The admission of international students to the Faculty of Medicine (MF) of Vilnius University (VU) is growing annually, with over 100 first year students enrolled in medical and dental study programs this year. The Faculty of Medicine is particularly popular amongst young people from Germany; therefore, they constitute the majority of all international students (about 30 %).
After the first class of international students graduated this year, the decision to increase admission was made, and great emphasis was put on the quality of studies. In order to get feedback on student satisfaction, the MF Council invited a representative of the German University Foundation Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg for a discussion. Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg is the representative of the German institution responsible for overseeing the medical and dental studies of German citizens at foreign universities.
At the meeting held by the MF Council on the last day of summer, Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg presented results of the survey on German students’ general opinion about studying abroad.
“Vilnius University is deservedly making Lithuania famous not only in Europe but also throughout the entire world. We are grateful to the Faculty of Medicine for the high quality of studies, for the knowledge and professional skills provided, for the supportive team of professors, and for the respectful and dignified attitudes towards foreign students. All this, coupled together with the beauty of the Lithuanian countryside, warmhearted people, a magnificent language, and distinctive traditions, contributes to the high level of student satisfaction”, Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg said.
According to the German University Foundation representative, getting admitted to medical studies in Germany is not easy: even though education is free, the number of available places is very limited. “Of course, these places are given to the best of the best. Those with strong motivation but a slightly lower score need to wait a few years before they can start their studies. It is unfortunate that even the top 5% of students cannot be sure of their ability to study medicine. Therefore, German citizens choose to study in other countries: they go to Lithuania, the Czech Republic, or Hungary, and some choose to study in Latvia”, Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg said.
According to the survey, student satisfaction with the studies at Faculty of Medicine is an impressive 94%. This result is surpassed only by a private US university in Cyprus (Nicosia), which received 99% and University of Wroclaw in Poland is in third place with 91%. The average satisfaction score of all other foreign universities where young Germans study to become doctors or dentists is around 80%.
Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg also noted that during recent years, the number of young Germans, who wish to study at the Faculty of Medicine increased. “In 2014 only 15 persons applied to study medicine in Vilnius and 11 future doctors were selected. We can compare that to 2018, when the number of applicants rose to 47 (30 were admitted), and 9 candidates also applied for dental studies (8 were admitted). Students always choose to study where they can get the highest quality of education that most closely matches the German standards”, Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg said.
When asked by the members of the Medical Faculty Council about the main challenges that future doctors and dentists from Germany studying in Vilnius face, Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg responded by expressing gratitude to the University’s community for their exceptional ability to avoid or quickly solve problems, always taking the needs of the students into account.
After graduating from Vilnius University, young doctors can continue their studies in various countries around the world. They also have the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies at one of the 15 university hospitals in Germany. As ambassadors of the Faculty of Medicine, they willingly share their experiences, thus prompting even more people to choose to study in Lithuania. Currently there are 17 candidates from Germany waiting for the opportunity to submit documents and start their studies at Vilnius University in 2019.