According to “Kauno Diena”, the next 10 years will see the number of state funded universities decrease from seven to four or five in Vilnius, and from five to three or four in Kaunas, delfi.lt reported on 4 October.
An expert group formed by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius finished its work half a year ago. It was supposed to create proposals on how to optimize the network of state-funded universities in Lithuania`s two major cities. However, the results remain hidden from the public.
On Monday, the minister of education and science, Gintaras Steponavicius, Nerija Putinaite, who lead the expert group and some of the group’s members visited the leader of the Seimas and presented him with the confirmed findings. This meeting was said to have been the unofficial conference, but it was decided not to make any conclusions public, especially because, according to G. Steponavicius, “it is quite a sensitive topic.”
According to the minister, the conclusions should be amended this week and sent over to the Seimas` Education, Science and Culture Committees. The minister`s people also refuse to share which ideas concerning the reorganization of universities were presented to A. Kubilius and what he thought about them.
One of the possible reforms of the university network would be to connect the Vilnius Pedagogical University (Lithuanian University of Education, as of this year) and Mykolas Romeris University. Also, the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy might become a single University of the Fine Arts. Alternatively, the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts might be connected to Vilnius University, which would create an Arts Department.