20 representatives of European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) members were sharing their knowledge and insights on leadership and strategic management in higher education context in Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) earlier this month.
This was the first time when ECIU’s Leadership Development Program seminars and workshops took place in Lithuania. KTU is the only Lithuanian university belonging to the Consortium, uniting the most innovative universities in the region.
“KTU has presented real tasks and problems for solving in the sessions of the Program. All of the issues presented were related to international reputation of the university as a centre of innovation. We believe that the experience and recommendations from our colleagues will contribute to the breakthrough in knowledge and technology transfer in global markets”, said Asta Pundzienė, KTU Vice-Rector for Research and Innovations and ECIU Vice-President since April 2017.
The seminars under the ECIU Leadership Development Programme is a continuous project taking place in different cities annually. This year the universities in Barcelona, Kaunas and Brussels were granted the right to organise the seminars.
“Membership in ECIU allows us to see that many contemporary universities face the same problems, including challenges in management, attracting talents, internationalisation, or improving research quality. This helps to believe that the problems can be solved and inspires us to look for best solutions”, said Andrius Jurelionis, the Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture.
He was immensely impressed by the competencies of the lecturers in the Programme.
“The seminars were delivered by professionals, who have been working in South Africa, Portugal and other countries, assisting in reorganisation and optimisation of educational networks, which means that they have tremendous experience”, said Jurelionis.
The Leadership Development Programme seminars create a perfect opportunity for colleagues from ECIU member universities to get acquainted with KTU’s study, research, technology transfer and innovation ecosystem.
“Colleague from the University of Tampere, Finland, admitted that after finding out that she’d need to work with KTU project was concerned, as she did not know much about our university. However, during the session she found out a lot of new things about KTU and our achievements. We have made a really positive impression to the colleagues from other countries”, said Lolita Jurkšienė, Head of Department for Strategic Monitoring and Processes.
Sara Gustafsson from Linkoping, Sweden was excited to get to know more about KTU and Kaunas city.
“We received a very warm welcome from Kaunas University of Technology, and it was very interesting to get to know the researchers working here, to look into KTU Santaka Valley laboratories, to find out more about Kaunas and its history”, said Gustafsson. It was her first visit to Kaunas.
Although KTU has joined ECIU in 2016, the collaboration has already borne fruit.
“KTU is actively involved in the working group for intellectual property and technology transfer, has initiated the researchers’ mobility programme. One of the most prominent results is the opening of ECIU headquarters in Brussels and the possibility to represent KTU when important decisions on research policy in European Commission are being made”, said KTU’s Vice-Rector Pundzienė.