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Experts Evaluate Lithuanian Science and Study Institutions

Lithuanian education representatives have summarized the evaluations of international experts, highlighting not only programs with high expectations but also those with less apparent potential. This summary follows the assessment conducted by international experts on the scientific and study institutions in Lithuania. According to LRT.lt speakers, some universities may need to consider expert recommendations and perhaps reconsider their ambitions.

International experts evaluated the quality of scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) conducted by Lithuanian science and study institutions in an international context. The evaluation also considered the economic and social impact and perspectives of these activities. The study, initiated by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport (ŠMSM) and the Lithuanian Research Council (LMT), was conducted for the second time.

The assessment revealed that 88% of scientific fields were rated as high quality, receiving scores ranging from 3 to 5. Six scientific fields achieved the highest international level, receiving a maximum score of 5.

Vytautas Magnus University’s art history (based on two criteria), Vilnius University’s biochemistry, history, and archaeology (based on two criteria), life sciences, philosophy, ethnology, philology, Klaipėda University’s history, and the history and archaeology of the Lithuanian History Institute all received the maximum score.

International experts provided both 4 and 4.5 ratings, with some cases receiving only one or one and a half out of five. Nursing and pharmacy at Vilnius University received a rating of one, and the military academy’s scientific fields received one and a half.

According to Gintaras Valinčius, the chairman of LMT, approximately half of the evaluated units in Lithuania exhibit strong signs of international competitiveness. He emphasized the importance of the evaluation and its potential impact on university choices for prospective students.

Valinčius highlighted the impressive evaluations received by Vilnius University’s biochemistry and history units, as well as Vytautas Magnus University’s history program. He commended the successful participation of these units in international programs and their ability to attract foreign funds for scientific research.

The dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Kaunas University of Technology, Ainius Lašas, commented that the international experts’ evaluations were generally positive, but he suggested that some ratings might be overly generous. Lašas expressed surprise at the high ratings given to social and humanitarian sciences, such as philosophy at Vilnius University and art history at Vytautas Magnus University.

Lašas also raised concerns about institutions focusing on narrow research areas and failing to create exceptional value. He specifically mentioned the ratings given to Vilnius Academy of Arts and Lithuanian Sports University, urging them to reconsider their profiles, ambitions, and goals.

In the field of education, there was acknowledgment that Lithuania has potential for growth, although the ratings for educational sciences were not as high as those for biochemistry or history. Gintaras Valinčius stressed the importance of paying attention to development opportunities and recommendations provided by experts.

The Minister of Education, Science, and Sport, Gintautas Jakštas, noted that the results of this evaluation would influence the allocation of funding for SR&ED activities. He emphasized that state funding for this area has consistently increased, growing by 69% over the past two years.

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