 23/1. The educational process became stable, the material and technical base were strengthened, the subject of research expanded after opening the education research sector. There was student recruitment for a five-year study period in 1994. Within the specialty «Radioecology», the training was provided in majors «Nuclear Physics and Radio-chemistry», «Radiation Safety» (later «Environmental Monitoring and Audit», «Environmental information Systems» were added). In the specialty «Radiobiology and Radiation Medicine», the students majored in «Radiobiology», «Medical Ecology», «Immunology» (later the specialty «Radiation Hygiene and Epidemiology» was introduced).
On October 21, 1994, the college was reorganized to International Sakharov Institute of Radioecology by the order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Belarus. Alexander Mikhailovich Lyutsko, PhD in Physics and Mathematics Sciences, Associate Professor, and a former Director of the college headed the institute. The first graduate of 38 specialists was in 1995. The same year, the department of Radioecology consisting of the Chairs of Radioecology, Environmental Physics, Environmental Information Systems and the department of Radiobiology and Medical Ecology consisting of the Chairs of Medical Ecology, Pathology, and Immunology were established as the Faculties. Postgraduate Course in 9 specialties was opened to train high qualified research specialists. In 1995, the Institute developed the Concept of radio-ecological education in the Republic of Belarus approved by the National Commission on radiation protection and the Ministry of Education. This Concept defined the Institute’s activities for the next years.
The first graduate, July 14, 1995
By the beginning of the 1997-1998 academic year, the Chair of Philosophy, Sociology and Economics, the Chair of Environmental Monitoring, the Department of Radiobiology, the Department of Human Biology, the Department of Immunology were established.
Alexander Antonovich Milutin
On March 19, 1998, Alexander Antonovich Milutin, Doctor in Biology Sciences, Professor was appointed Rector of the institute. Structure changes, material-technical base enhancement, scientific methodological support development of the educational process and research, expansion of international cooperation continued under his management. Since August 1998, three faculties (Radioecology; Radiobiology and Environmental Medicine; Advanced Training and Retraining) have been working.
In July, 1999, International Sakharov Institute of Radioecology was certified by the Republican State Inspection of Education System of the Republic of Belarus and was reorganized into International Sakharov Environmental University.
The main tasks of the university were:
- specialist training to work on the national, international programs, and projects in the field of elimination, and prediction of radiation accident consequences, radiation impact analysis, other natural and technogenic factors on various ecosystems, diagnostics and prevention due to an unfavorable situation of environmental monitoring and audit, other related areas;
- high qualified specialist training in environmental specialties;
- Advanced Training and Retraining of specialists of the Republic of Belarus, the CIS countries and other states on Radioecology, Radiation Safety, Radiobiology, Environmental Medicine;
- conducting fundamental and applied research on a wide issue range of prevention and elimination of environmental disaster consequences, unfavorable environmental condition on human health;
- international cooperation in the field of education and research activities.
Semyon Petrovich Kundas, Doctor in Technical Sciences, Professor headed the university from 2003 to 2013.
Semyon Petrovich Kundas
At that time, technical specialties related to information and energy-efficient technologies were actively developed, the specialty “Medical Physics” was opened, Yerevan branch of the university with the specialty “Medical Ecology” was opened; the university was actively involved in European and international programs, the CIS programs and the Union State, became the Base Organization on Environmental Education in the CIS, the education and research complex «International Environmental Park «Volma» was actively used for student practice, based on this, the infrastructure for the activity of the Innovation Center for Technology Transfer in the field of renewable energy sources was developed. It ensures autonomous complex needs for energy resources due to alternative energy sources application. Research in the field of radiobiology, ecology, and renewable energy sources within the republican and international programs continued. Council on a doctoral thesis defense in radiobiology (the only one in the Republic) was opened at the university. Valery Ivanovich Dunai, PhD in Biology Sciences, Associate Professor was appointed Rector in 2013.
Valery Ivanovich Dunai
He was a former head of the Chair of Human Ecology at BSU. His main task was to optimize the functioning of the university based on a prospective plan to include the university to the BSU structure.
International Sakharov Environmental Institute today
In 2015, the university was renamed into «International Sakharov Environmental Institute» and included to the structure of Belarusian State University.