On September 14, Klaipėda University (KU) was visited by a delegation from the University of Rostock in Germany: Rector prof. dr. Wolfgang Schareck and representatives of the University of Rostock: prof. dr., dr. (h.c.) Winfried Böttcher, prof. dr. Jörn Dosch, and Michael Paulus who met with prof. dr. habil. Eimutis Juzeliūnas, Rector of Klaipėda University, and dr. Arūnas Baublys, Director of the Centre for Evangelical Theology of the Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Consular District of Klaipėda. The purpose of the meeting was to sign a cooperation agreement between the Universities of Klaipėda and Rostock.
In order to increase the internationality of studies and science, Klaipėda University, in collaboration with the University of Rostock, launched the process of setting up the European Institute Klaus Mehnert. To quote dr. Baublys, that will open the ways both for joint research and joint study programmes, thus attracting students not only from Lithuania, but also from foreign countries. “In the future, students will be able to obtain two university diplomas simultaneously. Students will enjoy completely different opportunities, because such programs are usually taken successively both in Lithuania and in Germany. In this way, one becomes more familiar with the culture of another country, its social and political life, and deepens the knowledge of a foreign language,” says dr. Baublys, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Klaipėda.
“The European Institute Klaus Mehnert operated in Kaliningrad, at Kaliningrad State Technical University. It was a gift from the European Union and Germany to the city of Kaliningrad. However, due to the change in the political situation and circumstances, the Institute activity was so much restricted that it was decided to close it. Presently an opportunity appeared to move the European Institute Klaus Mehnert to Klaipėda and to set it up at Klaipėda University, ” comments dr. Baublys.
The European Institute Klaus Mehnert will initiate a graduate study programme of European Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences of KU. The programme will be taught in German by the academic staff from the University of Rostock and by prominent scholars and politicians who work in Germany and the EU institutions. The admission to the programme of European Studies is planned for the next academic year.
To quote dr. Baublys, the emergence of such an institute in Klaipėda will be a significant step in the development of cooperation betwen Germany and Lithuania. That will be the first German scientific institute in the Baltic states. “In general, Klaipėda University and the University of Rostock have a number of things in common: the university will collaborate in the fields of marine sciences, marine engineering, biology, and chemistry”, says dr. Baublys, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Consular District of Klaipėda.