45 scholarship holders who came from 10 countries of Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia have started their studies in five academic cities in Poland. The inaugural ceremony of 22nd round of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program was held at Jagiellonian University in Kraków on September 24.
The Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program, launched in 2000, serves sharing Polish experiences in transformation and European integration with representatives of the countries of the Region. It is run in the formula of two-semester complementary courses at Polish universities, and since 2016 the offer has been extended with one-semester course for scholars – Kirkland Research. The program is currently addressed to candidates from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, as well as Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
New scholarship holders were welcomed by Dean of the Faculty of Management and Social Communication at Jagiellonian University Prof. Ewa Bogacz-Wojtanowska, PhD. Next PAFF Program Director Agnieszka Mazur informed the guests on the mission and tasks of Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and President of the Leaders of Change Foundation Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga spoke about history and objectives of Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program. The inaugural lecture on Constitutional Premises Of Self-Government In Poland And Their Implementation was given by Prof. Mirosław Stec, PhD, of Jagiellonian University.
Over the 14-day orientation in Kraków aimed at preparing the visitors to their stay in Poland the scholarship holders attended lectures on history of Poland, workshops on cultural differences and adaptation at the time of pandemic, as well as meetings with representatives of NGOs. Also, they had Polish classes. Due to pandemic situation, some of the meetings under the orientation were held online.
Among this-year’s Kirklanders the biggest group came from Ukraine (22 people); the remaining are the citizens of Belarus (6 people), Russia (7 people), Armenia (1 person), Georgia (2 people), Kazakhstan (1 person), Kyrgyzstan (2 people), Uzbekistan (1 person), and Tajikistan (3 people). Most of them are scholars, NGO staff and officials.
Under individual course of study the Kirkland Scholarship holders study selected aspects of economics and management, public administration and business, law, social and political sciences.
The program initiator and funder is Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and its Manager is the Leaders of Change Foundation. Since 2019, part of scholarships under Kirkland Program is paid by Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.
Over the period from 2000 to 2021 the program was completed by 911 people coming from 13 countries, including 495 from Ukraine, 162 from Belarus, 60 from Georgia, 62 from Russia, 35 from Armenia, 24 from Moldova, 23 from Kazakhstan, 12 from Lithuania, 10 from Slovakia, 11 from Azerbaijan, 13 from Kyrgyzstan, 3 from Uzbekistan, and 1 person from Tajikistan.