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Vilnius University Is Improving its Position in the Global Rating of the QS World University Rankings

2020 04 08 VU Spring Semester380x250Today, the latest rating of the world's top universities QS World University Ranking 2021 was published, in which Vilnius University (VU) maintains its leading position. Having jumped up by 35 positions, the VU is rated 423 and has been among 500 world's top universities for five years in a row.

The VU enjoys the highest rating in the field of academic reputation. Academic reputation is determined through yearly polls of academic staff, where respondents are asked to name the best higher education establishments in the world. In addition to the academic reputation, the ratio of students and lecturers in faculties and the indicator of foreign lecturers at the university were also improving.

According to VU Rector Prof Rimvydas Petruaskas, steadily growing indicators show that the university is pursuing its goals in a determined manner - it is turning into an open, international organisation, while improving positions presuppose attraction of talents from all over the world.

'Notwithstanding that university ratings cannot be an end in themselves, however they are important for internal self-assessment and international attractiveness. If compared with the last year, our results have improved; we belong to the world's elite of universities. Improving results demonstrate the importance of purpose-oriented and consistent performance, make us visible in a positive light and enable attraction of the most-gifted Lithuanian and foreign talents', stated Prof Petrauskas.

The ratings are established by assessing universities by six criteria: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty students, international faculty and international students.

The QS World University Rankings is the biggest independent world's university rating established every year since 2004. In the last eight years, the VU went up by 178 positions in it.

VU Alumnus D. Grinvaldas: "MIF has formed a strong approach to the independent learning process"

Darius Grinvaldas is a former student of Finance and Insurance Mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (VU MIF), Vilnius University. We talked about work, studies and the financial sector with VU alumnus, who is now the head of the Risk Management Division of Danske Bank A / S in Lithuania.

2020 05 26 Darius Grinvaldas380x250Promising studies with the most talented students

“I started studying VU MIF finance and insurance mathematics in 2004. It was a really special year for Lithuania, because we became members of the EU. During that period, the rapid and very promising change and growth of the Lithuanian financial sector was already underway. Scandinavian banks and other international financial companies have started to develop and strengthen their organizations in Lithuania, and there was a significant supply of very interesting and attractive job offers,” recalls D. Grinvaldas.

According to the alumnus, not only the chosen field of science was inspiring and promising, but also the surrounding environment: “The specialty of Financial and Insurance Mathematics was almost the most popular (or one of the most popular) study programs. It was appealing to join the most talented and competitive students, who have very bright and promising prospects in the labor market” says the VU MIF alumnus.

Recalling his studies, Grinvaldas says he had very strict but precisely objective profesors. Students ’knowledge was valued with a great deal of responsibility and respect for the learning process. All were judged absolutely objectively and without any preconceptions or sympathies.

“VU MIF has formed a strong approach to the independent learning process. Learning to learn interesting and challenging subjects on your own creates an invaluable skill for a professional career, where development and change are a very natural part of everyday life,” he says.

Communication is also needed at work

As the head of the Risk Management Division of A / S in Lithuania, D. Grinvaldas says that daily work offers many different opportunities, but also poses challenges.

“I have the opportunity to be a leader for team leaders and risk management specialists who develop mathematical credit risk management models. Leadership is a continuous flow of cooperation in a large team, which requires very strong communication and teamwork skills, anticipation of the development of work situations, coordination of employees' interests and attitudes. This requires the use of emotional intelligence every day, listening very strongly and seeing the potential of employees' ideas, unleashing their creativity, encouraging them to take responsibility for the proposed solutions to tasks.

According to the VU alumnus, after university studies, he had to patiently learn these things and understand them independently: “This sometimes happened through many professional mistakes and failures. I believe that this learning is still going on process, it is a really big, but at the same time very interesting challenge, the complexity of which is incomparable with any technical credit risk task,” D. Grinvaldas shares his experience.

The connection with the university was not interrupted

Darius also maintains contact with the university, and is happy to have the opportunity to invite a group of trainees to the Danske Bank Group's risk management unit in Lithuania every year. Last summer, he had the opportunity to attend and listen to bachelor’s thesis defense presentations, which left a very positive impression.

