bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 27.09.2016 | Name days: Ilgonis, Ādolfs
LithuaniaLithuania

Fewer students and scarcer degree programmes in Lithuanian universities

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+2 of 2)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Fewer applicants, fewer admissions and therefore scarcer study programmes this year, but the number of Lithuania’s high schools – colleges and universities- remains at a record-high number, 47.

Although some of them are languishing and their graduates queue up at local labour exchanges after finishing them, the situation, however, does not deter many wannabe lawyers, engineers and beauty specialists from pursuing a high school diploma.

This summer, Lithuanian colleges and universities have received 29,766 applications, compared to 33,198 last year.

Out of the number, nearly 25,000 young persons have been invited by the country’s Association of High Schools for General Admission Organizing (LAMA BPO) to pursue the dream, but the association says admission numbers are on decline. Last year, they stood at three percent higher.

Out of the admitted, 14,146 new students have secured study stipends in state-supported study programmes. The number was three percent higher last year, at 14,516.

The largest drop in the new student admissions this year is observed in studies that are not supported by state- from 12,443 students in 2015 down 14 percent to 10,685 students this year.

Among the degree programmes that received the biggest attention this year was IT programming at Kaunas University of Technology, which invited 403 students for the specialty. The runner-up on the list is medicine at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences with 308 freshmen set to start a new life. Then goes law at Vilnius University which admitted 246 students and economy at the same Alma Mater with 214 freshmen waiting September 1.

Among the country’s colleges No1 according the popularity is Kaunas Technical College which specialty of auto technical exploitation on top, notching up 186 new students. A little behind in the popularity was specialty of general nursing at Vilnius College which saw 171 new students.

But characteristically to the year’s admission, out of 837 degree programmes offered, a whopping 82 have not garnered very little or zero attention from high education seekers. As a result, they were cancelled and their future remains dim.

«The fact that a tenth of the programmes have been ignored shows that their supply in Lithuania is too big. The schools should be more flexible,» Pranas Žiliukas, the LAMA BPO president, told Lithuanian media.

In his words, the same degree programme can sometimes attract more attention in one university but lack popularity in another.

Although Lithuania has been plagued by one of the largest emigration in the European Union and therefore the shrink of population, but the percentage of young people seeking high school admissions stays the same and is proportional to the population.

«To say that a lot of the young people nowadays opt for studies abroad than in Lithuania would not be quite right,» the president said.

Interestingly, the popularity of social sciences is waning, he notes, and the attractiveness of IT and natural sciences is rising.

Education experts attribute the trend to the fact that IT adepts are on high demand throughout the industries and that a large army of social science graduates struggle to find a suitable job after the graduation.

When it comes to particular universities, Mykolas Romeris University, for example, sees falling popularity in its educational sciences and the school therefore was forced to shut down some of the unpopular programmes.

«For example, we fail to fill up slots for sociology studies for several subsequent years. This year has not been an exception to the rule. We will have to take it off from the curriculum,» Saulius Bugailiškis, the LAMA BPO secretary in charge and a head of a department at the University, says.

In his words, the University intends to scrap all the programmes that fail to attract 15 students at least.

«Law lets us run them with at least eight students in a single group, but it does not pay off,» the educator says.

Addressing the shortage of students, Mykolas Romeris University cut eight degree programmes, as many as Klaipeda University. Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences University and Siauliai University shut down six study programmes each.

Among the discarded specialties are sustainable farming, innovative farming management and village expansion management at Aleksandras Stulginskis University, environment engineering, sport dances (?), puppet and theatrical decoration directing (?) at Klaipėda University.

That some of the programmes fail to get the students’ attention is a «signal» that the University has to get rid of them for good.

«Their unattractiveness stems from several reasons. First, some of the programmes are rather related. For example, specialty of choreography has pushed out the programme of sport dances at our university. Second, the state policies when certain study programmes are put above the others plays a role, too,» Kęstutis Dučinskas, vice-rector of Klaipėda University, told local media.

Meanwhile, thousands of high school graduates unable to find a job they want lined up at labour exchange for unemployment benefits. But the harsh reality is that the skills they have obtained can be little, if at all, used by the employers.

By the end of July, around 3,000 high school graduates have lodged in their papers to claim the allowance.

Labour exchange specialists say that graduates with the degrees in social work, public administration, and economy face most difficulties in finding job.

