Minister Ahern announces €20,000 grant for Belarus Humanities University
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced a grant of €20,000 to support the work of the European Humanities University International in Vilnius, Lithuania. The grant will be used to support the university's distance learning programme for students in Belarus.
Making the announcement the Minister said:
“I am delighted to announce this grant for the work of the European Humanities University International (EHU) following its relocation to Lithuania. Ireland is committed to the promotion and development of democracy and civil society in Belarus. Ireland supports the university's aims of promoting dialogue between Eastern and Western European cultures and facilitating the development of civil society in Belarus.”
Commenting on the situation in Belarus, the Minister added:
“The Government is concerned by the deteriorating situation of human rights and political freedoms in Belarus, and particularly the harassment of NGOs and civil society organisations. The EHU has played an important role in internationalising and liberalising higher education in Belarus. Its forced closure in 2004 disrupted international educational cooperation with that country, further isolating the people of Belarus”
16th December 2005
Note for editors:
The EHU was founded in Belarus in 1992, but was forced to close by the Belarus authorities in 2004. Since autumn 2004, the university has functioned as a virtual network university, renamed as EHU International, headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania. The University resumed teaching for the 2005-2006 academic year in October. Its distance learning programme provides courses for over 600 students in Belarus. Three EHU students are currently studying at the University of Limerick and Minister Ahern has expressed his hope for a further strengthening of links between Irish universities and the EHU.