Studies in Poland under 24th round of Kirkland Program are started by 42 scholarship holders who came from 11 countries of Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia.
The hosts of the ceremony were Prof. Rafał Zarębski the vice director for research at the Institute of Polish Philology and Speech Therapy, Faculty of Philology, University of Lodz who welcomed the guests at the University of Lodz, and Katarzyna Dyzio of City Activity Factory, Lodz Town Hall, representing the local government.
Dr. Agnieszka Mazur, the PAFF Program Director, told the guests about the mission and activities of Polish-American Freedom Foundation, while Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga, the Leaders of Change Foundation President spoke about the history and objectives of Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program. Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga pointed also to the big value of active participation in social life that is promoted by the Program. Next, Urszula Sobiecka, Kirkland Program Director, presented the new scholarship holders.
The opening lecture on economic transformation was given by Prof. Anna Fornalczyk, a member of PAFF Board of Directors. The main topic of her lecture were contemporary economic and social challenges. Also, Prof. Fornalczyk enhanced the Kirklanders to engage in shaping the future of their countries and local communities.
During the 10-day orientation aimed at preparing the scholarship holders to their year-long stay in Poland from the cultural and language point of view, being held in Lodz, the Kirklanders will take part in Polish classes, lectures on protection of intellectual property, and intercultural workshops, among the other activities. However, the main theme of the orientation are Polish experiences in political transformation and European integration.
The objective of Lane Kirkland Program, launched in 2000, is to share Polish experiences in political transformation with the representatives of the countries in the Region. It is done during the two-semester supplementary studies at Polish Universities. Since 2016 the academics can also study at one-semester courses under Kirkland Research Program path. At present, the Program is addressed to candidates from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Under the eye of individual tutors, the Kirkland scholarship holders study selected aspects of economy and management, public administration and business, law, and social and political sciences. Polish-American Freedom Foundation is the initiator and sponsor of the Program, and the Leaders of Change Foundation is its manager.
This-year’s group of scholarship holders is composed of 35 participants of Kirkland Program and 7 academics of Kirkland Research path. There are 12 participants from Ukraine, 10 from Belarus, 4 from Georgia, 7 from Armenia, 3 from Kazakhstan, 3 from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Uzbekistan, and 1person from1 Tajikistan.
Each year the Program has about 45 scholarship holders. Over the years 2000-2023, the Program has been completed by 1,033 people coming from 13 countries (986 Kirkland Program scholarship holders and 47 Kirkland Research scholarship holders), including: 560 from Ukraine, 180 from Belarus, 67 from Georgia, 69 from Russia, 38 from Armenia, 30 from Kazakhstan, 25 from Moldova, 17 from Kyrgyzstan, 15 from Azerbaijan, 12 from Lithuania, 10 from Slovakia, as well as 5 from Uzbekistan, and 5 from Tajikistan.