Baltic Studies Centre Opens in Kyiv

Diana Nausėdienė at the Baltic Studies Centre opening in Kyiv

On March 19, Diana Nausėdienė, wife of Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda, opened the Centre for Baltic Studies at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Leonid Huberskyi, Rector of Taras Shevchenko National University, and Igor Korlyov, Professor and Head of the Centre for Baltic Studies, thanked the First Lady for the visit. Juozas Augutis, Professor and Rector of Vytautas Magnus University, and Julius Lukošius, Chancellor of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports attended the event remotely.

In the opening address, D. Nausėdienė noted that it is symbolic that the Centre for Baltic Studies is opened at the university named after Taras Shevchenko, who was active in the Ukrainian national revival and started his artistic career in Vilnius, promoting national revival and freedom throughout his life and work, concepts so important for both the Ukrainian and Lithuanian people.

Taras Shevchenko University started teaching the Lithuanian language as a major in the autumn of 2020, but no official launch of the study programme was held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the first university in Kyiv where the Lithuanian language is taught (previously an optional subject), and the second in Ukraine, with a similar study programme launched at the Chernivtsi National University a few years ago.

The establishment and the activities of the Centre for Baltic Studies are supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports according to the programme of the Lithuanian Language Centres Abroad. The newly established center, in cooperation with Vytautas Magnus University offers internships and programs for students and lecturers.

Diana Nausėdienė is a patron of education in the Lithuanian language abroad and takes an active part in various activities in the field.

“Our university will continue to support the activities of the Centre of Baltic Studies, we help and will continue to help with the development of the programmes of studies and reference materials, will provide full assistance to scientists and researchers, and share relevant information related to the Baltic countries, culture or companies,” Juozas Augutis, rector of Vytautas Magnus University, said in a press release. The centre will focus on deepening students’ Lithuanian language skills and will also conduct research and implement projects related to Baltic studies.

Currently, about 30 students are studying the Lithuanian language at the university.

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