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EU-CONEXUS: the Implementation of European University Idea at KU

Last summer Klaipeda University received good news – The European Commission decided to support the project of EU-CONEXUS – a common consortium of six universities. The ambitious goal of this project is to implement a brand new idea of European University. It means new inter-disciplinary and international programmes, new models of mobility, strengthtening of scientific research, the creation of the common virtual library and smart university campus.

The objectives of the project comprise the participation of about 50 percent of students in the programs of physical and virtual mobility inside the consortium. The label of European university, which would be used to mark each of the universities, should strenghten the competetiveness of each one both at national and international levels. The president of La Rochelle unversity Jean‐Marc Ogier announces boldly, that it is a revolutionary project, altering the perception of a modern university.

On 16th September, 2019 the scientists of KU Centre for Studies of Social Changes dr. Aldis Gedutis and dr. Liutauras Kraniauskas met with the Catholic University of Valencia representatives (UCV – Universidad Católica de Valencia). It was an unofficial friendly visit to get acquainted with the partners more closely, discuss common expectations and evaluate the opportunities for real cooperation.

In EU-CONEXUS project, the Catholic University of Valencia is responsible for the creation of inter-disciplinary and international study programmes, which would expand the study opportunities, implement the most advanced teaching methods and offer new models for the mobility of students and lecturers. The Dean of Veterinary and Experimental Sciences faculty Ana de Luis Margarit, the Vice-Dean of the same faculty Amanda Sancho Garcia, responsible for the creation of common study programmes in the project, Neringa Narbutienė, the project coordinator at UCV, and Pablo Vidal González, the Head of Culture, Social Work and Humanities Department participated in the meeting.

During the visit, the topical issues for KU social sciences and humanities were discussed – how to strengthten the positions of these sciences in the consortium and use the opportunities offered by the project. One of the most important objectives, which was declared by L. Kraniauskas very clearly, is the inclusion of KU social sciences and humanities into the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Culture Institute (SCHCI), which is being created inside the consortium. The participation in this Institute would allow Lithuanian scientists to involve into a wider network of scientists by creating the common program of scientific research and participate in the preparation of project applications for international funds. It was also emphasized that KU researchers should be included in common inter-disciplinary study programmes, where they could share their research and expert knowledge, which is not always possible in specialized study programmes at home university.

The discussions with the colleagues enabled to practically evaluate the benefit of EU-CONEXUS project to the study programmes of social sciences and humanities at KU. Firstly, the project provides an opportunity to strengthten the existing study programmes by inviting the lecturers to deliver lectures from the partners participating in the consortium. The same applies to other partners of the consortium, which have opportunity to invite the lecturers of KU to join their study programmes. These activities are substantially financed. Secondly, the students will have the possibility to select subjects not only from the list offered by KU, but also by all partners of the consortium. The subjects could be delivered either during students’ visits to partner universities or virtually at KU. Thirdly, the implementation of e-modules would allow sharing new teaching modules, which would decrease the individual lecturers’ investment in the preparation for lectures.

The individual interest of study programmes curators and lecturers, their active approach and motivation, how they will be able to use the present opportunities is especially important for these processes. The collegues from the Catholic University of Valencia wished us especially an active approach to the creation of the fundamentals of common European University.

Daugiau apie EU-CONEXUS: