A new page in the history of cooperation between the VU and business community has been opened – Vilnius University Fund (Endowment) (hereinafter the VUF) has been established by a group of Lithuanian business leaders on the 6th of April.
“We witness a historical moment – business leaders come on the stage to support us in our fight for reforms in education system of Lithuania and VU quality transformation, in particular. VU has a long history, but the global competitive environment obliges us to introduce modern reforms, launch new initiatives. Unfortunately, with the present day state funding VU cannot fight for the reforms alone, it needs additional backing from alumni, social partners, and business community, those who care about the future of our Alma Mater. The latest decision of the VUF founders to set the endowment opens up new horizons for the VU.” – Artūras Žukauskas, VU Rector comments on the event.
The aim of the VUF is to raise the capital, invest it adequately and support VU activities afterwards with the assets gained from the investments.
Activities of the VUF will be managed by the Board – it will bear the responsibility of handling and coordinating investments, project funding. Whereas the Board of Trustees, comprised of public leaders, will act as VUF counsellors and facilitators.
All the potential future investors/donors, be it legal entities or natural persons, those who appreciate the importance of the future of our Alma Mater are welcome to join the initiative.
The endowment funding culture is exceptionally strong in the United States and Canada, but less pronounced in other parts of the world, with the exceptions of Cambridge and Oxford universities in the UK. In the United States, more than 70 universities have endowments exceeding a billion US dollars. Among them the Harvard University Endowment takes a clear lead. Lithuania opened up the possibility to operate endowments in the country only in 2013. VUF is the first university endowment in Lithuania.