- July 27, 2011
Polish Studies in Lithuania in Danger of Disappearing.
The results of the first phase of university enrolment has shown that students did not apply for 67 academic courses at Lithuanian universities. This year, among these unfortunate courses was also the Polish studies course at Vilnius Pedagogical University.
This year, during the first phase of enrolment, no one signed up for the Polish studies course at VPU. Polish studies has been striving to survive since the previous academic year, when only four persons signed up for the course. In accordance with the requirements, a course group can be formed with at least eight students, however, last year, the Polish studies were maintained at the University.
Today, the Polish studies which boasts a glorious 50-year-long tradition at the Vilnius Pedagogical University, and has survived different periods in the history of Lithuania, can only be preserved during the additional enrolment, which will be held on 5-8, August.
According to dr Romuald Naruniec, the Deputy Dean of the Department of Slavonic Studies at the Vilnius Pedagogical University, also the state policy on the Polish minority has its impact on the decreasing popularity of the Polish studies.
Associate professor, dr Romuald Naruniec, in his interview for „Kurier” bristles: “State policy has done its job. The pervasive campaign against the Poles and the new education Act destroy the Polish education from its basis. The Polish language teacher is the mainstay of the Polish school. If there are no Polish teachers, Polish schools will disappear. Our government takes small steps towards this goal. It appears that, for example, the Iranian language is more needed in Lithuania than Polish.”
Also the graduate studies in Polish are not very popular this year. Only two students have taken it, while four baskets have been allocated for it this year by the state.
As the Dean of the Philology Department of the VLO, professor Gintautas Kundrotas informed, the tendency for the decrease in the number of applicants can be observed in all the philology courses. Only the German studies enjoyed bigger popularity this year, which, as professor supposes, was probably the result of the opening of the labour market by Germany in May this year.
“Even the English Studies’ popularity declined. We hardly managed to start a group for Russian studies course,” – Kundrotas stressed.
As far as general trends are concerned, although each year the number of recent secondary-school graduates is declining, this year the universities have been besieged with candidates.
Lengvenienė Lina, the spokesperson of the Lithuanian Association of Universities for General Enrolment, presented this year’s statistics for our newspaper: ”This year, over 44 thousand people registered in the national enrolment system. 37.896 candidates qualified. It is 2.619 thousand more than last year. 26.577 of all the candidates are this year’s secondary school graduates. 30.774 candidates have been admitted to universities. Amongst them, 18.380 places are state-funded.”
There was no single application for 67 academic degree courses at universities and colleges. Most of them at the West Lithuania Business College, the Marijampole College, the Šiauliai University and at the Vilnius Pedagogical University.
The Ministry of Education and Science informs that for years the leaders have been: the Vilnius University, the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, the Kaunas University of Technology and the Vytautas Magnus University.
Majority of baskets have been allocated to the Economics, Medicine and Law departments at universities. As far as courses at colleges are concerned, majority of baskets have been allocated to Visual Communication, Technical Operation of Motor Vehicles, Forest Management, Accounting and Shipping Management.
The candidates most often enroll on social sciences courses, while the technical fields of study continue to be least popular among them.
As the Deputy Minister of Education, Nerija Putinaitė informed, this year, already during the first stage of the enrolment, all the baskets at universities were allocated, meanwhile, at colleges the only artistic subject for which there are still funds is Dance Studies. Last year, after the first stage of enrolment, there were still hundreds of state-funded places in colleges left. Therefore, this year, during the second phase of the enrolment and during the additional enrolment, there will be less state-funded places at universities offered, in comparison to previous years.
“What will the second phase of enrolment look like, depends on how many future students sign contracts with universities. Those who are currently applying for the studies have been given two options – they can choose either a state-funded or a paid place. It is possible that some of them will opt for the paid one but also more appealing to them studies, and give up the government-funded ones,” Putinaitė said.
The second phase of the general enrolment finishes on July 30. If there are still free state-funded places at universities, the additional enrolment will be held on August 5-8. Only the candidates who have registered in the enrolment system this year will be eligible to participate in the additional enrolment. However, they will have to fill in the application forms once again.
44 state and private universities (21 universities and 23 colleges) participate in this year’s nationwide enrolment.
Opening of a New Branch of the University of Bialystok
This year, after four years of waiting, also the new branch of the University of Bialystok in Vilnius participates in the nationwide enrolment.
This year, the state plans to fund almost 19 thousand places for first-year students: 9.7 thousand university places and 9.2 thousand college places. Others may choose paid studies.
Tłumaczenie Eliza Łuszczewska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu Translated by Eliza Łuszczewska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu
Korekta Magdalena Jez w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu Corrected by Magdalena Jez, as a part of vocational training in the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu