March 30th, 2021, Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Rector Prof. Inga Žalėnienė, presented the results of the University's activities in 2020. Among the most important University achievements in 2020 were the smooth transition to distance learning, a growing number of applicants, better research and innovation performance, special attention to the development of the university internationalization, start of implementation of sustainable activities strategy, community well-being and other significant social projects.
Distance Learning will be Further Developed
The Rector emphasized that due to the global pandemic and the ensuing quarantine, one of the biggest challenges for the university was not only ensuring a smooth distance learning process, but also further transformation of content to ensure high quality studies. "After announcing the first quarantine, the University, unlike most other Lithuanian higher education institutions, did not stop the study process and immediately switched to the distance learning model," said Rector Žalėnienė. - MRU lecturers already had the competencies to work in a distance learning environment before the quarantine. University staff provided the necessary support promptly and efficiently. I would like to thank the entire academic community, whose dedication helped to overcome these challenges. ” According to Rector Žalėnienė, the virtual studies form still has many untapped opportunities, Therefore, the adaptation of studies to distance, hybrid and mixed learning will remain a priority in the University strategy in the future and oriented to increase the quality of studies in this format.
Increase in the Number of Applicants, Improvement in International Rankings
The Rector was pleased that MRU continues to be one of the most attractive universities in the country for students to study social sciences. Despite the difficult pandemic situation, MRU admission results in 2020 were among the best in the last few years. According to LAMA BPO among study data for the number of study agreements, MRU had the largest percentage of change among all Lithuanian state universities. Compared to 2019, the number of signed agreements in state-funded places increased by 189 percent. There was growth in MRU's admission to Master's Degree studies. Compared to 2019, the number of submitted applications grew by over 30%, and the number of those invited to study increased by 13%. In 2020, MRU implemented 28 study programs in the first cycle and 49 study programs in the second cycle and 1 professional study program. The University also offered 6 new specializations in study programs in the fields of social work, law and business. In 2020 the university improved its positions in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 ranking in law and grew by more than 50 positions compared to 2019. MRU is the only Lithuanian higher education institution which is among the 250 best universities in the world.
Strengthening of Internationality - Growth in Scientific Indicators, Expansion of Academic Partnerships
In 2020, the university also implemented 25 study programs in English: 7 joint, 1 dual diploma and 14 national. "A wide range of study programs in foreign languages also ensured a high-quality study offering for 195-degree students and 543 exchange students from abroad. MRU researchers and academics actively participated in international MTEP programs and projects, conducted commissioned research, and presented the results at high-level international research events," Žalėnienė said.
The total number of MRU research publications also grew: in the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science database - 18.69 percent, in the Scopus database - 15.67 percent. MRU published 8 research journals included in international databases. MRU scientists and researchers are involved in more than 150 professional international networks, 17 COST network activities, and over 50 editorial boards of scientific journals recognized by the international academic community. The number of national and international projects implemented by the University has also increased. In 2020 there were 45 national and 38 international projects implemented.
University Grew Together with the Restoration of Independence of Lithuania
The Rector noted that the year 2020 for Mykolas Romeris University was special also that the University celebrated its 30th anniversary. In 1990 this institution of higher education was established after restoration of Lithuania's independence with the hope that it would be the first European higher education institution in Lithuania. "The commemoration of this jubilee anniversary was corrected by the global pandemic. However, I am very glad the University academic community remained united, focused and that the University anniversary was properly commemorated highlighting the most important works in Lithuania as well as the entire world," noted Rector Žalėnienė.