Mykolas Romeris University 2010–2014
Summary In 2010-2014 Mykolas Romeris University established itself as one of the leaders of Lithuania’s higher education system. MRU major achievements include ability to maintain the increasing percentage of all university students in Lithuania, availability of new and flexible study programmes, e-leaning, internationalization of studies and research, leadership in social sciences and humanities as well as interdisciplinary research in Lithuania, increase in quality of research and studies, expanded availability of infrastructural and library resources. Today 15,500 students study at MRU making up about 17.5 percent of all university students in the country (in 2010 the total number was 21,000 students, or about 15.8 percent of all students in Lithuania). In addition, about 650 students are citizens of foreign countries. The number of MRU study programmes increased from 67 in the beginning of 2010 to 112 in 2014. The number of Bachelor programmes has increased from 14 to 31, Master programmes – from 50 to 74, Doctoral programmes – from 3 to 6. One non-degree study programme was introduced. The number of study programmes offered in English increased from 10 to 22 and the number of studies programmes offered in cooperation with foreign universities has increased from 1 to 16. Alongside traditional University study areas – Law, Public Administration, Economics, Social Work, Psychology, other study areas have also become popular. During the last 5 years Political Sciences, Business and Management, and Educational Sciences study programmes have been strengthened and study programmes in Innovative Communication and Philology were launched. Furthermore, an interdisciplinary Social Technologies study programme was introduced. Among the most important 2010-2014 achievements in the study area are the following: 6 joint and 10 double diploma study programmes implemented together with foreign universities, joint schools and consortium with Middlesex (United Kingdom), Dongseo (South Korea), Taras Shevchenko (Ukraine), Johannes Kepler (Austria), Josai (Japan), Riga Stradinš (Latvia), Wroclaw (Poland), Lille, Bordeaux (France), Tampere (Finland), Mannheim (Germany) and other universities. Aiming to strengthen student-centred educational system a new credit system, making national credits equal to the European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS) credits, was introduced. All University study programmes have been reorganized to meet national study regulations and new study programmes that meet international standards have been
Mykolo Romerio universitetas
established. A course catalogue was made available online in Lithuanian and English. Innovative teaching methods were implemented and almost all study materials were transferred to virtual learning environment. In 2010-2014 the number of distance learning study programmes has increased from 2 to 8. The University’s emphasis on international studies standards has resulted in positive European Commission evaluations and awarding of ECTS label in 2012 and the Diploma Supplement label in 2010 that was confirmed in 2013. Study Programme Committees, reformed in 2011, connect students, employers, and social partners. Aiming to increase the quality of studies the University consistently took part in international study programmes evaluations (the total number of evaluations was 45). Electronic student work places and a student feedback system were launched with the goal to improve academic and social support systems for students. MRU alumni were valued in the labour market and the level of employability was very high during 2010–2014. For example, in 2014 the total number of unemployed alumni was 35 persons. This indicator proves that study programmes and knowledge gained at the University meet the needs of the labour market. MRU aiming to foster the culture of creativity and social innovation, promote development of society and Lithuania’s competitiveness, disseminate the most recent research finding to academic community and general society, carries out fundamental and applied, disciplinary and interdisciplinary research by integrating social and technological sciences. In 2010-2014, as experts from the Research Council of Lithuania and METRIS country report 2012 carried out under request of European Commission DG Research suggest, MRU has established itself as a leader in research of social sciences and humanities as well as interdisciplinary research in Lithuania. The leading position was achieved thanks to innovative research management model. A result-based approach in research output was implemented in academic personnel remuneration system and shift from research carried out by individual researchers within one research field to teamwork, engaging researchers from different disciplines, faculties, and institutes was made. In 2010-2014 research was carried out under the interdisciplinary priority research area Social Innovations for Global Growth and 5 major research programmes: 1) Justice, Security and Human Rights; 2) Social Technologies; 3) National Sustainable Growth in the Context of Globalisation; 4) Improving the Quality of Life and Advancing Employment Opportunities, and 5) Continuity and Change of Values in Global Society. University researchers took an active part in international and national research programmes and projects under 7th Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, Erasmus +, COST, Nordplus, etc., performed contractual research with private and public sector institutions, aiming for research impact, disseminated research results to the academic community and society-at-large. In 2010–2014 almost 6000 research papers were published, more than 400 academic events organized, doctoral studies in 6 fields were implemented (2 of them were joint study programmes with foreign universities), electronic publishing and open access to research results was developed. MRU implements its mission to educate the public, collect and maintain intellectual potential, develop leaders able to create, innovate and influence the overall advancement of research, technology and culture. MRU successfully operates in a competitive environment integrating into the global and European higher education area, connecting to international academic networks and mega-networks. A distinctive feature of MRU is its openness to innovations and the most advanced management methods. In 2014, the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, upon the mandate of the Ministry of Education and Science, decided to extend the accreditation of MRU for the maximum available period as set by legislation – 6 years. The decision was made after the positive University’ evaluation by an international team of experts. 240
