Following the goals set in the Strategy for 2021–2025, Kaunas University of Applied Sciences pays attention to the student interests: the higher education support system aims to focus on the quality of studies, emotional and social needs, contribute to more successful integration into higher education institutions, access to studies and transition to the labor market.
Student support is a commitment of higher education institution
According to Rasa Gaižiūnaitė, a Student Support Coordinator of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, the concept of support was chosen not by chance: “This is discussed in the documents of the Bologna Process, the regulations, and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area. Higher education institutions have a commitment to providing study resources and support to students.”
The Student Support Coordinator emphasizes that it is very important to pay attention to raising the awareness of academic and non-academic support – it is a contribution to the personal well-being of students and the success of their studies. “In surveys on the quality of studies and satisfaction with studies, second-year and upper-year students identified support as one of the most influential factors in study satisfaction.
However, when it comes to support, some students do not always identify that support is not just financial, it covers many more areas. It is important to communicate about this through various information channels so that current and future university students know what academic and non-academic support is, what help they can expect and where to inquire about certain issues,” reveals R. Gaižiūnaitė.
At Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, support for students includes services directly related to the study process and student well-being. Academic support includes the students integration and admission to degree studies, information and consulting on academic matters, library, Career centre services, assistance for international students, Centre of languages and Business centre services. Non-academic support includes financial support for students, support for students with disabilities and / or learning difficulties, accommodation services, leisure time and sports, psychological help, and the services of the Advertising and media centre.
Students are involved in the preparation and dissemination of information
R. Gaižiūnaitė reveals, there are noticeable tendencies in the inquiries of students about support: “Students ask about various issues related to the academic or non-academic support provided by the institution. Students are more likely to ask questions in written format, especially when they get informational messages via email. After being reminded of the support forms, some students evaluate their needs and ask for more detailed information.”
Kaunas University of Applied Sciences has a proven practice of providing information faster and in a more understandable way when some students broadcast the message to others. “We involved the second-year students of the Applied Communication study program of the Faculty of Business as a part of the module “Professional internship in organisation”. They were included in the preparation and dissemination of the visual content for the information campaign soon to be launched on social networks,” says R. Gaižiūnaitė.
Focus on the development of services for the academic community
Reviewing the plans ahead, the Head of Studies and Applied Research Department, Kristina Bespalova, names the planned principles of support system development: “When implementing the strategic goals of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, it is planned to design and develop the university student support system, disseminate information to university students using one-stop-shop principle, to organize activities and educational lectures for students which promote sociability, active learning.”
More information about the student support system can be found here.