The Baltics


For the 1998–99 academic year, CEP Baltics supported eleven Fellows, five Local Faculty Fellows and six Visiting Faculty Fellows, who taught law and social science courses to a combined total of nearly 1,300 students at six universities.

Among the highlights of the year for CEP Baltics were two major conferences held in Latvia. The Fifth Annual Student Conference, The Baltic States–Problems and Prospects in the next Millennium, was held in Valmiera in May. Students from ten universities in Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Estonia debated current issues facing their countries and the Baltic region. Later in May, Visiting Faculty Fellow Tayo Oke and his students at Vidzeme University College, organized the Africa–Baltic Conference. This conference sought to create linkages and raise awareness of Africa and is believed to have been the first event of its kind in the Baltics. Special guests included the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana and the mayor of Valmiera.

“CEP students leave their classrooms as different people ... They have acquired confidence, they are much more open to others, they are not afraid to face the challenges of the changing society in their countries. And there can be no better reward for the great work being done by our lecturers, than a former CEP student being accepted as a faculty member (or indeed a CEP Local Faculty Fellow)...”

Jakub Basista, CEP Poland Country Director

Law lecturers were very active. John Cooney, Visiting Faculty Fellow at the University of Latvia, edited the English language version of the university’s Human Rights Journal. He also sat on a curriculum reform committee and helped set up a legal clinic similar to those at American law schools. He worked with a colleague in Estonia to create a moot court competition for the Baltics and coached a team of students to a first place finish at the Central European Moot Court Competition in Krakow.

CEP Fellows also combined efforts to make important contributions to sustaining reform in their departments. Veteran Visiting Lecturer Charles Kroncke has been an integral part of economics education at Tartu University’s Department of Public Administration, working closely with Eastern Scholar Kaia Philips on course development and teaching strategies. She has subsequently taken over several of his courses. Three former Local Faculty Fellows now hold positions at the Vilnius University Faculty of Political Science and International Relations, where they worked together with 1998–99 Local Faculty Fellows Mindaugas Jurkynas and Vitalis Nakrosis. In a joint project of the Open Society Foundation and the Lithuanian government, Vitalis helped translate public administration and public policy texts into Lithuanian. Visiting Faculty Fellow Erika Wilkens and Local Faculty Fellow Arnoldas Zdanevicius helped the Department of Sociology at Vytautas Magnus University with assessment standards and provided training in social science research methods. Erika also developed a comprehensive booklet on Academic Writing skills, which she supplied to students and faculty.

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