European Humanities University (EHU) was founded in 1992, and was the only state recognized private university in Belarus. In summer 2004, due to the obstacles imposed by the Belarusian authorities, EHU was forced to shut down its activities in Minsk. With the support offered by the Lithuanian Government, the European Commission and various European countries, Nordic Council of Ministers, US as well as private foundations and other donors since 2006 the University has been operating in exile from Vilnius. It was granted the status of Lithuanian University and issued the license enabling to conduct educational activities.
Vilnius based EHU is the only Belarusian University ensuring academic freedom and providing conditions for the use of the Belarusian language in everyday life for its students, faculty members and staff. The University organizes studies, issues university degrees, conducts scientific research, promotes social and cultural development as well as creative activities.
Currently the University has 876 students. 294 first year students have been enrolled in 2017 (91 % of them are citizens of Belarus). 83 % of the EHU alumni are permanently employed in the field related to their study programs, 62 % returned to Belarus after graduation, 2124 alumni already graduated from Vilnius based EHU.
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania decided to transfer to the University the newly restored former Augustinian monastery building, situated on 17 Savičiaus str. in the Old Town of Vilnius. The premises fully meet the standards applied for university activities.
Since its relocation to Vilnius Lithuania provides all the necessary assistance to EHU by supporting financially, issuing gratis visas for its students and staff and providing the premises. By taking into consideration the future role of EHU students in the political and social life of Belarus, Lithuania pays particular attention to the activities aimed at the development of leadership skills as well as the inclusion of young people in the implementation of other projects, related to the promotion of the Belarusian civil society.
Currently there are three EHU donors: European Commission, Sweden and Lithuania. On 24 November 2016 an Agreement on Delegated Co-operation was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) on co-operation related to the assistance to EHU. Donors‘ co-ordination is performed by SIDA.
Lithuanian FM Linas Linkevičius about EHU: