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Klaipėda University on Rating Scales: Competing with Major Research Centres

“The latest issue of the Reitingai [Rankings] journal, which published the 2021 rankings of study fields of the universities operating in Lithuania, made it possible to draw conclusions on the uniqueness and importance of Klaipėda University as the largest research centre in Western Lithuania. Klaipėda University competes with major national research and academic centres. Moreover, it competes in a sufficiently wide range of positions, ”says dr. Sonata Mačiulskytė, KU Vice-Rector for Studies.  

Klaipėda University, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of its founding this year, occupies an exceptional position in the national higher education area. The university is often associated with the idea of “maritime”, as its scientific and academic activities are largely focused on specific research into the Baltic Sea and its environment as well as the training of specialists needed for maritime businesses and the seaside recreation, leisure, and health promotion service industries. These are the study fields that maintain the leadership in the published study programme ranking tables. They include Marine Engineering (bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes), Social Geography, Tourism and Recreation, and Medical Technology.

The first cycle study programmes of Informatics and Informatics Engineering, Management, Pedagogy, Linguistics, Public Health, and Nursing and Midwifery improved their rankings. The second cycle programmes in the fields of Environmental Science and Ecology, Rehabilitation, Political Science, Public Administration, and Educology have moved up one step.

“An important message for us is that in the evaluation of the study programme in the field of pedagogy we are inferior to only two large teacher training centres – Vilnius and Vytautas Magnus Universities, overtaking the third one, that of Šiauliai. I think that politicians should return to the issue that was not resolved by the previous government – the establishment of a teacher training centre in Klaipėda, especially since there are all preconditions for this, starting from the historical tradition, the present scientific potential, and the study infrastructure and ending with a great demand for young specialists both in the region of Western Lithuania and in the whole of Lithuania,”says prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas, KU Rector.

KU administration were pleased that quite a few study programmes stood up to the competitive pressure of the major national research centres and maintained stable ranking positions, including all bachelor‘s degree study programmes of Engineering, Biology, Social Work, Journalism, and also Archaeology, an exclusive study programme of Klaipėda University, as well as the master‘s degree study programmes of Public Health, Nursing and Midwifery, Natural Geography, Production Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Marketing, and Pedagogy.

“According to international rankings, in the field of oceanographic sciences, Klaipėda University is ranked among the top 200 universities in the world. We are strong and recognised in marine research and in  engineering sciences. We want this to be seen and appreciated by young people when deciding where to acquire the chosen profession ”says KU Vice-Rector dr. Mačiulskytė.

The Reitingai journal publishes the rankings of university study fields in December of each year. The indicators of the rankings, initiated by the  publishers of the journal, are largely predetermined by the surveys of employers of university graduates and their evaluation, the average scores of university entrants, and the statistical indicators of the Government Strategic Analysis Centre.