Also, for several years in a row, Danske Bank has been the general sponsor of the Lithuanian Young Mathematicians' Meeting:

"Our organization employs a very large group of VU MIF mathematics graduates and still studying students from bachelor's to doctoral students, as well as two very cool lecturers combine work at university and a bank."

For future students, D. Grinvaldas wishes to enjoy studies, to cooperate, to be active and open to innovations.

“Try to perform as many tasks as possible during your studies, helping each other together, teaching each other and cooperating as closely as possible. I really appreciate and often repeat to my students working in the team prof. habil. dr. V. Paulauskas told us during the lecture that "You will have the whole time of your career to acquire practical knowledge and experience, but what we are trying to learn in the auditorium at the moment, you will not have the opportunity to learn so easily," says VU alumnus D. Grinvaldas.

Vilnius University tops the list of Lithuanian higher education institutions

2020 05 06 VU380x250Vilnius University (VU) is the top university in Lithuania, according to the Lithuanian university rating announced for the seventh year in a row. In the ranking of the country’s higher education institutions, compiled by the magazine Reitingai, this year VU scored 64.09 points out of a total 100. VU is highest rated in the areas of academic achievement and study. VU attracts the largest number of the most gifted school leavers in Lithuania.

Among the country’s other higher education institutions VU leads in the category of science, with scientific publications in the fields of natural and social sciences rated the best.

VU also leads in terms of study quality indicators. It has the largest number of the most gifted students and the largest number of doctoral fields and places in Lithuania.

VU graduates enjoy the biggest demand in the labour market, according to a survey of employers in which more than a thousand employers were asked whether the knowledge of graduates meets the needs of their companies and how successful graduates are in finding employment after graduation. Their employability rate was one of the highest among all graduates in Lithuania who graduated in 2019.

VU students say they are involved in the study quality assurance processes and they are satisfied with their study environment, the competencies and proficiency of their teachers. Therefore, the dropout rate of VU students is one of the lowest compared to other universities. Moreover, VU students most likely have the greatest opportunities to go to study to other universities in the world through the Erasmus academic exchange program.

The new rector of VU Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas points out that VU, as a leading higher education institution, has a responsibility to attract and retain the best Lithuanian and foreign students, talented researchers, and ensure that the most brilliant minds come to study and work at VU.

“VU strives for the consistent development of sustainable internationality, by attracting skilled international students to quality study programs. I see VU as going beyond the level of the national university, strengthening the areas where VU is strong, and every year investing in the quality of studies, professional staff and accumulating high-level research potential,” says the VU rector speaking about his aspirations.

In the ranking of Lithuanian higher education institutions, universities are annually rated according to 48 different parameters, which are divided into 6 major criteria: scientificity and highest achievements of academic staff, added value created by graduates and employer evaluations, students and studies, current and future academic staff, international competition and students’ approach to their university.

Erasmus+ student: I got a chance to learn from the best in the field

2020 05 12 Erasmus380x250Sergey is Economics and Mathematics bachelor student from American University in Bulgaria. He chose to study in Vilnius University (VU), Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. We talked with him about studies, Vilnius city and study experience.

What have you enjoyed most about studying at MIF?

The variety of courses offered during my exchange semester was really fascinating. I got a chance to complement my studies at home university with courses that were of great interest to me yet were not available at home university. I took the Financial Mathematics as well as the Risk Management courses that introduced me to the field of quantitative finance. This experience completely changed my perspective on what I want to study in the graduate school.

What is your opinion about the teachers at MIF?

In fact, both of the courses I took at MIF were taught by the same professor – dr. Martynas Manstavičius. All material was presented in a rigorous and professional manner. Also, the professor was always available for consultation both online and at his office. At the end of the course, he advised me on my future career path and proposed some tentative topics for my research.

What’s it like studying in Vilnius?