Summary The quality of management system is enhanced by continuous international evaluations: in 2011 MRU was evaluated under the International Association of Universities ISAS programme, in 2006 and in 2013 under the European University Association. The conclusion of these evaluations is that MRU has chosen the right direction, has a clear vision and is aware of its future perspectives. In 2010-2014 the University based on academic autonomy has advanced its management system. Distribution of responsibilities was divided among three main decision-making bodies – the Council, the Senate, and the Rectorate – and involving of all stakeholders into decision-making processes. Aiming to meet the needs of new study, research, and social and cultural needs some structural changes were made taking into account performance results. In 2010 there were 7 Faculties at MRU: Economics and Finance Management, Law, Public Administration, Public Security, Social Informatics, Social Policy, Strategic Management and Policy including 43 Departments and the Forensic Medicine Institute. In 2014 they were restructured into 5 Faculties: Faculty of Economics and Finance Management, Law, Politics and Management, Public Security, and Social Technologies including 9 Departments and 14 Institutes, and the Mykolas Romeris University – Middlesex University Business and Media School (BMS). A unique personnel career development and remuneration system has been in place at the University since 2010. It is oriented towards strategic MRU priorities and performance results and being transparent allows personnel to plan their career development and salary. This system contributed to achievement of MRU strategic priorities such as increase in quality and internationalisation of research publications and study processes. In 2012, essential changes took place in the area of document management. MRU became the first university of Lithuania which started using the electronic signature. This decision created conditions to optimise information flows and redistribute employees’ functions as well as to start the networked management. In 2010–2014 the number, quality and scope of projects has increased. Projects contributed to the improvement of University infrastructure, quality of educational processes, internationalization and interdisciplinarity of studies, research and innovations. The total amount of funds received from projects is almost 44 million Litas. Thanks to projects MRU infrastructure and management system was improved, study programmes were updated, feasibility studies were prepared, research projects were implemented and non-formal adult education programme was set up. 7 Bachelor and 4 Master Degree programmes were updated and 5 joint Master Degree programmes were prepared. In cooperation with foreign universities and international organizations 43 international projects were implemented including 24 projects under Lifelong Learning programmes, 7 projects supported by the European Commission, 7 COST cooperation network activities, 3 projects funded by NordPlus, 3 projects implemented EU Framework Programmes. The total amount of funds raised from international projects is almost 17 million Litas. In addition, more than 300 trips to foreign universities and international academic events were financed from projects, thus contributing to the increase of intellectual capital, development of University internationalization strategies, strengthening relations with foreign research and education institutions. The years 2010–2014 have witnessed positive changes in the University Library. The scope of infrastructure and services provided was expanded. Library space increased to 251 m², 129 new work places set up, 4 new reading rooms and group work premises were opened that became popular among students. In addition, an automated book return box and book check-out machines open for 24 hours were placed in the Library for student and academic staff's convenience. Modern info desks were established along with recreational areas. The Donor’s Gallery was set up as well. Library information and services are provided to more than 600,000 users per year in 3 book lending departments, 15 reading rooms equipped with 567 work places (in 2010 the total 241
Mykolo Romerio universitetas
number of work places was 438), 151 of which are computerized. The Library has become easily accessible for handicapped users and 5 special computer work places have been set up for them. The Library takes an active part in the study and research processes assisting academic community in preparing publications and providing information on the publishing channels, expanding the scope of electronic resources. To serve modern students and society better, the Library is consistently shifting from traditional printed study and research materials to electronic. The number of subscribed electronic research databases was higher than the number of printed books. MRU’s digital library began operating in 2013 and an institutional electronic document repository Dspace was established. The number of Dspace access units has increased from over 1 million in 2011 to over 3 million units in 2013. According to Google Analytics data, the Library’s page is being visited on average by 1 million users per year. Each year the University updates computer workplaces for students and staff. In 20102014, 8 new computer workplaces were established, the Library was equipped with new Internet reading rooms, and new computer cabins were set up for teaching foreign languages. All the auditoriums are equipped with standardized, computerized work places for lecturers that are connected to University computer systems and make an easy access to course materials stored in the University’s database repository or online. In 2010-2014 study process administration system IS STUDIJOS was set up, improved, and expanded. It allows for online access to student calendars, lecturer work schedules, and admission modules with electronic e-agreement signing and other possibilities. The total number of system users per year exceeds 18,000 and almost 12,000 users connect to the system daily. MRU takes pride in the variety of cultural activities and