European Humanities University

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European Humanities University
Lithuanian: Europos humanitarinis universitetas
Belarusian: Еўрапейскі гуманітарны ўніверсітэт
Det hviterussiske eksiluniversitetet i Vilnius, Litauen.jpg
TypePrivate, liberal arts university
PresidentProf. Anatoli Mikhailov
RectorProf. Sergei Ignatov
Academic staff
Administrative staff

54°40′57″N 25°17′14″E / 54.68250°N 25.28722°E / 54.68250; 25.28722Coordinates: 54°40′57″N 25°17′14″E / 54.68250°N 25.28722°E / 54.68250; 25.28722
AffiliationsEUA, IAU, EAIE, SAR, AUF, EUF-CE
European Humanities University (Vilnius) logo.jpg

European Humanities University (Belarusian: Еўрапейскі гуманітарны ўніверсітэт (ЕГУ), Lithuanian: Europos Humanitarinis Universitetas (EHU), Russian: Европейский гуманитарный университет (ЕГУ)) is a private, non-profit liberal arts university founded in Minsk, Belarus, in 1992. Following its forced closure by the Belarusian authorities in 2004, EHU relocated to Vilnius (Lithuania) and thus continues its operations as a private university.

EHU offers high-residence and low-residence undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degree programs in the field of humanities and social sciences. The university has been headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania, since authorities expelled it from Belarus in 2004. The university intends to return to Minsk.[1]

From 1992 to 2004 EHU was a non-state establishment of undergraduate and post-graduate education in Belarus. In 2004, due to government opposition, EHU was forced to terminate its activities in Belarus. However, thanks to political, administrative, and financial support from the European Union, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Governments of Lithuania, other European countries, and the United States, NGOs and foundations like MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and others, EHU resumed its operation in Vilnius, Lithuania and opened bachelor's and master's degree programs for Belarusian students in autumn 2005. In March 2006 the Government of Lithuania granted EHU the official status of a Lithuanian university.

After the mass protests of the Belarusian presidential election of 2010, many EHU students and teachers were imprisoned by the KDB. The university said it would work with students to help them in their education despite the circumstances.[2]

In academic year 2016/17 EHU serves around 900[3] mostly Belarusian students, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs and promoting research in the humanities and social sciences. About two-thirds of EHU's students attend via online programs and reside in Belarus. About one-third attend courses on campus in Vilnius. Teaching languages – Belarusian, Russian, some courses are taught in English, German and French. EHU ranks second among private universities in Lithuania.[4]


Minsk period (1992–2004)[edit]

The university was established in Minsk in 1992. At that time it comprised eight schools and provided education with 13 programs in humanities, foreign and classical languages, and IT. EHU was a basis for the establishment of research centers and institutes in Belarus: the Institute of German Studies, the Center for Economic and Social Research, the Center for Gender Studies, the Center for Civic Education, the Information and Resource Center on the European Integration and others.

In 2002 it was one of the first universities to join European University Foundation - Campus Europae.

On July 24, 2004 the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus revoked university's license for the provision of educational services, claiming the campus was unsuitable for classes. The university was forced to terminate its operations. The actions of the authorities provoked a mass protest next day; about two hundred students and faculty defended their right to study and work in EHU.[5]

Vilnius period (2004–present)[edit]

In 2005 EHU reestablished its activity in Lithuania with the support of the Government of Lithuania, European Commission, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and support by European countries and international foundations.

On March 10, 2006 EHU was granted the status of a private Lithuanian university. The first EHU undergraduate class in Vilnius completed its studies in 2009.

On June 5, 2012 EHU celebrated its 20th anniversary in Vilnius Town Hall.[6]

On June 14, 2013 EHU was awarded an Atlantic Council Freedom Award for unwavering commitment to democracy in Belarus by providing Belarusian students with a free and democratic environment to pursue their education.[7]

In 2014 EHU completed faculty reform, which aimed at providing better working conditions for faculty and to strengthening the overall quality of education and research at the university.[8] In 2015 EHU announced the results of an international rector’s search, which involved 19 candidates from seven countries. On April 3 Prof. G. David Pollick (US) was appointed as Rector.[9] In the same year university Senate endorsed Magna Charta Universitatum.[10]. In summer 2016 Prof. G. David Pollick resigned from the University's Rector position. Starting October 3, 2016 Jørgen Jørgensen (Denmark) served as University's Acting Rector.[11] In academic year 2016/17 EHU started implementation of the brand new liberal arts-inspired Core Curriculum, which was designed with an assistance of the Bard College network.[12] Starting March 1, 2018 former Minister of Education of Bulgaria Professor Sergei Ignatov serves as University's Rector.[13]


Operating in Lithuania, EHU is involved in the Bologna process and conducts the academic process according to the standards of the European Higher Education Area. Upon successful completion of degree studies at EHU, university graduates are awarded European Union-recognized diplomas.

The university's academic year begins on October 1.

Academic departments:

  • Department of Humanities and Arts
  • Department of Social Sciences

EHU offers following high-residence and low-residence undergraduate programs:

Master's programs in blended learning mode:

Since 2011, EHU offers a Doctorate in Philosophy jointly with Vytautas Magnus University and the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute.[14]

EHU offers low residence programs and courses via Moodle. Upon completion of distance courses free listeners are awarded with a ECTS.

