The new scholarship holders were welcomed by Prof. Ryszard Naskręcki, Vice Rector for Science and International Cooperation. Best wishes of successful stay in Poznań and fruitful studies in Poland were expressed also by Vice Director of the City Development and International Cooperation Department of Poznań City Hall Anna Wawdysz.
Agnieszka Mazur, PAFF Program Director outlined the mission and activities of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, while Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga, President of the Leaders of Change Foundation, told about the history and objectives of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program.
The inaugural lecture on economic transformation in Poland after 1989 was given by Dr. Paweł Churski of Adam Mickiewicz University.
During their 10 orientation days in Poznań aimed at introducing the scholarship holders to some cultural and linguistic aspects of their one-year-long stay in Poland, among other things the Program participants could attend meetings with representatives of Wielkopolska Province local authorities and NGOs, as well as with young businessmen of Startup Poznań. They had also Polish classes, went on Poznań sightseeing tour, and visited other places, including the castle in Kórnik.
The objective of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship program, launched in 2000, is to share Polish experiences in transformation with representatives of the Region during two-semester complementary studies at Polish universities. In 2016 the Kirkland Research, a one-semester course for scholars was added to the offer. The program is currently addressed to candidates from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, as well as Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Under individual study programs, the Kirkland Scholarship holders study selected aspects of economics and management, public administration and business, law, or social and political sciences. The Program was initiated and has been founded by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and its manager is the Leaders of Change Foundation.
The strongest group of this-year’s scholarship holders make students from Ukraine (19 people); the remaining come from Belarus (7 people), Russia (5 people), Armenia (2 people), Azerbaijan (2 people), Georgia (2 people), Moldova (2 people), Kazakhstan (3 people), Kyrgyzstan (1 person). Also, for the first time, the Program is participated by scholarship holders from Uzbekistan (3 people) and Tajikistan (1 person). The most numerous is the group of analysts; there are also scholars, NGO workers and officials.
Over the years 2000-2018 the program was completed by 832 people from 11 countries – 462 from Ukraine, 151 from Belarus, 56 from Georgia, 51 from Russia, 32 from Armenia, 22 from Moldova, 19 from Kazakhstan, 12 from Lithuania, 10 from Slovakia, 8 from Azerbaijan, and 9 from Kyrgyzstan.