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A Cohort Hardened by Lockdown Challenges Graduated from Klaipėda University
31-01-2022

Klaipėda University bade farewell to another cohort of graduates. Today, 167 graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, including 29 foreign nationals, were awarded diplomas.

Diplomas of higher education are awarded at KU twice a year: in winter they are received by those who took accelerated bachelor’s degree programmes of 3.5 years or accelerated master’s degree programmes of 1.5 years, while at the begining of summer, by those who took bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes lasting 4 and 2 years, respectively. According to KU Rector prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas, a half-year shorter degree programmes emerged at Klaipėda University as a study model recommended for European universities in the Bologna Process: the time after the graduation from the first cycle of studies was believed to be useful for young people to decide where and what to study next. Although this tradition has not taken root in all universities, accelerated degree programs at KU proved to be successful.

KU Vice-Rector for Studies dr. Sonata Mačiulskytė called the cohort leaving the University today an exceptional one. “You are the graduates who have undergone the greatest transformation of the University in the course of your studies: you remember the studies before the pandemic, when we used to learn in classrooms all together, while after the outbreak of the pandemic, we experienced distance learning as one of the biggest challenges and transformations. It significantly affected the study process. We have always encouraged students to be active participants in the teaching / learning process, and therefore we want to believe that today’s graduates who will close the door of the University will have somewhat different, but not inferior skills and knowledge,” said dr. Mačiulskytė.

In January last year, diplomas were delivered to graduates by mail. The pandemic-paralysed community bade farewell to the graduates in a virtual event. This year’s graduates and their most significant people were invited to a solemn event at Klaipėda Concert Hall.

Three students of the Faculty of Marine Technology and Natural Sciences who graduated with honours were congratulated and received the awards of the KU Future Support Fund: those were Ingrida Karapetrova, a graduate from the bachelor’s degree programme in Maritime Transport Engineering, and Valeriya Kaskova and Rokas Rapalavičius, graduates from the master’s degree programme in Petroleum Technological Processes.

In the diploma award ceremony, young researchers who have defended their PhD dissertions over the last six months and their scientific supervisors were honoured. Those were Alvyda Obrikienė, who prepared and defended the dissertation Threats to Political Democracy in the Context of Socio-Economic Inequality in the area of Political Sciences (supervisor: prof. dr. Vaidutis Laurėnas); Rasa Idzelytė, who defended the dissertation Assessment of the Curonian Lagoon Ice Cover, its Impact, and Future Forecasts in the area of Ecology and Environmental Sciences (scientific supervisor: prof. dr. Hans Georg Umgiesser); and Eglė Baltranaitė, who defended the dissertation Impact of Physical Geographical Factors on the Sustainability of South Baltic Seaside Resorts (supervisor: prof. dr. R. Povilanskas).

“You are the lockdown cohort who never had a chance to sit in the classroom during those one and a half years of studies, and new, distance teaching methodologies were tested on you. I do hope we shall not have another cohort experiencing this … “, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities prof. dr. Rimantas Balsys extended his best wishes to the graduates who were planning to continue their studies in the next cycle.

KU Rector prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas wanted to believe that Klaipėda University, which has already become part of the life of the graduating cohort, would become their mascot of success, helping to create the lives they wanted and to realise their dreams.