Vilnius is a student-friendly city with convenient public transportation and an abundance of landmarks to see. It offers a variety of places to go out, ranging from cute little cafes where you can enjoy your reading to fascinating restaurants with wonderful meals. The university also provides a lot of facilities for students, including its state-of-the-art library and gym. On the weekends, I really liked just walking around the city, enjoying its fabulous architecture.

What do you consider are the most important aspects of your experience?

The most important aspect of my experience was definitely the cultural diversity that I was exposed to during my exchange. I made plenty of friends that came from different countries around Europe and I still keep in touch with most of them, even today. Apart from that, the quality of education at Vilnius University made my stay enjoyable as I got a chance to learn from the best in the field.

Would you recommend Erasmus+ exchange in Lithuanian to your friends? Why?

I would recommend Erasmus exchange to my friends, because it is a great chance to broaden your horizon and meet new people. Besides, it is once-in-a-lifetime experience that can enrich your studies by offering courses that are not available at your home university. After all, although I believe that Erasmus exchange is a unique experience for everybody, one’s life will definitely never be the same after you decide to go on this journey.

 

The Spring Semester at VU Is Carried out Remotely

2020 04 08 VU Spring Semester380x250In order to complete this semester properly and as efficiently as possible, the Senate of Vilnius University (VU) has decided to carry out all study activities at VU remotely until the end of the spring semester.

Representatives of the study programme committees or the administration of the core academic units will inform you about all specific changes in the near future.

Also, from now on, all the relevant information regarding the ever-changing situation will be provided and constantly updated in the special section of the VU website, including information gathered and structured for lecturers on what to keep in mind when shifting to remote learning, what tools are recommended to be used, dates of upcoming training sessions and other useful material. Students will also find the information concerning not only remote work systems and VU Library resources but also relating to various support opportunities or remote work ethics.

Decision on remote-work-related restrictions will follow soon, taking into account the threat of the spread of COVID-19 and the related decisions by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

Vilnius University Foundation is starting a fundraising campaign “Residents, we’re here for you!”

2020 03 30 Rezidentai ENG 380x250As a response to the extraordinary situation brought by the global coronavirus pandemic the Vilnius University Foundation is starting a fundraising campaign “Residents, we’re here for you!”. The goal is to raise money for additional protective medical equipment for the resident physicians of Vilnius University’s Faculty of Medicine. During the coronavirus pandemic due to the shortage most of the residents working with infected patients don't have the proper protective equipment.

Vilnius University Foundation has dedicated the initial 5000 Eur. The first protective supplies (respirators, medical face masks, gloves and clothing) should reach the residents this week.

“The resident physicians at the Faculty of Medicine combating the spread of the coronavirus are currently the University’s weakest link, therefore we must pay special attention to them. By doing their job they are helping the sick, saving lives and risking their own health. Let’s not stay indifferent!” - Prof. Dr. Algirdas Utkus, the Dean of the VU Faculty of Medicine encouraging everyone to partake in the campaign.

You can contribute to the support for the resident physicians by donating online [vuf.lt/en/residents] or by transferring funds directly to a dedicated account. “It’s a chance for the Vilnius University community to prove their unity in the face of this health crisis” - said Justinas Noreika, the Director of Vilnius University Foundation.

VU Faculty of Medicine has a total of 828 residents, 721 of which work in Lithuanian health institutions: 707 in Vilnius, 9 in Klaipėda, 3 in Šiauliai, one each in Panevėžys and Utena. To date there is one confirmed coronavirus case among the group – an expecting resident physician at the Santara clinics.

“Residents are in dire need of protective supplies. Tens of my colleagues went into self-isolation after being exposed to infected patients. The number of working doctors is declining and each of us has to cover an increasing number of patients. The units fighting the infection directly are particularly strained – all specialty residents are being asked to help there and everyone has stopped counting overtime” - Laimonas Uščinas, the Residents council chairman at the VU Faculty of Medicine overviewed the situation.

Vilnius University Foundation invites everyone to support our community members working at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis.

