Universities try to attract the attention of young people choosing to study in higher education institutions by emphasizing their place in the ranking table, achievements of community members, modern material base, excellent employability of graduates, or high results of students’ satisfaction with studies. However, in this constant information noise, it is often forgotten to emphasize the human connection, the teacher-student relationship, and the values of higher education.
Higher education institution is a place where more than just professional knowledge should be provided
Kaunas University of Applied Sciences has been maintaining the position of the leading higher education institution in Lithuania for several years in a row. Students who choose this university are guided throughout the study period by professional lecturers, some of whom are lecturers-practitioners, and the study programmes are designed to provide a solid base of theoretical knowledge and the maximum development of practical skills. An extensive network of social partners ensures that students not only find an internship position easily but also have the opportunity to get to know the real work environment during company visits.
The majority of young people who are just starting the first steps of independent living choose to study at higher education institutions. According to Paulius Baltrušaitis, the director of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, this is one of the main reasons why higher education institutions should not only provide professional knowledge but also develop critical thinking, implement and strengthen common values, teach independent decision-making and create a supportive environment.
“One of the main functions of a higher education institution is to educate professionals in their fields who are able to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge and practical skills, who easily enter the labor market and create additional value for the country. However, it is equally significant for a young person who wants to study to get a versatile education: a favorable environment for his or her personality to be developed, strengths to be observed, common human values to be introduced, and for broad-minded, tolerant, critical-minded people to be educated. When preparing the strategy of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences for 2021–2025, we have defined that we will continue to educate not only competent specialists but also civic, socially responsible, creative individuals,” P. Baltrušaitis, the director of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences emphasizes the importance of multifaceted education.
President of the Students’ Representative Council M. Gutauskas: Kaunas University of Applied Sciences lecturers are dedicated to their vocation
Mantas Gutauskas, the President of the Students’ Representative Council at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, agrees that it is important to develop not just professional competencies in higher education, as individuals often start studying at a young age when character and worldview are still developing.
“I think it is significant that the focus in higher education is not only on the provision of professional knowledge because usually university students are individuals with almost no life experience. An individual who is still growing is in the process of shaping his character, worldview, and higher education institution is precisely the place where a young person broadens his horizons, developing his personality.
If we want students to enter the world as full-fledged members of society after their studies, then not only professional competencies but also critical thinking, citizenship, respect, responsibility, and other values should be developed in higher education,” says the President of the Students’ Representative Council at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences. M. Gutauskas also reveals that Kaunas University of Applied Sciences employs dedicated lecturers, who often devote their personal free time to students.
“I always say I am glad that people who enjoy interacting with young individuals work at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences. Both administrative staff dedicate themselves to their work and initiate change for the benefit of young people, and lecturers dedicate their personal free time to activities with students. I can confidently say that Kaunas University of Applied Sciences is a great place for a young person not only to become a specialist in their field but also to learn endless life lessons,” adds M. Gutauskas, President of the Students’ Representative Council at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences.
Kaunas University of Applied Sciences is a leading higher education institution in Lithuania, which educates specialists in technology, informatics, engineering, health, humanities, social sciences, art, education, business and public management, law, and agricultural sciences.
The study programmes are designed in such a way that the students acquire strong theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills during the study period. Practical training makes up at least one-third of the study programme.