Albeit Lithuanian education policy-makers spur youth to seek know-how and skills at vocational training schools, but even droves of new cooks, car mechanics, plasterers, hairdressers, barbers and book keepers struggled with employment after the school finishing.

According to statistics, only around 75 percent of all high school graduates and 68 percent of vocational school graduates succeed in finding job within the field of the studies.

«However, not all of the graduates hurry to open the doors of local labour exchanges. Some of them are lucky to find a job they want while studying, others, meanwhile, want to rest and set out on a trip after leaving their Alma Mater.  Part of them wants to go on with the studies. The motifs are very different,» Milda Jankauskienė, a representative of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, pointed out.

Graduates of law, social work, public administration and economy are its most frequent visitors.

Most of the jobless graduates are in the largest cities, where the high schools are. But when it comes to being hired their shortcoming is zero work experience.

«Indeed, inexperience is essential in the case. It’s natural that young people do not have it or have it insufficiently. Therefore their job prospects are not always good and those who land a job in their field are not usually offered the same conditions as more experienced specialists,» Tomas Toleikis, head of CVbankas, an online job database pointed out to lrytas.lt

However, the attitude towards young specialists is better in the fields where the shortage of workers is especially tangible.

«Like in the IT sector,» says Toleikis. «In it, the potential employers start luring the brightest students with them yet at school. This could be also said of employers in the fields of financing and technologies,» he says.

CVbankas.lt has registered about 10,000 of this year’s graduates.  When it comes to the fresh workforce’s desired pay, those with no work experience agree to start from a mere 400 euro after the deduction of taxes during the tryout period and want roughly 550 euro after it.

Those with some practical skills agree to start off with a salary of 500 euro during the tryout period and want to receive 670-700 after it is over.

But Robertas Dargis, the president of Lithuania’s Industrialists Confederation, insists that success in the labour market is not about the diploma.

«In a 2014 survey, 70 students pointed out that a high school diploma will guarantee them a workplace and a good wage. But only 20 percent of the surveyed employers pointed out that they care about the diplomas when hiring,» Dargis underlined.

In his words, many employers are willing to try out young job seekers, but if the potential worker lacks diligence no diploma will help secure the job.

Approached by BNN, Mindaugas Skritulskas, director of Klaipeda Territorial Labour Exchange in the port of Klaipėda, pointed out that young people, besides shortage of required skills, tend to lack proper attitude and responsibility.

«We can speak of a generational thing here. Those born in the 1980s and later do not see a permanent job and subordination at work as values any more. Young people nowadays tend to experiment and juggle many different occupations until they settle in their lives,» Skritulskas said.

Asked if local Klaipeda University responds to local employers’ needs promptly, he replied that there is often a gap in the city between what the school offers and what the employers need.

«Characteristically to all Lithuanian high schools, some of the programmes have been intact for years and the schools struggle to attract educated and inspiring young teachers. This is a big problem for all Lithuania and solution has not been here yet,» he emphasised.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.3525


Leave a reply

August’s construction costs declined by 0.4% in Latvia

Compared to July, the level of construction costs in Latvia dropped by 0.4% in August 2016. Prices of building materials decreased by 0.8%, maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment reduced by 0.1%, whereas labour remuneration of workers did not witness any significant changes.

One-third of state institutions to not have to report data on employees’ remuneration

On Tuesday, 27 September, the Latvian government accepted amendments to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Self-government Authorities that relieve 233 state institutions from the duty to report information about remuneration of their employees.

Trial of two Russian 'observers' arrested at Adazi military base put off until 2017

On 27 September, Riga District Court decided to put off the viewing of the criminal case regarding the incident at Adazi military base involving two Russian citizens until 24 July 2017.

Valka expects even more alcohol buyers from Estonia next year

Because Estonia plans to raise excise tax for alcohol in January 2017, the number of alcohol buyers from the neighbouring country is expected to increase in Latvia’s border area stores, as predicted by Mayor of Valka Vents Armands Krauklis.

Study: Third of adults look into their phones at night

A study performed in the UK on addiction to smartphones found that a third of its adult population look into their devices at night, which often causes quarrels with their other halves.

Baltics and Iceland agree on strengthening mutual cooperation

Celebrating 25 years since the foundation of diplomatic relations between Iceland and Baltics, Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics visited Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik on 26 September to discuss regional news and international relations with ministers from Iceland, Estonia and Lithuania.

