October 28, 2020

Special message to citizens of the Republic of Belarus

Secretary of State Professor Maksymowicz’s address to international students and researchers with a special message to citizens of the Republic of Belarus.


Dear international students and researchers from the Republic of Belarus!

Today, you as the representatives of the academic community in Belarus fight for democratic rule in your country. It is our duty to extend a hand of solidarity towards you. We belong to the same academic world of values in which freedom, the rule of law and democracy are respected.

For many years now, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education has been involved in supporting the academic mobility of Belarusian citizens. These actions are currently implemented in line with the Polish government's "United with Belarus" initiative. Under this plan our government is considering facilitating the entry of Belarusian citizens into the Polish territory combined with an offer of substantial assistance.

There are numerous initiatives implemented and planned by institutions supporting the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Let me name a few examples:

Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange has prepared a special offer of scholarships for three groups of recipients from the Republic of Belarus.

Firstly, for prospective students interested to start their studies at Polish universities. As part of the "Solidarity with students" action, 150 students will receive scholarships for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Secondly, for scientists looking for a one-year research stay at a Polish university, a research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences or the Łukasiewicz Research Network institute. The budget of the action "Solidarity with scientists" is PLN 2 million.

Thirdly, for Polish language teachers ready to take up postgraduate studies.

This programme is implemented in cooperation with the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland. In total we plan to support a few hundred of students and researchers. Please contact the Agency for more details.

What is more we offer additional support through the Konstanty Kalinowski Scholarship Programme. It is the largest aid programme in Europe for young Belarusians who are not able to study in Belarus because of their political views.

The support includes studies at selected Polish university – with no tuition fee and with monthly scholarship - or one year research stay in Warsaw. An additional call for applications has been recently announced. We plan to provide support for up to one thousand individuals. Please contact Konstanty Kalinowski Scholarship Program Bureau for more details.

You do not have to speak Polish to be awarded the scholarship. Both NAWA and Kalinowski Programme will offer a Polish language course for the candidates admitted to study. NAWA also offered free places to one hundred Belarussians as part of the "Summer courses of Polish language and culture".

Moreover, you may be interested to familiarise yourself with further programmes carried out by NAWA such as the Stefan Banach Scholarship Programme or Ulam Programme.

Furthermore, this academic year many Polish higher education institutions offer tuition free studies for citizens of the Republic of Belarus. I very much welcome these bottom-up initiatives to support international mobility of Belarusians! Please contact international offices of the universities for more information.

I will be more than happy if you consider our support attractive. I wish you successful careers in higher education and research and look forward to welcoming you in Poland!

In the unusual circumstances of the international mobility limited by the COVID-19 I would like to extend a warm welcome to all international students and researchers and wish you a successful experience in Poland.

Our country takes decisive actions to strengthen health sector and protect the society against the coronavirus. Please, rest assured that your health and wellbeing are our priorities!

I suggest that you follow web pages of your higher education or research institutions, funding agencies and the government. If in doubt ask for help an international cooperation team at your host institution or your colleagues.

I am convinced that our joint efforts will help us overcome the difficulties and protect ourselves and our loved ones. Despite these challenging times, I do hope that you will find your stay in Poland an inspiring and rewarding experience!