Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry seeks to revitalise systematic cooperation with Lithuanian universities
On 12 July, the Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Inga Černiuk and the Rector of Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Prof. Dr. Inga Žalėnienė signed a cooperation agreement between the Foreign Ministry and the MRU.
The aim of the agreement is to expand and intensify links between academic institutions and the Foreign Ministry. During a virtual meeting in spring, the Ministry’s leadership presented a new initiative to the rectors of Lithuanian universities aimed at revitalisin and strengthening systematic cooperation.
“Our systematic cooperation can and must contribute more to the formulation of Lithuania's foreign policy priorities and to the circulation of knowledge in the academic and public spaces. The Foreign Ministry is open to new projects and ideas, and is ready to cooperate,” said Černiuk.
“We promote sustainable inter-institutional cooperation. This initiative will involve teachers and researchers even more. We will provide recommendations and insights to the Foreign Ministry, cooperate in improving the existing ones, building new study programmes, organising student internships, mentoring, and transferring the acquired knowledge across work contexts. Hopefully, this partnership will be mutually beneficial, will spark collaboration in joint projects and will have a positive impact on the well-being of the state,” says the Rector of the MRU.
Joint projects of the Foreign Ministry and universities have already contributed to the circulation of knowledge and helped us take a deeper look at foreign policy priorities. Examples of mutually beneficial cooperation also include student practice, long-term exhibitions, expert insights, master’s competitions, and large-scale historical research.
Some of the long-tested forms of cooperation remain attractive not only to the Foreign Ministry, but also to universities and students. But they are acquiring new elements. This year, student practice placements will not be limited only to the traditional Political or Regional Departments. For example, the Finance Department would welcome students of finance, economics and accounting. Another new initiative to promote peer-to-peer cooperation is a mentoring programme that has already started. The mentoring programme will strengthen cooperation between the Foreign Ministry's staff and students. It is expected to bring mutual benefits.