MRU Annual Report: Studies Meeting Needs of Global Market & Science Creating Social Innovations - MRU

7 March, 2023
MRU Annual Report: Studies Meeting Needs of Global Market & Science Creating Social Innovations

March 7th, 2023 Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Rector Prof. Dr. Inga Žalėnienė presented the 2022 annual report to the MRU community. She assessed the progress of the University, implementation of strategic goals and set indicators. The Rector thanked MRU employees who achieved the best results and awarded Certificates of Appreciation.

Summarizing the progress made by the University during the last year, MRU Rector Prof. Žalėnienė noted that 2022 was a special year. Before entering the normal rhythm of work after the pandemic, it was necessary to immediately decide how to overcome the consequences of the war started by Russia in Ukraine, and the hike in energy prices and jump in inflation and striving to create a better study and living environment for students and employees. The academic community of MRU was able to react promptly and focus on providing assistance to the refugees of the War in Ukraine.

Reviewing the role of the University in the rapidly changing 21st century, the Rector emphasized the humanistic mission of the university and the fundamental importance of education as a common public good for states and societies.

"Universities must not only adapt to global challenges and social transformations, but also actively influence them. Our University is also committed to such a mission - dynamic, international, the largest university of social sciences in Lithuania," said Prof. Žalėnienė.

According to the Rector, the National Agreement on Education reached last year allows the University to expect the continuity of long-term solutions in the field of education, the consistency of educational development, and the sustainable growth of financing of the education system.

Rector Prof. Žalėnienė emphasized that we can only compete with other educational institutions by offering the best education that meets international standards, allowing MRU graduates to successfully start and continue their professional careers, by developing modern infrastructure that meets the needs of students and lecturers and ensures the application of the latest technologies in the studies and research process.

"We need to prepare not a 'work force', but to educate individuals who are characterized by critical thinking, willingness to constantly learn and improve, and who can assume social responsibility," said Prof. Žalėnienė.

"Experiential training, mentoring programs, intensively developed lifelong learning activities, and the introduction of a micro-credentials platform serve this purpose and are increasingly successfully applied," she said during presentation of the annual report.

MRU's academic reputation is reflected by the fact that, for the fourth year in a row, MRU is among the top three Lithuanian state universities in the field of social sciences based on research results, as well as growing international rankings. According to the rector, MRU researchers' works, projects, and active participation in international scientific networks, international scientific conferences, university alliances and international organizations contributed to the attractiveness of MRU.

Last fall, MRU was awarded the Lithuanian Research Libraries Association award and recognized by the international academic publishing house, "Elsevier," for the fastest growth rate of scientific research in 2002-2022.

In 2022 University researchers submitted 161 project applications at the international and national level. Of the submitted applications, 35% received funding. The value of contracts for the provision of services for training and other expert activities increased by as much as 23%.

During the reporting period, the University implemented 6 Horizon programme projects (including projects of the previous Horizon 2020 program), whose consortia consist of partners from several dozen European Union (EU) countries. In 2022, funding was allocated to four projects of the European Horizons research and innovation program, which contribute to the fight against climate change and the United Nations' sustainable development goals.

"The results of scientific research, experimental and innovation infrastructure development show that our chosen strategic priority - advanced science creating social innovations is promising," said the Rector.

The University's recognition in the international academic sphere grew due to successful double degree and joint programs with well-known European universities and South Korea's Dongseo University (DSU). Last year 14 new partnerships with foreign universities were established. Among them - with universities in the USA, India, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam. This is also in line with our state's policy of expanding relations with the democracies of the Indo-Pacific region.

Together with international partners, research conferences and other events were organized last year dedicated to social innovations, Russia's war in Ukraine, human rights, democracy, constitutionality, regional security, criminalistics and other relevant issues. Memorable events in the history of the University will remain MRU honorary doctorates awarded to the President of Latvia Dr. Egils Levits and the President of the International Association of Universities (IAU) Prof. Dr. Pam Fredman.

MRU joined the European Reform Universities Alliance (ERUA). The partners of this alliance are united by the goal of breaking down barriers between academia and the general public, an original interdisciplinary collaboration that allows for the integration of social sciences and humanities, and the arts and natural sciences.

The reputation of MRU was also strengthened by the awards and recognition of members of the academic community for their studies, research work, and management achievements. Athletes further made known Mykolas Romeris University far and wide by their outstanding victories in the fields of basketball, chess, sambo and judo, track and field, soccer, and rowing.  There were memorable performances by the MRU Theater Studio and other art groups.

"We paid a lot of attention to reviving and creating the academic campus as a common creative space where everyone would feel good and be an important and significant member of the community. This is exactly the purpose of activities and measures for self-expression, personal development and well-being offered to the MRU community", said MRU Rector Žalėnienė.

According to the Rector, the implementation of large investment projects, that began last year, is also the beginning of good changes.

After presentation of the report, the title of Honorary Member of the Mykolas Romeris University was bestowed on the former Head of the University's Document Management Service Regina Lukauskaitė.

Prof. Dr. Andrius Stasiukynas was elected a member of the Council of Mykolas Romeris University in February and officially assumed his duties and signed the appropriate documents after presentation of the Annual Report.

