The crowning achievement of the work of the Centre’s staff was the introduction of MA “Eastern Studies” in 1998. The inauguration celebration took place on 26 October 1998, and was attended by the Polish Prime Minister, Jerzy Buzek, who presented the first group of 17 students with their student registration cards. The Centre currently offers students specializations in 6 different areas: Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Central Europe and the Balkans. Starting from the 2001-02 academic year, around 50% of the students of “Eastern Studies” are foreign exchange students from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus (initially also from Central Europe and Russia) who are recipients of the 25 Scholarships for Eastern Studies. The program’s goal is to train young specialists from other countries in Eastern Studies.
The “Eastern Studies” is a full-time two-year supplementary, master’s programme for students who have graduated from BA courses or those who have passed the third year of their MA studies. The program is designed to prepare specialists in issues related to Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, Caucasus, Central Europe and the Balkans. The programme includes elements of fields of study as history and contemporary issues, economy, culture, and social, ethnic, religious, ethnological and political issues. Every year, almost half of the “Eastern Studies’” students are foreigners, grant-holders, most of whom come from Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and Caucasus. Foreign students applying for scholarships in the programme are required to have obtained a degree in humanities in their home countries. As part of the programme, lectures are given by both Polish renowned specialists in Eastern issues and outstanding foreign scholars, who teach as guests or visiting professors.
“Eastern Studies” graduates work for Polish and international institutions dealing with Eastern issues, and for Polish media, state administration and diplomatic service.
As of the 2000-01 academic year, the Centre also offers “Post-Graduate Eastern Studies” – previously consisting of two years, now one and a half year paid studies for individuals already professionally involved in Eastern and Central Europe in government agencies, economic, political or social institutions, the media, as well as anyone interested in the subject.
In 2011, the Centre was able to initiate M.A. “Eastern Studies” in Ukraine which is available to students attending Kiev-Mohyla Academy, the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Prykarpattia National University in Ivano-Frankivsk, as well as Ostroh Academy.
The culmination of the work concerning the overall structure and shape of “Eastern Studies” was the introduction of the 3-year B.A. in Eastern Studies program in 2012. The first B.A. degree theses were defended on the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Centre for East European Studies.