Another study program in the field of engineering at Klaipėda University – that of Maritime Transport Engineering – claims the Investor’s Spotlight label, which is considered a study quality mark in Lithuania, testifying to the great employer interest in the graduates in this field.
In order for a study program to be eligible for this label, it has to pass a demanding quality evaluation procedure. It consists of 2 remote meetings, submission of recommendations from business representatives, and the University’s drafting and presenting a plan for the implementation of the said recommendations. The largest companies of Klaipėda Region operating in the fields of stevedoring, maritime transport, shipbuilding and maintenance, and production of metal structures are invited as evaluators. This year, students were also included in the procedure. They were invited to participate in the meetings and fill in the study programme evaluation questionnaires. The evaluation procedure is coordinated by Klaipėda ID.
According to dr. Rima Mickevičienė, Dean of the Faculty of Marine Technology and Natural Sciences of Klaipėda University, during the meetings, the employer representatives voice their expectations of the knowledge and competencies to be acquired by the graduates. “The proposals related to the specifics of the activity of the companies or the anticipated introduction of new technologies will be included in the study process and will undoubtedly enhance their content,” says dr. Rima Mickevičienė. According to her, the employers emphasise not only professional but also generic skills of graduates: written or oral communication, good knowledge of Lithuanian, English, and Russian, the skills enabling them to work in a team or a multicultural environment, self-confidence, the ability to present their ideas, the desire to learn and constantly improve, etc.
Marius Arkušauskas, Director of UAB Western Baltic Engineering who participates in the evaluation procedure, says that the company he manages employs more than two dozen KU graduates, and success as a rule accompanies those who are the most curious and willing to improve. “Our company, as an employer, hires a large number of students from KU. Our main expectation for the prospective employee includes his being familiar with the ship structure, having the knowledge of the materials used in shipbuilding, being able to calculate structures and to use specialised ship design software (at least the basic ones), and having at least the basic skills for work with Aveva Marin, Ship Constructor, and AutoShip software,” says Marius Arkušauskas. He notes that engineering students will enjoy even more opportunities in the future, because Lithuanian companies currently feel a shortage of professionals in this field.
The initiative of Invest Lithuania, an agency for direct foreign investment and business development, and the employers’ organization Baltic Investors’ Forum has been implemented in Lithuania for the sixth year in a row. The goal is for specialists trained by the national universities and colleges to acquire the skills and knowledge most valued in the labour market. This enables the graduates to find their place in the job market easier and faster.
To date, the Investor’s Spotlight label has been awarded to five study programmes implemented at the Faculty of Marine Technology and Natural Sciences of Klaipėda University: those of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Informatics, Informatics Engineering, and Chemical Engineering (Environment and Energy). For young people considering these study programs the label prompts that it will not be difficult to find a job after graduation. Moreover, there are potential additional benefits to be expected: thus, e.g., in 2020, the state allocated monthly scholarships of EUR 200 to those who enrolled in the Investor Spotlight-labeled study programmes at regional universities and colleges. This promotion program is expected to also continue this year.