Klaipėda University and one of the largest information technology companies in the country, UAB Visma Lietuva, have established a partnership in training information technology specialists through a cooperation agreement
Every year, 20 to 30 young people are awarded bachelor and master’s degree diplomas in Informatics or Computer Engineering at Klaipėda University. Mindaugas Kurmis, Head of the Department of Informatics and Statistics, Faculty of Marine Technology and Natural Sciences of KU, says that, in order for the educational institution to meet at least the minimum demands of the market, twice or even three times as many students in the specialty should be trained every year. “The problem that is relevant to all national higher education institutions is a shortage of young people willing to study exact sciences. Therefore, not only the system of higher education, but also potential employers are looking for ways to attract young people, to get them interested in information technology studies, so that companies in this area have a sufficient number of specialists. The agreement between Klaipėda University and Visma Lietuva focuses on this problem,” says dr. Kurmis.
By the cooperation agreement, both signatories agreed to work together to improve the content of KU Informatics and Informatics Engineering study programmes. The first expert interviews have already taken place, and business representatives have submitted their proposals to be integrated into the curricula. Lectures of professionals from Visma Lietuva for students have been planned. It was also agreed that representatives of the company would participate in the evaluation of students’ final theses.
UAB Visma Lietuva, leader in the information technology market in the country, is an international company with a team of 357 IT specialists, having branches in Vilnius and Kaunas and actively working in the international market. Close partnership with higher education institutions training IT specialists is not new to the company: they have been collaborating with other universities in the area of training IT specialists. “Information technology is one of the fastest developing disciplines, therefore it is very important that the study programmes do not lag behind life, that they are adjusted and regularly reviewed and improved, so that young specialists receive really relevant content during their studies. In addition to high-quality theoretical knowledge, an opportunity to put the acquired knowledge into practice is no less important. Today, the market of IT specialists is quite tense _ all large companies want the best specialists, and Visma Lietuva is no exception. If suitable candidates appear, we can presently invite 30 IT engineers to our team”, says Mantas Urbonas, Director General of UAB Visma Lietuva as a comment on the motives that encourage business to contribute to the education of young people.
“A united, purposeful effort always gives a positive result,” dr. Artūras Razbadauskas, Rector of Klaipėda University, has no doubts about the benefits of collaboration between academic community and business. “Qualified specialists, knowledgeable about the latest technologies, are what the business of Klaipėda City and the whole Western Region expects from the University. Every step that improves the training of IT professionals increases also business opportunities. We are co-authors of the Blue Breakthrough, the strategy of Klaipėda’s economic development, and in order to achieve the ambitions defined in it, we must improve the quality of studies and keep pace with the times,” says dr. Razbadauskas.
According to Virgilijus Pajaujis, Head of the Investment and Investment Environment Department at Klaipėda ID, in order to implement an ambitious city development strategy, it is necessary to ensure that Klaipėda becomes a strong centre of engineering and IT competencies. “Working together with all educational institutions in the city, we aim to create a sustainable ecosystem that would ensure the continuous growth of talents in the areas of IT and engineering. The challenge we face is really great, because we have to increase the number of graduates in these fields by dozens of times. It is gratifying to see that the collaboration with Visma is giving results, and this year, KU students will be able to gain experience from excellent experts,” says Pajaujis. He argues that the city has every opportunity to become a centre for training and attracting talents of information technology. From this year onwards, specialists dealing specifically with education and talents started working at the city development agency Klaipėda ID. Their task is to improve the investment environment in the city by ensuring that investors in the target areas have sufficient and appropriately qualified staff.