The diploma giving ceremony took place in Warsaw on June 25 and was combined with the meeting of Kirkland Program scholarship holders held from June 24 to June 27.
In 2020/21 academic year scholarships were awarded to 60 people coming from 9 countries of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus who did their individual courses in law, economy, management, international relations, journalism, social and political sciences at Polish universities in Kraków, Lublin, Poznań, Warsaw, and Wrocław.
Polish-American Freedom Foundation Program Director Agnieszka Mazur and Leaders of Change Foundation President Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga congratulated the graduates of the this-year round of the program. The ceremony was also attended by Kirkland Program regional coordinators as well as social and cultural animators who cooperate with it.
The scholarship holders listened to the lecture on the impact of pandemic on changes in civic activity and grassroot movements given by expert in Eastern Europe, former Polish Ambassador to Russia Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz.
This year the biggest group of scholarship holders came from Ukraine (25 people), and the remaining from Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. They were scholars, public administration and local government worker, economists, lawyers, and culture managers. 2020/21 academic year was unique in that a record number of scholarship holders (15, of which 10 came from Ukraine, and 5 from Belarus) came under Kirkland Research – a one-semester research course taken in Poland.
The Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program has been run since 2000. Its objective is to share Polish experience in political transformation and European integration with program participants coming from countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus during a two-semester complementary course of studies at selected Polish universities. The program is currently addressed to candidates coming from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Under individual study courses the scholarship holders study selected aspects of economy and management, public administration and business, law, social and political sciences, journalism, NGO management, or culture management. Since 2016 the program offers also a one-semester research course for scholars – so called Kirkland Research.
The founder of the program is Polish-American Freedom Foundation. The program is managed by Leaders of Change Foundation.
Over the years 2000-2020 the program was completed by 880 people who came from 13 countries, including 484 from Ukraine, 157 from Belarus, 58 from Georgia, 56 from Russia, 34 from Armenia, 24 from Moldova, 22 from Kazakhstan, 12 from Lithuania, 10 from Slovakia, 10 from Azerbaijan, 10 from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Uzbekistan, and 1 from Tajikistan.