Following the reorganisation of Šiauliai University (ŠU) by affiliating it to Vilnius University (VU) as of 1 January 2021, VU Šiauliai Academy will be established in Šiauliai. The new VU academic unit will be headed by Prof. Dr Renata Bilbokaitė, who until now has been the Vice-Rector for Studies at ŠU. VU Šiauliai Academy will also be one of the three main centres for training teachers in Lithuania (the other two centres are in Vilnius and Kaunas).
ŠU is being reorganised according to the 2017 plan of the Seimas aimed at optimising the network of state universities and the measures of this plan approved by the Government. The reorganisation will not affect the continuity of ŠU activities, employment relationships, the fulfilment of contractual, financial and other obligations. Students who have started their studies at ŠU will continue them at the VU branch in Šiauliai.
In addition to teacher training, a special attention will be paid to relations with business, state and municipal institutions in the northern region of Lithuania. VU Šiauliai Academy plans to train highly qualified specialists that are in high demand and carry out relevant research.
In 2021, VU Šiauliai Academy will offer 10 bachelor study programmes – English philology, subject (Lithuanian language, history) education, economics, electronics engineering and robotics, physiotherapy (alternative – nursing), physical and sport education, music, primary education and pre-school education, software engineering, special needs education and speech therapy.
In addition, there will be 9 master study programmes: educology, economics, physical and sport education, mathematics, music, social work, special needs education, management, public governance. A doctoral degree could be pursued in economics, educology, philology and management.
VU Šiauliai Academy will develop research the most promising fields of study, giving priority to educology and interdisciplinary research in educational sciences. The greatest potential of researchers will be concentrated on priority scientific topics in the field of education, such as “Educational and teaching processes”, “Strengthening inclusive society by socio-educational means” and interdisciplinary economic and management topics “Socio-economic phenomena in the process of building a welfare state”.