- Biomedical Engineering Institute
- Food Institute
- Health Telematics Science Institute
- Institute of Architecture and Construction
- Institute of Defence Technologies
- Institute of Environmental Engineering
- Institute of Materials Science
- Institute of Mechatronics
- Institute of Metrology
- Prof. Kazimieras Baršauskas Ultrasound Research Institute
Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) together with Kauno Kolegija University of Applied Sciences, Kaunas University of Applied Engineering Sciences, Klaipėda State University of Applied Sciences, Panevėžys University of Applied Sciences and Vilnius College of Technologies and Design has joined forces to foster talents in technology and engineering – on 15 March the protocol of intentions to create a higher education cluster in technology and engineering studies has been signed at the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science.
The cluster will warm up the Lithuanian market for a breakthrough in engineering and technologies. Among other things it will also facilitate students obtaining postgraduate degrees.
“I am convinced that if we wish to solve the problems our educational system faces today, to achieve excellence in research and studies, we need to look for ways to transform competition into collaboration. The unhealthy, irrational rivalry in higher education sector needs to be replaced by productive partnership. The agreement we signed here today serves as the first step towards achieving this goal”, said Petras Baršauskas, Rector of KTU.
By creating the Cluster, the higher education institutions intend to strengthen and expand collaboration in technological and engineering studies in study organising, carrying out research, managing human relations, implementing information systems, creating advanced study programmes and other projects. KTU will collaborate with the 5 universities of applied sciences from across the Lithuania to improve didactic competences of the teachers.
The higher education cluster in technology and engineering studies will be open for business and social partners, and other higher education institutions.
Will Fill in the Market Need for Engineers
According to Jurgita Šiugždinienė, KTU Vice-Rector for Studies, the agreement to create the Cluster is one more step towards strengthening the higher education system in Lithuania. She says that collaboration between universities and universities of applied sciences is very common in many European countries including the Netherlands, Denmark or Estonia. The schools are partnering in projects, sharing good practice experiences.
“Research and universal education are the core competencies of the universities, while the universities of applied sciences focus on providing practical knowledge and skills”, says Šiugždinienė.
According to her, if we aim to excel in studies and research, if our goal is to bring to the market the internationally competitive professionals, all the segments of educational sector need to collaborate very closely.
“Foreign investors planning to open their businesses in Lithuania most often are asking if we have enough professionals they need: engineers, technology experts, and if not, how long would it take to prepare them”, says Šiugždinienė.
She says that KTU is closely involved in collaboration with foreign and Lithuanian investors, and this experience allows perceiving the main problem of Lithuania: there is not enough professionals needed in certain technology and engineering fields.
Aspiring for Better Study Quality
Strengthening study quality by sharing modern didactic skills and knowledge and human resources is another important area for collaboration. According to Šiugždinienė, this issue is of crucial importance to the students of universities of applied sciences as they often are willing to study masters after obtaining their bachelor’s.
“Every year master’s students from the universities of applied sciences and their teachers face certain issues. Therefore, it would be wiser to start preparing the students during their undergraduate studies, rather than do it post factum”, said Šiugždinienė.
KTU’s Vice-Rector for Studies believed that advanced study groups could be formed, and the students interested in postgraduate studies at the University after their first degree would be identified and educated accordingly.
“At KTU we have great experience in identifying and fostering talents, and we are willing to share it while preparing the young people to continue their studies in technology and engineering on postgraduate level”, said Šiugždinienė.
Preparing Professionals for Industry
Nijolė Kikutienė, the Director of Vilnius College of Technologies and Design said that the College seeks collaboration with other higher education institutions in order to ensure the quality of studies, and to increase the efficiency of preparing professionals for the market.
“We believe that the higher education cluster in technology and engineering studies will allow to focus more on student talent fostering, teacher didactic competences development and other activities, which could increase student motivation and creativity. In such a way we will prepare high level professionals for engineering industry”, said Kikutienė.
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