New Beginnings

  • 2006-02-22
  • Interview by Anne Gallien
Just a week after the Lithuanian government decided to re-open European Humanities University, shut down two years ago by the authoritarian Belarusian government, plans for the school are quickly moving ahead. Lithuanian and Belarusian experts have already established master's and bachelor's programs and chosen professor Anatoly Mikhailov as dean. TBT met with Mikhailov to find out what's in store for EHU.

What will be the university's main language?

The main languages will be Belarusian and Russian.

How many Belarusian students do you expect?

In September 2005, EHU in exile made its first enrollment of students. As a result of intensive competition, the university enrolled 170 young Belarusian citizens to attend a four-year course in five majors. Almost half of them are graduates from the European Humanities University in Minsk. Some of them, after EHU was forced to terminate its operation in Belarus, completed their education in respected universities across Europe. From the 2005 fall semester onward, EHU also offers programs that make it possible for external students to receive bachelor's degrees that are acknowledged in Lithuania and should therefore also be acknowledged in Belarus.

In 2005, 348 students enrolled in these programs that envisage examination sessions in Lithuania. External and distance-learning students in Minsk are offered courses in foreign languages and computer science in accordance with programs approved by the EHU. In the 2005 fall semester, the university had 660 students for distance learning.

What are the advantages of this reopening for Lithuania?

This reopening has been made possible due to broad international support on the part of the U.S.A. and EU members, including Lithuania, who understand the problems facing the Belarusian people under a totalitarian regime. By providing shelter to EHU, Lithuania has demonstrated its commitments to the principles of democracy and human rights, and we really appreciate the country's support of our university.

What about the fees per year?

The EHU's various academic programs are implemented thanks to financial support from both European and U.S. donors. This support has made it possible for young Belarusians whose academic rights are violated back at home to receive quality education for free.