On April 19–22, representatives of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences participated in the UAccesS International University Network Partners Week UAccesS Staff Week, organized by the Munich University of Applied Sciences. The event brought together representatives of six higher education institutions from Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania, Germany and Lithuania. The members of the Kaunas University of Applied Sciences community, who actively participated in the virtual event, are happy that they were able to strengthen international cooperation remotely, discuss topics relevant to both higher education and society.
“In order for Kaunas University of Applied Sciences to become a full-fledged member in the European Education Area and its creators, participation in such international events is important. This allows us not to be left behind in regards to educational innovations and changes, to remain a competitive institution internationally, not to remain in local vision. Participation in Munich International Staff Week is particularly important for networking and sharing experiences. This event is aimed at institutions that seek to build strong, focused cooperation and seek to participate in the European University Initiative of Erasmus+ programme. European universities are an initiative to form international alliances that will be the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity and fundamentally changing the quality and competitiveness of European higher education,” the importance of participation in the activities of UAccesS Staff Week reveals Irma Servaitė, the Senior Specialist of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences Project Management Office.
“When participating in international events, it is always a good opportunity to check out, what path we have already taken in developing internationality and how many more perspectives await us as an institution. It is interesting to meet enthusiastic people with whom something can be learned or taught through discussion, and even more delightful when that collaboration can develop into scientific or applied research, project, article or even new study program,” I. Servaitė points out.
Ramunė Bagočiūnaitė, Head of the Business Centre of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences Business Faculty, reveals that participation in UAccesS Staff Week and other international events allows faster development of the Business Centre and is a great space for strengthening relations.
“The Business Centre of the Faculty of Business, developing a partnership between business and higher education, started its activities at the Kaunas University of Applied Sciences in 2018. We can already see the results, but we want to move forward even faster. Being open to international experience, we can get new ideas, discuss what trends prevail abroad and establish closer contact with professionals, so events such as UAccesS Staff Week are important for us,” says R. Bagočiūnaitė, the head of the Business Centre. She also reveals that attending the event has already yielded results.
“We met with representatives of the “Affiliated Entrepreneurship Institute”, who shared their best practices in developing entrepreneurship among students and academic communities. It inspired ideas not only to improve the activities we organize but also for joint international activities such as entrepreneurship events, intensive weeks for students, joint project activities and more. It is gratifying that our next meeting is already planned, during which we will discuss the most relevant opportunities for cooperation, so it seems that the next academic year will bring new international experience in developing entrepreneurship to the Kaunas University of Applied Sciences community,” R. Bagočiūnaitė, the Head of the Business Centre says.
Meanwhile, Jolanta Bareikienė, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, reveals that participation in the event organized by the Munich University of Applied Sciences provided useful information both on participation in the Alliance of European Higher Education Institutions and on topics relevant to society.
“The Faculty of Arts and Education, like other faculties, benefited from participating in this event primarily due to the dissemination of information about participation in the Alliance of European Higher Education Institutions. Current alliances were presented, experiences were shared, activities along with already achieved results were shown. The lecturers of the faculty took part in workshops, during which not only topics relevant to higher education were discussed, but also topics that are important for people in all European countries – sustainable development, ecological issues. I was personally interested in the studification. Representatives of Tampere University of Applied Sciences shared their experience on this topic,” says J. Bareikienė.
“Obviously, we can and must learn a lot from each other. Experiencing how European higher education institutions meet the challenges can help us to solve the challenges we face. We expect new contacts and joint projects from this international week. Follow-up meetings were also planned during some of the workshops. I hope that the lecturers of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences and, of course, the Faculty of Arts and Education will actively participate in them. I also really enjoyed the organization of the event itself – it was quite simple, yet informative,” J. Bareikienė, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education, shares her impressions.
Dean of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences Faculty of Technologies, Dr. Giedrius Gecevičius notes that participation in the event provided an opportunity not only to hear the good experiences of others but also to discuss opportunities for cooperation.
“Advances in digitalization and mobility have made the world smaller than ever before. The community of the Faculty of Technologies, realizing that we cannot be isolated from the rest of the world, pays special attention to activities related to internationalization. One such example is the sharing of experiences and ideas during a UAccesS Staff Week organized by the Munich University of Applied Sciences. It was not only a great opportunity to hear good practice in the context of studies, science or sustainable development, but also to discuss new forms of cooperation, challenges and opportunities with partners in becoming a joint European University of Applied Sciences,” says Dr. G. Gecevičius.
“Participation in the various events of the International Week aroused many thoughts and ideas, especially in relation to sustainable development in the fields of studies and science, as well as infrastructure and resource management. In the near future, I will submit proposals for the establishment of an international Team for Sustainable Development at KUAS. During the events, a lot of attention was paid to applied research, during the discussions the directions of joint research in the fields of food technology, media and energy research were revealed. Of course, there has been a lot of discussion about the studification and higher education in collaboration between different higher education institutions across Europe. I believe that the active cooperation of the Faculty of Technologies, the participation of the community in such events will contribute to the further development of international studies and applied sciences,” Dr. G. Gecevičius shares his thoughts.