The 15th round of the Kirkland Program which is taking place in the 2014/15 academic year is participated by 44 scholarship holders from eight countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The most numerous group of them came from Ukraine; the others came from Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Kirgizstan and Moldova. They are studying such fields of study as economics and management, law, social sciences and international relations at 5 academic centers: in Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań and Lublin.
The agenda of the congress, organized by the Center for East European Studies of Warsaw University, was very extensive. The scholarship holders visited Sejm of the Republic of Poland where they had a meeting with Vice Marshal Marek Kuchciński.
At the Presidential Palace their host was Secretary of State Jacek Michałowski, the Head of the Chancellery of the President of Poland (in 2000-2010, PAFF Program Director who coordinated the Lane Kirkland Scholarship program), and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they had a meeting with Piotr Iwaszkiewicz, head of the Central Asia and Southern Caucasus Department.
The Kirklanders also visited the University of Warsaw campus where they were welcomed by Professor Alojzy Z. Nowak, Vice-Rector for Research and Liaison and Dr. Wiktor Ross, former Ambassador of Poland to Moldova and Armenia. They had an opportunity to listen to the lecture by Professor Bolesław Balcerowicz on “Peace and War in the Contemporary World”, and watch the “ Shepherd’s Song” documentary made by an alumnus of the Kirkland Program, Vahram Mkhitayan. Moreover, the scholarship holders visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, as well as saw at the National Theater the “Queen Margot” performance directed by Grzegorz Wiśniewski.
The next item in the Kirklanders’ agenda of their visit to Warsaw was the meeting at the seat of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, where Program Director Renata Koźlicka-Glińska, presented the history, objectives and selected activities of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and Tadeusz Rudzki of Education for Democracy Foundation presented the objectives of the Region in Transition (RITA) program.
Additionally, Ivan Kulchycki from Lvov, a Kirkland Program alumnus, told the scholarship holders about his professional career nine years after he had completed the program. The next invited guest, Paweł Lickiewicz of the Common Europe Foundation, presented Eastbook.eu, the Eastern Partnership portal. The conversation with NGO representatives and a Kirkland Program alumnus gave a start to a discussion on establishing relationships during the scholarship stay in Poland and possibilities to develop cooperation and carry out joint social or research projects.
The objective of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program, implemented since 2000, is to share Polish experiences in transformation with students from Eastern European countries during two-semester complementary studies at Polish universities. 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 program is funded by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and managed by the Education for Democracy Foundation. Since the beginning of the program, the two-semester complementary studies at Polish universities have been completed by 610 persons from 11 countries.