High-residence students are also eligible to participate in Erasmus+ and Campus Europae student mobility programs with more than 50 partner universities throughout Europe. EHU provides tuition fee waivers for Belarusian students on the basis of academic merits and thanks to the support of the university donors. Additionally there are stipends available for Belarusian undergraduate high-residence students at the ratio 1 stipend per 10 students[15].


EHU conducts research in humanities and social sciences and supports the research activities of its faculty and students by maintaining research centers, laboratories, and institutes:

  • Center for Constitutionalism and Human Rights
  • Center for Gender Studies
  • Center for German Studies
  • Laboratory of Critical Urbanism
  • Laboratory of Visual and Cultural Studies

EHU research centers conduct research activities, organize scientific conferences, publish scientific journals (Journal of Constitutionalism and Human Rights, Journal of philosophical and cultural studies).


General Assembly of Part-Owners[edit]

The General Assembly of Part-Owners is the highest governing body of the university that brings together organizations that reestablished EHU in Lithuania after its closure in Minsk. These include the Institute for International Education (Lithuania), Eastern Europe Studies Centre (Lithuania), Open Society Foundations (US) and Eurasia Foundation (US). Chairperson of the GAPO is Horton Beebe-Center, President of the Eurasia Foundation.

Governing Board[edit]

The Governing Board is responsible for the strategic direction, finances, and functioning of the university. Starting December 14, 2016 the new membership of the Governing Board has been appointed for the 3-years term[16]. The composition of the Governing Board[17]:


Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov is a scholar in the field of German philosophy, who founded EHU in Minsk in 1992 and served as Rector until September 30, 2014. Starting October 2014 Prof. Mikhailov serves as EHU President.


Starting October 3, 2016 the General Assembly of Part-Owners appointed Jørgen Jørgensen as University Acting Rector. Before this appointed, he served as Administrative director at the Aarhus University, Denmark’s second largest university. Jørgen Jørgensen’s professional background lies in the area of ministerial work at the Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of the Interior and Health, where he has served in different capacities during a significant number of meetings on European Union, United Nations, and World Health Organization levels[18].


The Senate is an academic self-governance body, operating on the basis of the Oxbridge model, thus faculty working at EHU are under employment contracts of at least 27 hours per week. Five student representatives and the Chief for Academic Affairs are members of the Senate. Its functions are to ensure academic self-governance and maintain academic freedoms. Chair of the Senate is Professor Emeritus Ryhor Miniankou.

Students' Union[edit]

Students' Union is an autonomous student self-government body, operating as a legal entity, which represents EHU students internally and externally, as according to the Law on Higher Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania. EHU Students' Union is a full member of the Lithuanian National Union of Students.


Doctor Honoris Causa[edit]

EHU's Doctor Honoris Causa degree is conferred upon scholars, statesmen, public, religious, and political figures of the Republic of Belarus and other countries to honor their accomplishments in humanities and social sciences, university education and culture; their contributions to the development of democracy and the realization of the principles of the rule of law; and their contribution to the development of culture and promotion of intercultural dialog.

EHU Honorary Doctors are:

  • Alain Fleischer, French writer, film director, and photographer.
  • Aleś Razanaŭ, Belarusian poet and translator.
  • Fr. Alexander Nadson (1926–2015), Apostolic Visitor for Belarusian Greek-Catholic faithful abroad and a Belarusian émigré social and religious leader.
  • Prof. Peter Pavlowski
  • Prof. Andrea Riccardi, an Italian researcher of Church history, professor of Contemporary History, Roma Tre University, Italy.
  • Prof. Rolf Stober, German lawyer and political figure, project coordinator of international educational and research programs in the field of law.
  • Stéphane Hessel, French diplomat, public figure, writer.
  • Olga Sedakova, Russian poet, translator and scholar of Christian culture.
  • Prof. Alfred Grosser, French educational and cultural figure, head of academic programs.
  • Prof. Krzysztof Zanussi, Polish film director and public figure, president of the Federation of European Film Directors.
  • Wolfgang Grieger, a German businessman, head of the Grieger Mallison consulting company, philanthropist.
  • Prof. Sergey Averintsev (1927–2004), Russian researcher in culture and classical philology.
  • Prof. Algirdas Brazauskas (1932–2010), President (1993–1998) and Prime Minister (2001–2006) of the Republic of Lithuania.
  • Prof. Nikolaus Wyrwoll, theologian, researcher of the dialog between the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, director of the University of Regensburg's Institute of the Eastern Church, Germany.


  • Anatoli Mikhailov – PhD in Philosophy, professor, EHU Founding Rector and President.
  • Henadz Sahanovich – PhD in History, professor, author of the books "Unknown war: 1654–1667” (1995) and “The Battle of Grunwald in Belarusian History” (2016).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "President Buzek meets Belarusian students from European Humanities University". Lithuania Tribune. June 9, 2010. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Студенты и преподаватели ЕГУ ожидают приговора Константин Амелюшкин,, March 15, 2011 retrieved from Delfi (web portal) on March 16, 2011, through
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