The origins of the Faculty of Arts and Education of Kauno kolegija Higher Education Institution (HEI) are associated with the Kaunas School of Art, which operated between 1922 and 1940 and was founded by Justinas Vienožinskis. During the interwar period, it was the only art school in Lithuania. Located in a historical place, on Owls’ Hill,  the faculty is valued today for its professional lecturers, practice-oriented studies, wide opportunities and warm communication between lecturers and students.

‘Recently this place celebrated its centenary, so it can be safely considered a forge of culture, art, history, and education. Continuing the long-standing traditions and combining them with today’s market needs and modern teaching methods, the faculty conducts various arts and language studies,
Pre-School and Pre-Primary Education, and Social Work study programmes,’ says Albertas Juodeika, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education.

There are almost twice as many job vacancies for teachers as there are job seekers

The Employment Service announces that every year more and more job offers are registered for pre-school and primary education teachers compared to the number of people seeking such a job. Last year, 1,026 vacancies were registered for them, in 2022 – 1,175, in 2021 – 789. Meanwhile, the job offer remained similar over the three years – only 482 pedagogues were looking for work in preschool and primary education institutions last year, in 2022 – 564 and 2021 – 445.

Asta Jakimavičienė, the Head of the Department of Pedagogy of the Faculty of Arts and Education of Kauno kolegija HEI, where the Pre-School and Pre-Primary Education study programme is implemented, also notes that the need for pre-school and pre-primary education pedagogues in Lithuania is extremely high. This is shown by the constantly conducted studies of labour market needs at the regional and national levels, as well as the readings provided by social partners and municipalities.

‘It is believed that this need will grow further, to respond to the idea of ​​universal preschool education, new groups are created, state and non-state educational institutions are established, and new jobs are created. More pedagogues and pedagogic assistants will be needed in the implementation of inclusion processes, changes in the calculation of the workload of pedagogues,’ says A. Jakimavičienė.

Gabrielė Chasijeva, a graduate of the Pre-School and Pre-Primary Education study programme, says she is happy that she chose Kauno kolegija HEI for her studies: ‘I chose this institution because I liked the impressions of students and graduates, their feedback, experiences, the fact that lecturers treat students with great respect.’

Meaningful work that changes people’s lives

In modern society, the social worker is no longer identified only with the solution of social problems. While studying in the Social Work study programme, students improve their communication and cooperation skills, delve into the psychology of personality, the factors that shape personality behaviour, and holistically analyse information about society and the social problems arising in it.

‘Those who choose this study programme not only get a higher education but also a profession that helps a person to change and get to know himself. This is a really meaningful work that changes people’s lives,’ says the graduate of the Social Work study programme, lecturer Dr Valentina Demidenko.

She emphasises that social workers do not punish, but come to help a person who needs help at that moment: ‘A person is not always ready to accept help, and at such a moment the main goal of a social worker is to convince a person to accept it.’

Head of the Department of Social Work, Virginija Kondratavičienė points out that those who have completed these studies are ready to work in social service institutions, education, law enforcement, and non-governmental organisations, or choose master studies at a university.

Student Aidas Lazauskas says that volunteering encouraged him to choose the Social Work study programme because he felt that he did not have enough theoretical knowledge.

‘I chose Kauno kolegija HEI because there are as many as three internships during my studies, during which you can better absorb and learn to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge,’ the student shares.

Students get to know the real labour market during their studies

The lecturers of the Academy of Arts of the Faculty of Arts and Education not only actively carry out educational creative activities in the faculty, involving students in them, but also organise personal exhibitions, present their work in group exhibitions, the contemporary art fair ArtVilnius, organise and participate in international, interdisciplinary symposium and plein-airs in Lithuania and foreign countries.

‘The Academy of Arts is distinguished from other art schools in Lithuania primarily by the practical orientation of its study programmes. Design studies are no exception. What does it look like? Perhaps one of the most important aspects is the fact that we work with real customers, real orders, and a real market. We are approached by various companies and individuals who are interested in young creators and their work,’ says Juozas Dundulis, Coordinator of the Design study programme.

He reveals that the received orders are integrated into the study programme, and practical sessions, and students who have prepared coursework have the opportunity to become visible not only in Lithuania but also internationally.

D. Ruškys, a student of the Design study programme, is happy that the abundance of practical classes and the opportunity to face the real labour market while still studying open up opportunities to find a future employer while still studying.

‘During my studies, I had an internship in the companies with which I cooperate to this day. I think that all the opportunities have been created at Kauno kolegija HEI, which allows you to be sure that after finishing your studies, and maybe even earlier, you will definitely have a job if you put in the effort,’ share the student.

Study programme for dynamic job seekers

The English for Public Relations and Business English study programmes implemented at the Kauno kolegija HEI’s Language Centre train specialists who know how to communicate correctly in business English and use business and public relations professional terms.

Students deepen their knowledge during internships in various types of companies, media channels, translation offices, cultural and social service centres, communication and information services of manufacturing companies, and are also encouraged to start a business and to create jobs for themselves.

Daiva Volkauskienė, a lecturer of English for Public Relations, emphasises that public relations in this study programme creates extremely strong added value.

‘Students acquire knowledge of the entire communication path, from the sender to the recipient, and are guided to create oral and written content. After graduating, they become content creators,’ says D. Volkauskienė.

Andrius Rezeckas, who chose these studies, singles out the dynamism of the study programme as one of the advantages since he has to learn how to conduct interviews, prepare press releases, represent the company, take care of its internal and external communication, etc.