There are currently 5,819 students studying at Mykolas Romeris University, including 694 foreigners from 46 countries. The number of international students increased by 26%. There are 229 administrative employees and 429 lecturers. Of University lecturers, 69% have a doctorate degree. There are 19 study programmes in English, 7 joint and 3 double diploma programmes. In 2022, 19 PhD dissertations were defended, of which 3 were in English. Dissertations were defended in the fields of Law, Management, Economics, and Psychology.

Financial support for students by the University increased in 2022 by 99 percent. In addition, a MRU support fund for Ukrainian citizens was established. A school for war refugees, "Gravitas Schola," operates on MRU's campus.

Rector Žalėnienė awarded Certificates of Appreciation to the following MRU employees:

  1. Akvilė Alauskaitė, Communications Advisor to the Dean of the Law School, for significant contribution to the University and Law School's strategic events and creation of innovative partnerships.
  2. Vesta Bartusevičiūtė, MRU Library Research Data Formation Group Senior Specialist for responsible and diligent work in advising scientists and researchers on issues of preparation of publications and work in the MRU publication database in the national storehouse eLABa.
  3. Dr. Ilona Bartuševičienė, Public Governance and Business Faculty’s Institute of Business and Economics Associate Professor for initiatives in project activities; 
  4. Inga Dargienė, Document Management Dept. Senior Document Management specialist for for sincere work and a responsible approach to electronic document management processes;
  5. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Inga Daukšienė, Law and Public Procurement Office Head, for for creative legal and managerial work and initiatives in fostering the University; 
  6. Rolandas Gaidelis, IT Centre Deputy Director, for competently performed duties and a significant contribution to the support and development of IT systems;
  7. Eglė Galiauskienė, Research and Innovation Centre’s Research Quality and Analysis Office Senior Manager for initiative, constant desire to improve, careful analysis of research activities, process improvement; 
  8. Rūta Guobužaitė, Communication and Marketing Centre Admissions and Marketing Dept. Head for initiative and significant contribution to the improvement of the student admissions system; 
  9. Giedrė Kaušienė, Rector’s assistant for responsible performance of direct duties and sincere activity in fostering the University;
  10. Roberta Krincienė, Public Security Academy’s Student Dept. Senior Manager for a sincere and responsible way of working with students and meaningful activities in creating and fostering the University;
  11. Kristina Kunigėlytė, Public Security Academy Student Dept. Manager for diligence and sincere work with students and meaningful activities in creating and fostering the University;
  12. Dr. Paulo Alexandre da Silva Pereira, Public Governance and Business Faculty’s Institute of Public Administration professor, chief researcher,  who together with his team of the Environmental Management LAB, for great achievements in developing project activities and publishing research in international publications; 
  13. Gediminas Matuliūkštis, Property Management Office Central Building Group driver for sincere work and care in meeting the needs of the University community;
  14. Dr. Tadas Limba, Public Governance and Business Faculty‘s Institute of Business and Economics professor, for receiving excellent student evaluations and for developing strategic initiatives;
  15. Dalė Maskoliūnienė, Communication and Marketing Centre‘s Cultural Activities Dept. Choreographer for long-term promotion of the University, involvement of community members in active activities and organization of events;
  16. Andželika Norkienė, Academic Affairs Centre‘s Studies Dept. Studies Process Administration Group Senior Manager for her initiatives, continuous desire to improve and significant contribution ensuring effective activity of the Academic Affairs Centre‘s Studies Administration Group;
  17. Dr. Lina Novikovienė, Law School Vice-Dean for coordination of law programme accreditation and self-analysis;
  18. Jovita Palevičienė, Chief Personnel specialist of the Personnel Accounting Department for long-term work at the University, coordination and organization of exceptional processes, and significant contribution to the implementation of the Personnel Management and Payroll System;
  19. Isabel Palomo Dominguez, Human and Social Studies Faculty’s researcher for initiatives strengthening communication and information sciences studies area;
  20. Laima Paulauskytė, Public Security Academy’s Student Dept. Manager for diligence and sincere work with students and meaningful activities creating and fostering the University;
  21. Vaidas Sakalauskas, Community Welfare Center Health and Sports Dept. specialist for student practical training as a coach, for fostering chess and high international and national sports achievements during 2022;
  22. Žaneta Savickienė, International Office International Exchange and Student Dept. Senior manager for ensuring the sustainable internationality of the University by impeccably evaluating the qualifications acquired by applicants abroad;
  23. Dr. Linas Selmistraitis, Human and Social Studies Faculty’s Vice-Dean for Studies for a professional, sincere work ethic and fostering University values;
  24. Dr. Danielius Serapinas, Human and Social Studies Faculty’s Institute of Psychology professor for active research activities and fostering University values;
  25. Ivan Šimelionis, Property Management Office Environment Oversight Group staffer responsible for the University campus’ environment and his constant care in order to create a more beautiful University campus and contributions to fostering the well-being of the University.
  26. Aušra Šukvietienė, Public Governance and Business Faculty's Institute of Public Administration Lecturer for implementing Faculty strategic goals in the studies area;
  27. Jaroslav Urbanovič, Adviser to the Dean of the Public Governance and Business Faculty for Communication and Marketing, for creativity and effective initiatives in the area of marketing and communication;

(photos by Tautvydas Juknevičius)