The CG welcomes Vilnius University
30 June 2015
Several of the Coimbra Group Universities have long-standing co-operation with Vilnius University and with the warm recommendations and the unanimous vote in favour of inviting Vilnius to join the Coimbra Group the good relations are set to develop and expand – http://www.vu.lt/en/.
Vilniaus Universitetas was founded in 1579 by Stephen Báthory, king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. This former ruler of Transylvania married Anna Jagiellon, the last of the Jagiellonian dynasty, famous for a.o. the foundation of the University of Kraków (1364). Together they were elected rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The University has gone through a chequered history just as its sister universities in the region, being closed down on several occasions by wars and occupation – some may remember the mass grave of soldiers from Napoleon’s Grand Armée, found on the outskirts of Vilnius. The Soviet barracks on the site were being bulldozed when the mass grave appeared, expertly excavated by archaeologist from Vilnius University. It is just one example of the armies of tsars, kings, dictators, etc. marching through the country and its capital, forcing the University to close.
It is therefore no surprise that the University has had a number of names over the centuries, but since the independence of Lithuania in 1990 it has been Vilniaus Universitetas/Vilnius University. There is more about the history of the University on its web site, also on its colourful architectural history: http://www.vu.lt/en/about-us/history
With a staff of close to 4000, a student population of over 20,000 and over 800 international students, Vilnius is one of the biggest universities in the Baltic Region. There are twelve faculties and a wide range of specialised institutes, departments and centres, among them a botanic garden, a museum, a publishing house, a cultural centre and a career centre.
And you can find your way round by using the maps and pictures available on the web site: http://www.vu.lt/en/about-us/maps-and-pictures.