The ceremony began with a welcoming address by Rector Prof. Sergei Ignatov. Prof. Ignatov emphasized the importance of the operation of the whole University community under one roof, and expressed gratitude to Lithuania for its hospitality and sustainable contributions to the development of EHU.
Keynote address of the Ceremony was delivered by Prof. Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania. Speaker Prof. Pranckietis congratulated student community of EHU and said: “I want to wish all the students to think about your own future, future of your country and future of the overall society. Let’s create joint future together”. Besides that, Speaker Prof. Pranckietis presented EHU a commemorative flag of Lithuania.
Vice Minister for Education and Science of Lithuania Dr. Giedrius Viliūnas stressed the role and place of EHU in Lithuania’s higher education system: “First of all, you are an international University. To be international is your destination and your mission, and we are happy, that EHU operates in Vilnius. Secondly, EHU is Humanities and Liberal Arts University, and Lithuania strives to strengthen this type of institutions, and this mission is exactly what EHU is fulfilling — development of democracy, connection of our societies and Europe, and creation of society of future. Thirdly, EHU is the place where the common heritage and memory of Belarus and Lithuania meet together”.
Ambassador of the European Union to Belarus Andrea Wiktorin started her address by paying respect to EHU President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov and role in providing generations of young Belarusians with higher education free of ideological suppression. Ambassador Wiktorin stressed the importance of EHU’s mission in reinforcing relationships between Belarus and Europe. Besides that, Ambassador Wiktorin expressed her gratitude and encouragement to Rector Prof. Ignatov for the reforms that he conducted, since he took office in March this year.
The Ceremony ended by closing remarks of President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov, who welcomed freshmen students to the EHU community: “It is hard to imagine that when back in 1992 EHU was founded, it was located in a few small rooms in the premises of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. Today together with you we start a new life of EHU with new premises, new Rector, and soon with new study programs”.