A Humanities University Goes into Exile for the “Autonomy” to “Think Critically”

EHU LogoAs Inside Higher Ed recently reported, the European Humanities University (EHU) “may be unique in the world in that it operates today completely as a university in exile.” Formed in Belarus in 1992, the university was forced to close by its home government in 2004. Subsequently, as EHU’s “About” page says, it “re-launched activities in Vilnius [Lithuania] in 2005 and was granted the status of a Lithuanian university in 2006.” There it “remains the only university in the history of higher education in Belarus which retained real university autonomy, despite various forms of pressure by authorities.” The mission, the EHU “About” page continues, is to “enable Belarusian students and teachers to pursue knowledge, think critically and develop their skills, otherwise less accessible in Belarus itself.” (EHU site; Inside Higher Ed article and podcast interview with Anatoli Mikhailov, rector of EHU.)

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