events offered on campus. In 2010-2014 more than 350 cultural events organized. The academic community has excellent opportunities to develop and foster their artistic skills and participate in cultural events: the works of well-known Lithuanian and foreign artists are exhibited in MRU premises, classical music concerts and performances by the well-known artists are organised on campus for free, MRU’s Student Theatre performances attract numerous audiences. As the number of international students grows at MRU, more and more international events are offered and organized on campus as well. Much attention is given to events presented from various cultures. International students’ cultural projects is a part of MRU Cultural Activities Centre’s music and dance ensembles. MRU not only organizes cultural events but also has 11 artistic performing groups ranging from folk dancing ensembles to MRU’s award-winning choir. Students, wishing to sing, dance, take photos or act have the possibility to develop their skills with the help of professionals. During the last 5 years MRU artistic groups represented the University in more than 180 events in Lithuania and abroad. MRU takes pride in achievements of their athletes and sport teams as well. For example, 10 University athletes participated in London Summer Olympics in 2012. MRU graduate Laura Asadauskaitė – Zadneprovskienė (modern pentathlon) won the Gold Medal, and Master’s Degree student canoeist Jevgenij Šuklin won the Silver Medal. Basketball player Renaldas Seibutis was the winner of the Bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships. Modern pentathlon athlete Justinas Kinderis also won the Bronze medal, coming in third at the European Championships. In 2011 Master’s Degree student rower Tomas Gadeikis became the World and European Champion, rowers Saulius Ritter, Rolandas Maščinskas and Mindaugas Griškonis won Gold medals. In 2012 rower Gadeikis won the 1st place and Jevgenij Šuklin 3rd place at the European championship, Mindaugas Griškonis became European Champion, and Vilius Laurinaitis became World Champion in GrecoRoman wrestling. Sambo wrestler Radvilas Matulas won 3rd place at the World Championships. In 2013 MRU graduate Justinas Kinderis (pentathlon) became the World Champion. Rowers Saulius Ritter, and Rolandas Maščinskas became European Vice-champions, and Jevgenij Šuklin – European Champion. 242
Summary During the last 5 years there were two Student Universiades held. Rower Giedrė Albertavičiūtė became the Champion once and swimmer Giedrius Titenis got the Gold Medal twice. Canoeist Jevgenij Šuklin became the Champion twice and canoe rower Ignas Navakauskas got the Gold Medal along with rowers Mindaugas Griškonis, Saulius Ritter and Rolandas Maščinskas. Aside from the champion medals, there were 3 Silver Medals won: sambo wrestler Radvilas Matukas, canoeists Ignas Navakauskas and Andrej Olijnik, and sambo wrestler Aurelija Šukytė finished in 3rd place. Significant victories were achieved during the SELL Games: 124 Medals including 40 Gold, 47 Silver and 37 Bronze were won. In three Games of the overall standings MRU won the 2nd place, one 3rd place and one 1st (in 2010 in Tartu) among Lithuania’s institutions of higher education. Among all participating universities MRU finished in 2nd place (in 2010). In different sports events of Student Championships in Lithuania more than 200 Medals were won. The most successful were athletes competing in Greco-Roman, sambo, judo wrestling, chess, track and field, and swimming. Athletes taking part in team sports were able to compete with other university teams and won 2-4th Places. In Lithuania’s Universiade, MRU sports teams got the 2nd-3rd Place. In 2013, the MRU Men’s Basketball Team ended the domination of Vytautas Magnus University Team in Lithuania’s Student Basketball League Championships and retained their Champion’s Title in 2014. Since MRU Team won Silver medals twice, the Women’s Team won Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals (3 times), and in the Basketball League the MRU Team won the 5th Place and in the Baltic Women’s Basketball League –the 6th Place. The Women’s Volleyball Team in the Student Volleyball League Championships and Beach Championships won the 7th Place in the 1st Summer European Universities Games in Cordoba. This Team also won the Vilnius City Championships. Swimmer Giedrius Titenis (2011) and canoeist Jevgenij Šuklin (2012) were selected as the Best Student Athletes in Lithuania. In August 2014 MRU’s Basketball players became European Universities Games (EUSA) Champions in Rotterdam. After a tough match, they defeated Turkey’s Fatih University Team 86:74. In 2014 at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Moscow MRU student Jevgenij Šuklin came in the 3rd and won the Bronze Medal. MRU student Titenis won the Silver and two Bronze Medals at the European Swimming Championships in Berlin. MRU seeks to provide equal possibilities for all students and pays much attention to well-being and social cohesion. St. Augustine Chapel was opened on campus to better serve spiritual needs of students and staff. Every year tuition or dorm fees are reduced for students in need or the fee is totally waived. During a 5-year period the tuition fee was waived or reduced to 1.871 students and the total 2.062 million Litas. There were 689 students who had dorm fees reduced or waived for 291.1 thousand Litas. MRU students live in three Student dormitories and a dormitory in Kaunas which have 1445 places. If there were more space in dormitories, additional students could be accommodated during lecture / exam sessions. In addition, MRU pays much attention to maintenance and improvement of its infrastructure to better serve student, staff and community needs. In 2010-2014 to maintain and renovate the existing University infrastructure and, 6.5 million Litas was allocated to construction work. In 2014 the project on Mykolas Romeris University International Studies, Research and Academic Mobility Centre was launched and about 10 million Litas were allocated from European Union funds and the Ministry of Education and Science. In 2014, a beach volleyball court was built in the Central Building area. A universal sports field with artificial grass was set up in the territory of the University’s First Building. Dancers could rehearse in a newly-equipped modern dance hall, rehearsal facilities and the Student Theatre premises were renovated and updated with brand-new decorations.