Vytautas Magnus University, the new member of UNeECC is organising the Annual Conference titled Culture and Nature - Partners in Dialogue between 5-7 October 2022 in ECoC city Kaunas. In this article, we are introducing the university briefly.
VMU is a comprehensive university devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, research, arts and innovation, and fostering critical thinking, imaginative response as well as the desire and capacity for lifelong learning of our students who will have an impact on the world, locally and globally. VMU has a reputation as a university with a globally oriented, free-spirited, liberal mindset. The time spent at VMU is a formative step in the lives of our students, facilitating not only career opportunities but also personal growth, strength of character and a sense of self-fulfilment. Studying at VMU means obtaining an all-round education conveying core competencies and abilities such as a broader understanding of global issues and society, the capacity for problem analysis and critical thinking, a spirit of inquisitiveness enabling one to adapt to new knowledge and promoting an attitude of lifelong learning, all of which empower one to make informed judgements as an individual and act confidently as a leader.
Engagement in European Capitals of Culture environment
VMU has strong engagement in European Capitals of Culture environment. 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.
With Kaunas becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2022, the role of universities in the development of the cultural and scientific program is extremely important. Since 1922, Vytautas Magnus University has relied on the idea that a united, strong, open and critical university community is a sign of the city's cultural maturity. Its activism reveals the existing independent creative, intellectual potential and, most importantly, shows that there is a vibrant, critical, secular community and audience of artistic and cultural people in the city.
VMU, as a community with deep traditions and a sense of responsibility for the future, seeks to contribute to the reflection on and current issues in the public sphere. For this reason, Vytautas Magnus University has become the official partner of Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022 and will jointly implement projects of various scales.