VMU signs Memorandum of Understanding with Mariupol University

During the meeting of the Rectorate of VMU on 4 May, The Rector of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) Prof. Juozas Augutis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Rector of Mariupol State University (MSU) (Ukraine) Prof. Mykola Trofymenko. With this memorandum, universities undertake to carry out joint study programmes, including double diplomas, to develop international projects, to share scientific material and good academic experience, to conduct bilateral exchanges of academic staff and students.

MSU Rector Prof. M. Trofymenko, who participated remotely in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with VMU, thanked the Rector of VMU and the university community for their expressed willingness to cooperate with this Ukrainian higher education institution. “I am very happy that today we will officially give meaning to our cooperation. I hope this will be a great start to something new. You know exactly what is happening in our country and city. After weeks of hellish siege of Mariupol, our colleagues and students finally have the opportunity to evacuate a city that has been completely destroyed. Currently, our university is located in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. We are grateful that you have agreed to cooperate, build new connections and participate in projects in the future. You were the first to contact the representatives of our higher education institution as soon as the war started, to take care of how your colleagues were doing here in Ukraine, with whom you worked on joint international projects,” the rector of Mariupol State University expressed his gratitude to VMU.

Prof. M. Trofymenko stressed that this Memorandum of Understanding with VMU will contribute to the restoration of Mariupol State University in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, where the university’s academic community is currently concentrated. “Here in Kyiv, we will have to rebuild our university anew based on the best international examples, such as VMU, one of the best universities in Lithuania and Europe. I’ve been to Kaunas before. At your university, I was particularly impressed by the platforms and practices used for distance learning. I believe that this MoU will be the beginning of many new and productive projects. Thank you for your help and support for Ukraine. I hope that this cooperation will contribute to our country’s victory in the war against Russia at the information and educational level,” prof. M. Trofymenko thanked.

MSU Vice-Rector Prof. Olena Pavlenko also participated in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at the meeting remotely, together with Rector Prof. M. Trofymenko, who thanked VMU for the continued cooperation between VMU and MSU, which started back in 2017, and the attention our university paid to their university at this difficult time.

MSU is a valued partner of VMU Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy, with which the faculty carried out a project Rethinking Regional Studies: the Baltic-Black Sea Connection. “Working together with Mariupol State University has created great scientific potential for further work. At the beginning of the war in Ukraine, I was very concerned about the situation of my colleagues in Mariupol. Although the hostilities in Ukraine, and especially in their city, paralyzed the normal life of the citizens, they were surprisingly quick to show their strength and dedication to work and to resume the work of the university on April 18, at a distance from Kyiv. These are people, patriots of their city, country, university, with whom it is an honor to work with”  says the Vice dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy Aistė Žemaitytė.

At the time of signing the agreement, VMU Rector Prof. J. Augutis also expressed his support for Ukraine, which is fighting against the Russian occupiers and defending the sovereignty of the whole of Europe. “It is an honor to sign such a document. I think this is a great start to the collaboration between our universities. We have many plans for the future. Be brave and good luck,” the VMU Rector wished his colleagues in Ukraine.

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