Borderland University Network – this is a name of an international consortium of universities from Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. I am proud of the University of Bialystok to have undertaken the organization and coordination of cooperation within the Network. I am grateful to our partners – universities from Brest, Grodno, Kaliningrad, Kaunas, Lviv, Ternopil, Baranovichi and Voronezh – for supporting the idea of such a multilateral cooperation. I deeply believe that it will bring our students and staff numerous benefits.
Poland, as one of the east borderland states of the European Union, owes particular obligations to our east neighbors. We feel co-responsible for developing friendly neighboring relations. Despite borders, we share so much and the borderland is always common.
We are also very aware of the fact that there are spheres where administrative divisions should not influence the freedom of exchanging thoughts and a possibility of cooperation. Science is undeniably one of such areas. Obviously, both the UwB and other members of the Borderland University Network already cooperate with foreign universities from this part of Europe. Nevertheless, such cooperation has so far been usually based on bilateral agreements. The establishment of the Network will allow us to raise the cooperation onto a higher level. The cooperation will include, inter alia, joint application for international grants and realization of scientific projects, exchange of research and implementation services, as well as the use of facilities and apparatus within joint undertakings. We also plan to prepare conferences or publications together as well as initiate programs of borderland cooperation, support social and economic development and environmental protection in borderland areas. What is more, the agreement comprises cooperation in the organization of cultural, or even sports, events. It is our ambition to create a joint teaching offer, which would open new, excellent perspectives for our students and graduates.
Behind us many months of formal preparations. We have faced difficult moments when apparently trivial technical or communication problems slowed down the entire process. We have, nevertheless, experienced extremely positive moments when enthusiasm of the future partners assured to believe that we would successfully get through the negotiation phase. We have done it – we have worked out the formula and content of the agreement. Today, we may proudly say that we have already made the first and most difficult step.
Prof. Leonard Etel, Ph. D.
University of Bialystok’s Rector