Internationalisation at home – benefits of the first KTU Global Faculty Week

Important | 2019-11-06

In the end of October, the students of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) had an exclusive opportunity to gain international experience without leaving home – more than 30 teachers from 23 foreign universities were reading lectures at KTU.

KTU academic and research community also benefit from communication with teachers from other countries during the informal events organised by KTU Department of International Relations. At KTU, Erasmus+ international teaching week, Global Faculty Week was organised for the first time.

According to Virginija Savalenkovienė, Specialist for International Academic Mobility, despite the hard work and challenges which are inevitable when organising the event of such as scope, the Global Faculty Week was a success.

“This international week was special because all its activities were devoted to teaching. Although we are constantly hosting teachers from abroad universities, this time we had all of them visiting in the same week. This allows us to offer and to receive added value. Visiting lecturers were holding lectures and seminars in various faculties, they met colleagues and were participating in various academic activities”, says Savalenkovienė.

The largest number of teachers were visiting the faculties of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Civil Engineering and Architecture.

According to the representative of the KTU International Relations Department, the Global Faculty Week attracted a lot of attention from KTU academic community, who actively participated in the informal networking event Networking Café, were discussing possible research topics and projects.

“Almost a year ago KTU Professor Žaneta Stasiškienė and other representatives were visiting our university, and we were agreeing on exchange possibilities. And here I am, in Lithuania being invited to participate in Global Faculty Week 2019. By the way, it’s not only my first time in Lithuania but also the first time for me to visit Europe. I was reading lectures on protein engineering, and I hope that we’ll continue to cooperate”, said Juan Valderamma-Rincon from Antonio Nariño University in Bogotá, Colombia.

Besides teaching, the participants of the Global Faculty Week were also invited to participate in workshops organised by the Centre of Didactic Competencies KTU EDU_Lab and by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and to take part in cultural programme. The representatives of the KTU Department of International Relations were taking them to the University tour and the professional guide from Kaunas In Tourist Information Centre conducted a tour in Kaunas. At the end of the week, the international teachers participated in Vilnius and Trakai tour.

“I was amazed by Kaunas – by its architecture and the variety of buildings! The old wooden houses, modernist and contemporary architecture is in harmony with each other creating an impression of a cosy and tidy city”, said Léon olde Scholtenhuis from the University of Twente, the Netherlands after the guided tour of Kaunas.

The Global Faculty Week at KTU was beneficial not only to the students and staff but also served as a great opportunity to promote our university among the international community.

“During the week, the teachers from various foreign universities had an opportunity to meet not only the colleagues from the inviting faculty but from all the KTU. They visited classrooms and labs across the campus, were networking with the all University’s community. After coming back to their home universities they will share their impressions with their colleagues and students. This adds to the University’s international visibility and evaluation, and encourages staff and student exchange”, says Savalenkovienė.