VMU Now and Before
Established in 1922 (re-established in 1989) and ranked as the TOP 700 university in the world (QS World University Rankings), Vytautas Magnus University is one of the most liberal and modern academic institutions in Lithuania, boasting an exciting history, nurturing and continuing deep-rooted traditions, playing a leading role in not just Lithuanian, but also the entire Baltic and European intellectual and cultural sphere. The academic community of VMU is united by the idea of artes liberales, i.e. the classical university of liberal arts. Warm, honest interaction and liberal humanist spirit always follow and provide strength to the community.
Liberal Arts University
What sets this university apart is its willingness to organize studies, scientific research and life of the community in a different way. Classical liberal arts universities are the labs of modern life, educating bold young people who are not afraid to experiment and are on their way to becoming professional contributors to their own country’s future. A classical university is not governed by pragmatic matters. Formulas do not apply here. This is the space for young people to develop critical thinking and become more open-minded. This is where the country’s future is built. Such is the Vytautas Magnus University of today. Learn more
Maintaining the Traditions
The history of Vytautas Magnus University is traced back to 1922, when the Program of Higher Studies was reorganized and a new school was founded under the name of the University of Lithuania.
When in 1919 Lithuania lost its historical capital Vilnius, it fell upon the second-largest city Kaunas to serve as the provisional capital and the country‘s political, economic and cultural center for the next twenty years. Likewise, this university was the only higher education school in Lithuania at the time and became a vitally important breeding ground for cultural, scientific and modern national ideas. In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death of ancient Lithuania‘s most popular leader Grand Duke Vytautas the Great, the University of Lithuania was renamed Vytautas Magnus University in 1930.
In 1950, the university was shut down by the Soviet government, but its academic tradition was kept alive by the emigrants for long years until restoration of independence. In 1989, the university was re-established thanks to the collective efforts of Lithuanian and emigrant scientists.
VMU is actively implementing the goals set by local and foreign intellectuals who founded the university. Learn more
Honouring the Erudites
Since the establishment of the university in 1922, almost 80 distinguished people have been awarded the Honorary Doctor’s or Honorary Professor’s degrees. Honorary titles have been granted to the Presidents, Signatories of the Independence Act, public intellectuals, political scientists, internationally acclaimed poets, archaeologists, VMU community members, Lithuanian and world-famous intellectuals. Learn more
International and Multilingual
Vytautas Magnus University devotes special attention to international activities. Their beginnings are traced back to the lectures held at VMU by the members of the Lithuanian Diaspora, who nurtured thoughts of intellectual and cultural rebirth in 1989. Today VMU is collaborating with many universities and scientists around the world, carrying out projects, student and staff exchange, constantly improving the system of studying and research.
VMU is a member of the most important European associations and international organisations of higher education and research, such as the European University Association, the European Association for International Education, the Baltic Sea Region University Network and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. University faculties also communicate with international organizations and are granted memberships in them.
The university has also signed over 120 bilateral collaborative agreements with universities in 40 countries in Europe, Asia, South and North America. VMU frequently holds various international summer schools.
Vytautas Magnus University, re-established under the joint effort of Lithuanian and the Diaspora scientists two decades ago, is striving to become an academic centre for all Lithuanians in the world. The university project Lithuanian Diaspora Academy unites the Lithuanian Diaspora, fosters cooperation among Lithuanian emigrants and local Lithuanian scientists and students in academic projects, and attracts everyone who is interested in Lithuania and its culture. Learn more
Setting Your Imagination Free
Vytautas Magnus University is known for offering wide-spanning general university education and not just awarding the graduates with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees but also raising active members of the society able to think independently and creatively. Many VMU alumni do not shy away from learning and improving for all of their lives.
The university follows liberal study policy, which lets students themselves plan their studies, decided when and what subjects to take, they also have the possibility to move from one study programme to another and change the form of studies. Alongside a Bachelor’s degree diploma of their major specialty, VMU graduates can also get a certificate of minor studies and later apply for Master’s degree programme of another study field. Learn more
Experienced in Research
Vytautas Magnus University scientists have accumulated solid experience in international scientific research and project management. They hold memberships of national and international professional associations of diverse scientific areas and fields. Publications in the scientific press of Lithuania and foreign countries are frequently announced.
For their participation in scientific research, experimental development, achievements and merits, several dozens of VMU scientists have receivedn noteworthy awards and prizes, including National Science Award and the Lithuanian National Prize. Learn more
Promoting Arts and Creativity
VMU art spaces are cultural hot spots of the city. Important annual cultural events and festivals of Kaunas take place here, such as the already 20 years old International Kaunas Jazz Festival and the International Festival of Modern Dance. Furthermore, various cultural, educational and social activities in Kaunas find their home here, together with educational projects and exhibitions presenting the cultural and historical context of art. Fans of non-commercial cinema gather at VMU as well. University faculties and divisions have several hundreds of student volunteers who enthusiastically assist in the events held by VMU’s partners: Kaunas International Film Festival, Kaunas Dance Theatre AURA, etc.
Most of the events organized by or at VMU are open to the general public – all culture-conscious residents and guests of Kaunas are welcomed by the VMU community. Learn more