Due to the situation in the country and the world caused by the coronavirus, the 1st of September at Vilnius University (VU) is also different – the traditional opening procession of the VU academic year which brings together thousands of students is cancelled and this year Master‘s students will be the first to start their studies at VU. However, VU Rector Prof Rimvydas Petrauskas gladly notes that there is no shortage of talented students at VU who, even during this tense period, have decided to continue to challenge themselves and deepen their knowledge and competencies.
“We will start the autumn semester in the face of a continuing pandemic, therefore, we have to be particularly mobilised, supporting each other, helping to arm ourselves with patience, maintaining motivation, while at the same time addressing emerging issues and misunderstandings. The crisis will eventually pass and we will return to a fully-fledged university life – auditoriums, laboratories, internship places, attend again academic and non-academic events, communicate live, discuss and exchange ideas and news, and, finally, see each other’s faces. I dare say that we have learned the lessons of the crisis. We are ready to respond faster, to share the available data, to ensure openness of information, to demonstrate leadership when the leadership is needed by our state”, Prof R. Petrauskas says.
This year, 1,540 first-year students of master’s degree and professional pedagogical studies were admitted to study at the country’s largest higher education institution, while a total of 1,470 students were admitted last year. From 1540 of those admitted, the state-funded study places amount to 1,200.
According to the number of the programmes ranked as the first choice during the main admittance, the top ten of the most popular state-funded Master’s studies include International Relations and Diplomacy, School Pedagogy, Clinical Psychology, Marketing and Integrated Communication, Human Resource Management, Medical Biology, International Project Management (in English), Finance and Banking, Advanced Practice in Nursing and Health Psychology study programs.
A number of students in Arts Therapy (Drama Therapy), Politics and Media, Informatics, Business Development, Global Business and Economics (in English), Chemistry has increased. Artūras Šaltis, the head of the VU Admission Department, notes that these tendencies are not surprising because the Master’s degree studies are important for successful integration into the labour market and wider career opportunities.
This year, VU also introduced a new Master’s degree program – Molecular Biotechnology (in English), which has also attracted a great deal of interest as it meets the labour market expectations and educates the highest level specialists.
For Bachelor’s students, the study year will begin on 14 September. All members of the VU community are invited to the discussion festival on 12 September, organized by the VU Student Representation Office, where university professors will outline a wide range of interesting issues from politics to life sciences to the participants.
Although, taking into account the recommendations of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, safety of the VU community and the public in general, the planned traditional opening procession of the VU academic year in the city streets starting from the Independence Square to VU Grand Courtyard has been cancelled, a traditional flag-raising ceremony will take place in the VU Library Courtyard on 14 September at 9.30 am, which will be live broadcasted online.