News and Events

2017-10-10 00:00:02

MRU for Independent, Specialized Higher Education Path

October 9th, 2017, Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) informed the Ministry of Education and Science about its decision to implement the concept of an independent institution of higher education.

MRU supports the necessity of reform of higher education. It maintains that the essential goal of reform should not be a mechanical type of merging, but aiming for a higher quality of studies and research. So, regarding the proposal of optimisation of university networks, this viewpoint must first be taken into account.

At the beginning of September, Lithuania's Ministry of Education and Science informed MRU that negotiations with Vilnius University (VU) are being initiated. The process would be coordinated by an independent moderator.

MRU has presented the moderator with a proposal of the concept of the University as a specialized law and public service institution of higher education. Also, there was a legal analysis presented with proposals regarding possible cooperation with Vilnius University.

There was no official response to the suggested proposals. There were only informal meetings between Vice-Rectors of MRU and Vilnius University.

During the allotted time by the Ministry, there were no actual premises that were elucidated regarding network optimization and creation of more quality in the studies and education sphere.

At the March 16th, 2017 meeting of the State Higher Education Network Optimization Working Group, established by the Prime Minister, there were decisions taken. One was a determination that the most important principle, regarding uniting higher education management and internal structures, would be transferred, from several similair units forming new academic units. That which is the best, would be united. Thereby, possible loss of quality would be averted, if the larger institution's units automatically would cover those that were being joined. Unfortunately, taking into account all the circumstances when presenting possible projects for university network optimization, this principle was rejected.

MRU adheres to the position that a mechanical joining of universities without seeking a higher quality of studies and education, avoiding academic competition, contradicts the concept of network optimization of higher education.

MRU also does not agree to automatic university management handover and restructurization, because it has already - a year ago - implemented an innovative management system. Thanks to this, administrative outlays were optimized. In 2017 the University had a positive and balanced budget.

A mechanical type of joining of the University would result in a loss of competition, which encourages improvement, especially in the area of preparing specialists in the legal sphere. Many years of acquired academic experience and knowledge would be lost and there would be a refusal of the tradition of advanced management. In addition there would be a loss of ties with European and Asian universities. There would be no way to safeguard and concentrate the rather meager potential of Lithuania's social sciences.

At this time, MRU management does not foresee any smart and equitable-based principles for possibly uniting with Vilnius University. MRU foresees its future activities connected with MRU as a specialized law and public service institution of higher education.

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Mykolas Romeris University remains the 2nd largest university in Lithuania in the social sciences area. In 2017 there were 1600 freshmen admitted to Bachelor's and Master's Degree programmes.  During the 2010-2016 period, Lithuania's evaluation agency, the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC), indicated that MRU had the most maximum 6-year period accredited studies programmes of any university in Lithuania.