“For those who understand the importance of academic freedom to a free and prosperous society, the European Humanities University (EHU) is a beacon of hope—the only Belarusian university that has succeeded in escaping the Belarusian government’s ideological control—and an engine for the future integration of Belarus into the family of democratic nations.
Based in Vilnius since its forced closure in Minsk in 2004, EHU provides students from Belarus and the region with an education in the humanities and social sciences in a free and democratic environment—an opportunity no longer available in Belarus today.”
I had a privilege to become a friend and a supporter of EHU in 2012.
“Friends” support EHU so that the university can fulfill its mission of providing a high quality liberal arts education that stresses personal responsibility, critical inquiry, and academic freedom. But I also had my own reasons to join the effort in helping to educate students from Belarus to use their talents to move their country in the direction of openness and democracy.
Having born in Soviet Union, I was grateful to have a chance to study liberal thought at universities of Sussex and Cambridge and subsequently participate (albeit very humbly) in the making of my own country by developing green policies.
I feel that the future of any country depends on fresh ideas and thinking, so it is important to nurture and support liberal arts and studies such as philosophy.
In 2013, with a generous help of friends and fellows support, we managed to raise sufficient funds for a philosophy phd student grant.
I wonder how that young Belarusian philosopher looks like…