In 2020, academic community representatives took an active role in protests and, together with other Belarusians, stood up for the values of freedom, democracy, justice, legality, and solidarity. We have clearly shown that we know our rights and are ready to fight for our ideals, sometimes even at the cost of our personal freedom.
Repressions against the Belarusian academic community have been going on for over a year. At present, over 50 students have been recognized as political prisoners; and hundreds have faced detention and were exposed to psychological and physical violence, expulsion, and were forced to emigrate. Belarusian students and lecturers carry on studying and working in the conditions of absence of academic freedoms. They cannot openly declare their views, speak out on significant issues, and are constantly subjected to ideological pressure.
But the struggle for a new Belarus goes on, with solidarity and support becoming more important with every passing day. That is why the Education Office together with its partners continues defending the rights of the repressed students and teaching staff, providing them with assistance in every possible way.
One of our aid programs is called EU4Belarus — SALT (Support for Advanced Learning and Training program). The program aims to support repressed students, lecturers, and researchers.
The first stage of the program was implemented in autumn 2021.
We received 1400 applications and held 232 interviews. 160 students have been awarded scholarships and 40 scholarships will be awarded at the second stage of the program in 2022
In 2022, as a part of the EU4Belarus — SALT (Support for Advanced Learning and Training) program, together with our partners we are launching two more open calls that would offer:
• scholarships for science internships or doctorate dissertation research for repressed researchers, lecturers and doctoral students;
• grants enabling repressed teachers and lecturers to take online courses.