Rimsevics: Latvia should prepare for future crises

Latvia should prepare for future crises, which will take place, said Governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmars Rimsevics in his interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Expert: average tourist in Latvia – German citizen of pension age

27 September is celebrated around the world as Tourism Day. This day marks the end of the tourism season in the northern latitudes and the beginning of the season for southern latitudes. For this event, Tourism Research Centre’s manager Eriks Lingeberzins explains the topical tourism trends and what has changed under influence of terrorism.

Former head of IMF tried for alleged credit card racket

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo Rato has stood before trial in Spain on September 26 over allegations that he and 64 other bankers have been involved in credit card racket at Bankia bank, which has been rescued at public expense.

Strong sides of Latvia’s start-up sector – financial and virtual technologies

Latvia’s start-up sector has attracted investments worth at least EUR 110 million, notes Chairperson of Latvian Start-up Association Yekaterina Novicka.

Unity: FM threatens to ruin single compensation system principles

Finance Ministry’s prepared amendments to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Self-government Authorities that provide for refusal of keeping compensation records for state and municipal capital association officials will negatively influence the principles of the single compensation system, as noted by Unity.

EU states to look into options to improve Russia relations, leaving sanctions in place

European Union heads of state and government are to consider ways to improve relations with Russia as some member states are increasingly sceptical over official- and company-specific sanctions.

Reizniece-Ozola and Dombrovskis: Latvia should be among Eurozone’s strongest countries

«Opinions of EU member states about the future integration of the Economic and Monetary Union differ. Bu the only difference lies in views about tactics, not the strategy and commitment for future changes. A stable Eurozone is a guarantee against economic shocks,» – announced Latvian Finance minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola on Monday, 26 September.

Tallinn to develop the town centre; Vilnius and Riga – to reduce congestion

Baltic capitals have different town development strategies: Tallinn intends to focus on renovation and development of the city centre. Vilnius and Riga, however, consider realizing development projects outside of the city centre, as told on Monday, 26 September, by head architects of the three Baltic Capitals.

Experts: Russia may turn against opposition even harder

The recent State Duma elections in Russia concluded with United Russia crushing the opposition in terms of popularity. Experts interviewed by De Facto programme of LTV believe the consequences will be even worse for the opposition – stricter policy against differently-minded people and fractured society.

In pictures: Mass anti-government protest in Poland

A mass demonstration took place in Warsaw over the weekend, as thousands of people demanded Poland’s right-wing government to improve its conduct as, according to protesters, it has acted against the constitution and laws.

Struggle of Estonian presidential election to be continued

Another round of the current Estonian presidential election has produced no result, as a special electoral college on September 24 failed to give clear backing to either of the candidates.

Loss of classified documents to be commented once Strelchenok returns from sick leave

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau will provide an explanation about the disappearance of classified documents once Yaroslav Strelchenok, the current head of KNAB, returns from sick leave, as BNN was informed by KNAB.

VNT awarded for its contribution to development of cycling culture in Latvia

For the second consecutive year, Ventspils nafta terminals has received a prize in the Cyclist-friendly contest organized by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry and the European Commission.

Latvenergo considers entering the gas market

Latvijas Gaze continues limiting the interests of other gas traders by not allowing them to access Incukalns gas storage facility. Previously the monopolist denied doing that. The excuse mentioned then was that there was no room in the storage facility. The gas monopolist continued making life harder for others even after major amendments to the law were added.

EC considers EU-Canada trade deal done and non-negotiable

The European Commission has stated that there will be no new talks on the disputed EU-Canada free trade deal CETA, even though many Europeans are against it.

Expert: bogs and narrow roads make Latvia easily-defensible

Latvia and Baltic States in general are perfect for military defence, believes Potomac Foundation president Philip Karber. He is a teacher at Georgetown University and a hired military consultant for Latvian Defence Ministry.

U.S. blames Russia for barbaric attacks in Syria

In relation to the bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo during ceasefire, the U.S. ambassador to the UN has accused Russia of barbaric actions.

Week in Lithuania. Street plaque in Yiddish, Hebrew languages unveiled in Vilnius

A street sign in Yiddish and Hebrew languages was unveiled on Žydų gatvė in the heart of the historic Jewish quarter in Vilnius on Tuesday, September 20.

Economic Diary of Latvia. About strong women in power

This week, members of the Saeima unexpectedly declined amendments that provided for the merging of finance and customs police of the State Revenue Service. After hearing out deputies, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola decided not to give up.