45 scholarship holders from seven East European and Central Asian countries have started their studies in Poland under the 15th edition of the Lane Kirkland Scholarships Program. The inaugural ceremony took place at the Marie Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin on September 17, 2014.
The most numerous group among this-year scholarship holders are the citizens of Ukraine (32 persons), the remaining come from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia. The most popular fields of study are economy and management, public administration, business administration and international relations.
The new scholarship holders were welcomed by Prof. Ryszard Dębicki, the University Vice-President for Research and International Cooperation. Present were also representatives of the city, regional and provincial authorities who read official welcome letters in the name of their superiors.
Renata Koźlicka-Glińska, the PAFF Program Director informed the guests about the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s activities and the structure and goals of the Kirkland Program, while Urszula Sobiecka, Program Officer and representative of the Education for Democracy Foundation (the Program Manager) presented the scholarship holders.
The inaugural lecture on “Political correctness – tolerance or limitations” was given by Dr. Urszula Kusio from the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at Marie Curie-Skłodowska University.
The inauguration was part of the 10-day course aimed at preparing the scholarship holders from cultural and language point of view for a year-long stay in Poland.
The objective of the Program, launched in 2000, is sharing Polish experiences of political transformation with representatives of Eastern Europe through the two-term supplementary studies at Polish universities. Currently the Program is addressed to candidates from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, as well as Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Under individual study programs, Lane Kirkland scholarship holders study selected aspects of economics and management, public administration and business, law, social and political sciences. The initiator and founder of the Program is the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and its Manager is the Education for Democracy Foundation.
Since the beginning of the Program, two-term supplementary courses of study at Polish universities have been completed by 610 people coming from 11 countries, including 309 from Ukraine, 130 from Belarus, 45 from Georgia, 37 from Russia, 23 from Armenia, 18 from Kazakhstan, 16 from Moldova, 12 from Lithuania, 10 from Slovakia, 6 from Azerbaijan and 4 from Kyrgyzstan. Most of the scholarship holders studied economy and management – 197 persons, law – 102 and public administration – 83 persons.
The all-Poland inaugural ceremony of the academic year in Kirkland Program added splendor to the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Marie Curie-Skłodowska University. The University has been a partner in the Kirkland Program since 2001. A total of 98 Kirkland scholarship holders have studied in Lublin (almost 16% of all alumni).
See the reportage of the ceremony prepared by the Marie Curie-Skłodowska University students active in the IMA Media Group and the reportage on inauguration prepared by the TVP Lublin.