Although the year 2021 was full of challenges, Mykolas Romeris University’s (MRU) Faculty of Human and Social Studies (HSS) set an example what focus and hard, tireless work can achieve when aiming to meet the 2021-2023 university strategic goals. This was accomplished despite spending a large amount of time working remotely. At the end of January, the Faculty presented its 2021 activity results and priorities for 2022 to the University community.
We are glad that MRU Prof. Rector Inga Žalėnienė positively evaluated Faculty activities indicating that we are an example for others and truly a success, said Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Odeta Merfeldaitė.
When presenting the Faculty’s 2021 report, Dean Prof. Merfeldaitė praised the Faculty academic community‘s unity. “I thank every member of the Faculty for focusing their efforts in a united manner. We have so much to be proud of; lecturers for their versatility – for turning challenges into reality; Institute directors – for focused scientific and academic activities, constructive observations that allow to rethink different aspects of their activities; to Vice-Deans, dean’s assistants, communication advisers, student department managers – for their focus and professional activities. I would like to point out that in the presentation of activity results, all that has been achieved is due to each one of you. Thank you.
The annual report presented the most important aspects of studies, research as well as strengthening of community welfare.
Number of Students Going Abroad for Internships, Traineeships Increasing
The Faculty has admitted a stable number of undergraduates. Last year, an increase in tuition adversely affected admissions to some Faculties. Dean Prof. dr. Odeta Merfeldaitė was pleased with the number of students admitted to Bachelor's Degree studies. It was quite a challenge, but the creativity of the Faculty community and the long-term partnership with Vilnius Municipality, which funds the Pedagogical Vocational Studies Group, allowed us to prevail without significant losses. The largest number of students, as in previous years, was admitted to the Bachelor's Degree programmes in Psychology and Communication and Digital Marketing. We are proud that as many as 19 class valedictorians with scores of 100 - (out of 29 who were admitted to MRU) chose to study at our Faculty.
In the 2021 MRU nominations for the best MRU Bachelor's and Master's Degree theses were recognized: Master's thesis in Business Psychology and a Bachelor's thesis in the Communication and Digital Marketing. These key performance indicators were achieved by an active individualized focus on the student, the involvement of supervisors in advising of the writing of final theses and the inclusion of separate courses in the final thesis writing methodology in both bachelor's and master's studies. The Faculty significantly exceeded the international student admissions indicator set in out in the MRU Strategic Plan. It was projected at 9% and the Faculty reached 15%. In 2021, 5 doctoral students were admitted: 3 in the field of psychology and 2 in the fields of educational science.
The number of students in the faculty who go abroad to pursue internships or traineeships is increasing. A total of 25 students went on internships abroad in 2021 (to Malta, Spain, Finland and even Iceland). Students and graduates who went on an Erasmus traineeship totaled 18. They went to Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Poland, Malta, Norway, Romania, Finland, Sweden, Turkey and Germany.
ERASMUS Mundus Programme Kicked Off, Double Diploma Agreements Signed
One of the most significant events of the year was the successful start of the "European Joint Master's in Social Work with Children and Youth" (ESWOCHY programme. Students from 12 different countries are studying in this Master's Degree programme. It is the first such programme in Lithuania. The "Erasmus Mundus" studies are implemented together with partners from Riga's Stradins University in Latvia, Lisbon's University Institute ISCTE, the Catholic University in Ružomberok in Slovakia and MRU.
The Dean was also happy with the new initiatives regarding diploma studies programmes in different studies' areas implemented with various universities. There was a signed double diploma in the area of English for Specific Purposes and a Second Foreign Language programme to be implemented with Kosovo's Universum Kolegija.
In 2021 there was no shortage of other challenges, which were also successfully overcome. Last year the MRU Translation studies programme was presented for evaluation to the Centre for Assessment in Higher Education SKVC, which provided a great evaluation.