University mergers planned in Lithuania

Plans for higher education reform rule out institution closures

May 10, 2017
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Source: istock

A series of university mergers have been outlined as part of a major reform of higher education in Lithuania.

The nation's education and science minister, Jurgita Petrauskiene, said that the reforms are designed to concentrate resources and unite scientific research groups, which are currently fragmented.

The reorganisation will see two universities in the capital of Vilnius merged with Vilnius University and further mergers in the country’s second largest city, Kaunas, to create a new institution, according to a report in The Baltic Course.

A working group on higher education reform said that the two institutions should be international level universities.

“None of the universities is being closed down,” said Ms Petrauskiene.

“The reorganisation of the network is aimed at concentrating the fragmented potential to ensure more efficient management, to ensure the concentration of resources, especially in the field of scientific research, where we have many small, fragmented groups today,” she added.

As part of the reorganisation Mykolas Romeris University and the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, both in Vilnius, and Siauliai University, in the city of Siauliai, would be absorbed by Vilnius University.

Meanwhile, Kaunas University of Technology, Vytautas Magnus University, Aleksandras Stulginskis University and the Lithuanian Sports University would be merged to create a new broad-scope university in Kaunas.

Two separate technological universities, in Vilnius and Klaipeda, are also planned as part of the reform.

holly.else@timeshighereducation.com

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