Support online: www.vuf.lt/en/residents

Support by bank transfer:

Recipient: Paramos fondas Vilniaus universiteto fondas
Address: Universiteto g. 3, 01513 Vilnius, Lietuva
Bank account: LT 45 7300 0101 6203 9589
Bank: Swedbank, AB. Swift code: HABALT22
Payment purpose: Rezidentams

Vilnius University Takes Action in the Wake of Covid-19 Outbreak Worldwide

2020 03 13 VU pranesimas380x250

We would like to inform you that while the threat of the COVID-19 infection remains, the University, in line with the decisions made by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, has decided to extend the deadline for conducting studies and work remotely via on-line measures for 2 more weeks until the midnight of 13 April with a possibility to extend this deadline as well if needed.

Restrictions on accessing University’s infrastructure remain the same.

We remind you that we’ve also created a F.A.Q. section on our website: https://www.vu.lt/en/news/preventive-information-regarding-the-infections-caused-by-coronavirus

Students and employees should study remotely via on-line platforms - lectures and seminars will not take place at the University's buildings. VU employees should also work remotely. If there is no possibility to work at home, follow all recommended hygiene requirements.

Work at laboratories should happen only in the case of a huge material or scientific damage if cancelled. In addition, all planned work trips to foreign countries will be cancelled. Please be cautious and do not plan trips to China, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, Japan and other possible areas of the outbreak.

Trips of extreme importance will only be allowed with the permission of the head of faculty/department. If you have recently come back from such a trip, a quarantine of 14 days is mandatory.

Students coming back from ERASMUS+ should quarantine themselves safely at places without shared spaces; therefore, dormitories are unsuitable to quarantine yourselves.

The library's working hours will also change. Libraries will be open on weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm, both in the Central Library, the Scholarly Communication and Information Centre (SCIC) and the faculties. Libraries will not work on weekends. Students will not be allowed to work in the library and students will not have access to the reading rooms. Books will be issued, but only after the list of required books has been provided. Working rooms' reservations will be cancelled.

All events during this period should be postponed, held on-line or, if that is not possible, cancelled.

If you have any questions, University’s Department of Communications and Marketing coordinates communication. Please do not hesitate to contact via email 

RESEARCH: Artificial intelligence and abnormal movement detection in marine traffic

2020 01 28 laivu judejimas380x250The maritime industry is an important part of the global trade system with a growing volume, intensity, and needs. Increasing intensity of maritime traffic raises the need for incident prevention-oriented traffic control.

The maritime anomaly or abnormal movement detection is one of the control techniques. It is based on vessel trajectory analysis and search of irregular, illegal, and other anomalous appearances in trajectory data. A maritime trajectory can include vessel identification data, traffic parameters (e.g. speed and rotation), auxiliary data (e.g., meteorological data) for a vessel, and such dataset presents a large-scale, complex data structure. Nowadays, machine learning-based data analysis and mining techniques is a natural choice for this type of task: the obtained structure of data, the extracted information, detected data regularities could help to estimate vessel movement and make some safety decision, to enable the automatic anomaly detection even. Researches in this field are conducted jointly with the University of Klaipeda by scientists VU Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies – Julius Venskus, Povilas Treigys, Jolita Bernatavičienė, Gintautas Tamulevičius, Viktor Medvedev). Algorithms of deep learning neural networks for analysis and processing of sensor traffic data, classification of marine traffic data and detection of unusual traffic are being developed here.

The research is multi-disciplinary and addresses problems related to the analysis of big data, detection of anomalies, retraining of neural networks, processing of sensory data. The results obtained are very useful for solving applied research tasks, contributing to the detection of abnormal ship movement in heavy traffic areas using neural networks.

The results of the research were presented at the international conferences ITISE 2019 (Granada, Spain) and CDAM 2019 (Minsk, Belarus) and published in the journals indexed by the Science Citation Index Expanded (Clarivate Analytics Web of Science): Informatica and Sensors (Q1).

Read more about research here:

Real-Time Maritime Traffic Anomaly Detection Based on Sensors and History Data Embedding

Integration of a Self-Organizing Map and a Virtual Pheromone for Real-Time Abnormal Movement Detection in Marine Traffic.

 

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