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KU Agreement with Universities of the Netherlands: Excellent Opportunities for Students

Prospective students are usually unaware that, when choosing a university, it is worth finding out what kind of international relations it has established, what international mobility programmes and apprenticeships it can offer, and what foreign universities it has partnership agreements with: all that opens up broad opportunities for international studies and, simultaneously, for international careers.

KU as a strategic partner of universities of the Netherlands

On June 15, Klaipėda University (KU) signed an agreement of strategic partnership with two universities of the Netherlands: the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The aim of the agreement is the cooperation of the universities in the scientific research on energy: cryogenic fuels, liquefied natural gas, and the development of the hybrid energy network. The universities will collaborate on technological, environmental, and economic issues related to the sustainable green use of those kinds of energy in the blue corridor of the Baltic Sea and to the development of new business opportunities.

KU is the only university in the Baltic countries that carries out a study programme Engineering of LNG Terminals and related research. Moreover, it is a partner of the Lithuanian LNG cluster and the Lithuanian LNG platform and has an LNG Competence Centre. It should be noted that Klaipėda has a well-developed LNG infrastructure: the FSRU Independence and contemporary laboratories in the Marine Research Institute of KU fit for advanced scientific research.

To quote dr. Rima Mickevičienė, Dean of the Faculty of Maritime Technology and Natural Sciences, even if the study programme Engineering of LNG Terminals has been carried out only for several years, 3 doctoral students are presently preparing dissertations in the field of LNG: “Over those years, we have been accumulating expert knowledge of our researchers and students, as prospective specialists, carrying out research, publishing articles, and developing a collaboration network with business enterprises. Therefore the representatives of the universities of Netherlands see us both as partners that they can work with and also learn from,“ said dr. Mickevičienė.

Andrius Sutnikas, coordinator of the LNG cluster, said that LNG was one of the fastest developing sources of the new energy: “LNG is relevant both to the area of energy and also to transport and bioenergy. Before 2020, over 20 mln euros are to be invested to liquefied biogas. That is a promising area which will need professionals.” The study programme Engineering of LNG Terminals is unique in the Baltic Sea Region. “It has always been the case that the first wave of specialists were creators and inventors, contributing to the fast development of the area”, said Sutnikas.

Unique opportunities for students

The strategic partnership with the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences will provide the prospective students of KU with an opportunity to study in joint bachelor and master’s study programmes and to get international degrees. “The present students will already be able to go to the universities of the Netherlands in the framework of the international student exchange programmes. Moreover, they will be able to do apprenticeship in foreign enterprises, and that will mean excellent career opportunities: LNG specialists are in great demand”, said dr. Mickevičienė, Dean of the MTNS Faculty.

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The dean emphasised that the engineering of LNG terminals was a broad area: “The graduates will not necessarily work on the FSRU Independence, they will get jobs on the shore and in terminals, or will supervise gas energy systems. Much can be done by conducting scientific research: looking for new technological solutions where else gas could be used and further exploiting the cold produced by gas. The LNG infrastructure network keeps expanding: LNG will be also used by heavy transport and thus reduce pollution”.

Prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas, KU Rector ad interim, added that, on signing the agrement of strategic partnership, the staff exchange will take place: “The academic staff from the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences will come and give lectures in KU. That will contribute to the increasing of the internationality of studies in KU”. Moreover, the researchers of the partner universities will develop research projects on the issues of energy and involve students in them.

Presently, the collaboration of the universities in the area of healthy aging is being coordinated, which covers both health and social sciences and the humanities. “A couple of weeks ago, the Vice-Rectors for studies and for research and arts together with prof. Algimantas Kirkutis, PhD in biomedical sciences and member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, visited Groningen and Eindhoven in the Netherlands: they were introduced to the infrastructure of the universities, talked with their staff, and sought for opportunities to collaborate in the area of healthy aging. Therefore, the international collaboration of Klaipėda University with the universities of the Netherlands will only grow”, said dr. Razbadauskas.

International exchange opportunities in KU

Students of Klaipėda University have the opportunity to go abroad, to universities of other countries, to study or to do apprenticeship under the international Erasmus+ exchange programme. KU offers studies and apprenticeships in 250 universities in all the EU members states, Turkey, Switherland, and Norway. Other countries-partners beyond the boundaries of the EU include Russia and Azerbaijan. Erasmus+ competitions take place twice a year, students can go abroad both in the 1st and 2nd cycles of studies and can stay for up to 12 months.

Beside the Erasmus+ programme, KU offers a strategic partnership study exchange programme aiming for collaboration in the field of innovation and the exchange of best practices.

KU implements a joint study programme of International Tourism and Cultural Events Management with the Vidzeme University of Aplied Sciences in Latvia that will admit students next year.