47 scholarship holders from 5 East European and South Caucasus countries started their studies. On September 21, a ceremonious opening of 18th round of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program took place at Wrocław University.
The biggest group among this-year scholarship holders are people from Ukraine (33), while the rest come from Belarus, Georgia, Russia and Armenia. Most of this-year Kirklanders are public administration and local government workers, economists and lawyers.
New scholarship holders were welcomed during the opening ceremony at Wrocław University by Prof. Jan Burdukiewicz, the vice-president for foreign cooperation and international projects, and Urszula Broda, the manager of the Foreign Cooperation Bureau and Kirkland Program regional coordinator.
Tadeusz Luty, the Wrocław mayor plenipotentiary for cooperation with universities, speaking on behalf of the Wrocław Mayor, welcomed the scholarship holders and wished them a successful stay in Poland.
Agnieszka Mazur, the PAFF Program Director briefed the guests on the Polish-American Freedom Foundation mission and activities, while Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga, the Leaders of Change Foundation President, told them about the history and aims of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program.
The inaugural lecture on history of Silesia and Wrocław was given by Rector of the Wrocław University Prof. Adam Jezierski.
The ceremony was attended by honorary consul of Ukraine in Wrocław Grzegorz Dzik, the scholarship holders’ tutors, the Kirkland Program regional coordinators Michał Zając of Kraków and Joanna Janas of Poznań, as well as Bogna Frąszczak, the social and cultural animator of Poznań.
Over the 10-day introduction session aimed at preparing the scholarship holders for their year-long stay in Poland, the Program participants had a meeting with Dolnośląskie Province Marshal Cezary Przybylski, President of the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe Jan Dąbrowski, and representatives of Wrocław City Development Agglomeration and Wrocław Sector 3.0 NGO Support Center. They also had a sightseeing tour in Wrocław, visited Churches of Peace in Świdnica and Jaworzno and the Castle in Książ.
The objective of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program, implemented since 2000, is to share Polish experiences in transformation and European integration with representatives from the countries of the Region. The Program is in form of two-semester complementary studies at Polish universities, and in 2016 the offer has been extended with the Kirkland Research Program which is the one-semester course for academics. The program is currently addressed to candidates from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus as well as Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan. Under individual study programs, the scholarship holders study selected aspects of economics and management, public administration and business, law, social and political sciences. Since its beginning, 742 scholarship holders coming from 11 countries completed the program. Of that number 400 were from Ukraine, 143 from Belarus, 49 from Georgia, 45 from Russia, 27 from Armenia, 18 from Kazakhstan, 22 from Moldova, 12 from Lithuania, 10 from Slovakia, 8 from Kyrgyzstan, and 8 from Azerbaijan. Most of the scholarship holders studied economics and management, law and public administration.
The Program is managed by Leaders of Change Foundation.