Nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate freshmen together with European Humanities University (EHU) faculty and staff members took part in the academic year 2016/17 opening ceremony on October 3 in Vilnius.
“When you choose EHU you also choose certain values. First of all, of course, you choose an education which gives you competences, knowledge, and insight in the areas of your choice. But equally important is the fact that you will study at a university which encourages the free academic debate. A university that strives to favor creativity and innovation and a university that builds on the principle of respect for the opinion of your neighbor, ” said EHU Acting Rector Mr. Jørgen Jørgensen in his welcoming address to EHU freshmen and academic community.
EHU starts its 12th academic year in Vilnius under the leadership of former Administrative director at the Aarhus University and recently-appointed EHU Acting Rector J. Jørgensen. EHU President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov introduced J. Jørgensen to the academic community highlighting that the new Acting Rector has remarkable experience in administrative and managerial work in Denmark and internationally: “I’m convinced that Mr. Jørgensen’s profound experience will be of great benefit for the further development of our project”.
Lithuania’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Neris Germanas assured the entire EHU community that University can rely on the inexhaustible support on the part of Lithuanian Government and highlighted: “EHU is a Belarusian university. Its mission is not only to bring up future Belarusian leaders, creative and responsible people, able to think critically, but also to strengthen relations between Belarus and the European Union. We strive to provide full support to the University and encourage international donors to do the same”.
In her welcoming speech, the member of the Seimas of Lithuania and long-standing EHU supporter Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė pointed out: “EHU is open to everyone who sees his or her identity not only in national borders but also on a European and global scale. Education is the best opportunity to promote international cooperation. I wish you further personal growth and strength to overcome dogmatic thinking”.
During the ceremony the 4th “Distinguished Alumni Award” was presented to Yahor Zakharko (BA Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Class 2011). Yahor is the founder of Belarus’ first and most successful private music festivals Mirum Music Festival, which annually takes place nearby UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mir Castle Complex. Alumnus wished high academic achievements and self-confidence. “Nine years ago I was in your place and I can state with certainty that EHU will teach you how to create your own work place. Today many EHU alumni are engaged in creative and ambitious projects back in Belarus”, highlighted Yahor.
Chairperson of EHU Senate Professor Emeritus Ryhor Miniankou delivered a welcoming speech to the freshmen and expressed hope that they will actively engage into academic life and University’s shared governance. He underlined that the new academic year is significant due to the introduction of the unique Core Curriculum, which was developed in 2014-2016 by 25 higher education experts. After the Opening ceremony, EHU freshmen took part in their first Core Curriculum course “Language and Thinking”.
EHU starts Academic Year 2016/17 with a 17,4% increase of enrolled students compared to the previous year. 230 freshmen are citizens or permanent residents of Belarus, and 69,1% of them will start the new academic year tuition-free or with a tuition grant. Admission campaign 2016 was distinctive due to the introduction of the Additional Admissions and an increase of the academic background among prospective students.