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Klaipėda University development strategy for the next decade to be introduced to its community
05-01-2021

Almost two years of intense work, dozens of sittings in a working group, formal and informal meetings, discussions, proposals, and summaries – this is the invisible side of the newly prepared and publicly announced Klaipėda University Development Strategy 2021-2030. The document, already approved by the KU Council, will be made public to the University community tomorrow, January 6.

KU Rector prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas, who took an active part in the preparation of the KU development strategy, says that every self-respecting organization must have a strategy for at least 10 years. “It was especially important for the new team of University leaders to refine and clearly articulate the goals of where and what we will be in a year, two years, or a decade, and what our place and significance will be in the city, the region, or even in the international space. I am happy to say that, if at the beginning of our work we had doubts about the survival of the University, now the issue is out of the question: we set ambitious goals and plan actions to implement them,” says prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas.

According to Rita Vaičekauskaitė, head of the working group for the preparation of the Klaipėda University Development Strategy, life without a strategy could be compared to the wandering around blindfolded. The new strategy for the next decade should not be accepted or seen as a formality or a set of beautiful phrases and indicators. “I want it to serve the people, to help the members of our community dream and create, and to improve the well-being of the University and the community. Let it be a moment of “restart” for our University in every sense,” says Rita Vaičekauskaitė, one of the developers of the KU Strategy 2021-2030.

The presented document defines the context and challenges of the current field of activity of KU. For the first time, the ambitions of KU have been formulated: sustainable university; a smart KU campus; and the regional innovation ecosystem based on the blue economy knowledge leadership. In discussions with the community, the mission (“The most important institution in encouraging sustainable social, cultural, and economic progress of the region, seeking to develop creative personalities and to improve the wellfare of the society”) and the vision (“A university of the future with internationally recognised scientific and study achievements and innovations significant for the welfare of the Baltic Sea Region”) were formulated. Three aspirations have been identified as strategic priorities: a creative personality, value to the region, and community wellfare. “In the document, we emphasise creativity and the importance of creative personalities, as bureaucracy has been increasing in our daily activities. Staying creative in such a context becomes a real challenge. We want to strengthen the view that universities have always been sources of creativity and must remain like that; that is their value”, emphasises dr. Vaičekauskaitė.

The strategy also identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The latter include the impact of the national policy of higher education on development, declining demographic indicators, a low demand for technology studies, etc.

From the outset, efforts have been made to involve the community in the preparation of the document. “Often strategies are purchased and written by professional strategy writers. We worked by ourselves. On the basis of partnership, we were assisted by the University’s partners, one of whom is Volker Wittpahl, KU affiliated professor from Germany. We also expect the same active role of the community in the implementation of the strategy – an Open Forum platform has been set up for the purpose, where we will discuss one or another issue of the strategy and its implementation plans with the community. The opinion of community members is important to us”, says prof. dr. Razbadauskas.

The first event of the Open Forum dedicated to the presentation of the KU Development Strategy 2021-2030 will take place virtually at 1 pm on January 6. Those invited to the event include representatives of Klaipėda City Municipality implementing the ambitious Klaipėda Economic Development Strategy “Klaipėda 2030”: Vytautas Grubliauskas, Klaipėda City Mayor and Chairman of the KU Council, Ričardas Zulcas, Chief Adviser to the Municipality, and Eglė Songailienė, Director of the Economic Development Agency Klaipėda ID. The discussion will be moderated by Gabrielė Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili, Coordinator of the Open Forum.

The event of the presentation of KU Development Strategy 2021-2030 will be seen on the Facebook account of Klaipėda University, and members of the KU community will join the discussion via the Zoom platform.

The full text of the KU Development Strategy 2021-2030 can be found at:

https://www.ku.lt/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/KU_strategija_2020-12-17-pages_web.pdf