Academy Review: Vilnius University


Vilnius University (VU) was founded in 1579 by King Stephen Báthory of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania. The university is located in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, and is one of the oldest universities in Central and Eastern Europe. Vilnius University’s historic campus is in the heart of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main campus of Vilnius University is renowned for its historic buildings, including the Grand Courtyard St. John's Church. These architectural treasures contribute to the university's unique atmosphere.

Location

Vilnius University is based in the heart of Vilnius city and is one of Europe's largest and best-preserved Old Towns. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its charming medieval streets, historic buildings, and churches. Vilnius is also an important transportation hub in the Baltic region, with an international airport (Vilnius International Airport) offering connections to various European cities

Visiting Vilnius

Here are some places that you should visit when in Vilnius:

  • Uzupis Republic - Uzupis is a quirky and artistic neighborhood in Vilnius. In 1997, residents declared it an independent republic with its constitution, flag, and president.
  • Green spaces and parks- Vilnius is one of Europe's greenest capital cities, with lush forests, wide open areas, and fantastic parks. One of the most famous parks in Vilnius is the coveted Vingis Park, a popular place for outdoor activities like rollerskating, cycling, and various other sports. If you head to Vingis Park at the right time, you can even watch the hot air balloons take off in flight.
  • Cultural events - many cultural events and festivals take place throughout the year. For example, the Vilnius International Film Festival, Vilnius Jazz Festival, and the Vilnius Festival for Classical Music
  • Restaurants and bars- Vilnius has many cuisines worldwide, anywhere from Turkey to Greece. There’s something for everyone. If you fancy something local, there are numerous Lithuanian restaurants where you can taste local delicacies.

Now, let’s move on to the people who helped give Vilnius University its name.

Famous Alumni

Here are some notable alumni from Vilnius University:

  • Czeslaw Milosz - A Nobel Prize-winning poet and writer born in Lithuania attended Vilnius University. He is known for his literary works, including "The Captive Mind" and "The Issa Valley."
  • Bronisław Komorowski - The former President of Poland attended Vilnius University. He played a significant role in Polish politics and served as the President from 2010 to 2015.
  • Jonas Kubilius - A prominent mathematician known for his contributions to number theory and probability theory. He served as the rector of Vilnius University and held various academic positions.
  • Gitanas Nausėda - A politician, economist, banker, and the President of Lithuania since 2019. He studied at Vilnius University in the faculty of Industrial Economics.
  • Tomas Okmanas - A businessman and entrepreneur, he is the co-founder of Tesonet and the well-known cyber security solutions company Nord Security.
  • Eimantas Sabaliauskas - An entrepreneur and one of the founders of Nord Security alongside Tomas Okmanas whose business has become a ‘unicorn company’ in Lithuania.
  • Justas Janauskas - An entrepreneur and co-founder of the unicorn company Vinted.

Unique features of VU

Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security Laboratory

A unique selling point that makes Vilnius University so alluring is its Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. This lab is one of a kind in this baltic state as the Head of the Artificial Intelligence lab, Dr. Virginijus Marcinkevicius, mentioned that “very few companies in Lithuania can afford to have a research and development department.” The laboratory aims to “foster the practical application of knowledge by problem-solving actual scientific and technological problems related to artificial intelligence.” The lab came to fruition due to the collaboration between Vilnius University and the Lithuanian biometrics company Neurotechnology. The laboratory aims to facilitate a space where young researchers and students can collaborate with AI businesses in the country. If you envision yourself at the forefront of artificial intelligence research and business development, then the artificial intelligence lab at Vilnius University is calling. Vilnius University has its own Cybersecurity lab that aims to develop virtual and technological educational platforms and infrastructure for research into cyber security and digital forensics.

VU Tech Hub

Vilnius University is on VU Tech Hub, a platform “for developing innovation and entrepreneurship.” The platform includes seminars, conferences, practical workshops, modular training, hackathons, and more. This platform combines students, scientists, and businesses to increase academic entrepreneurship and innovation. Students can utilize multidisciplinary opportunities within the university and offer innovative solutions to industry problems. Furthermore, VU Tech Hub promotes solid international links, allowing Tech Hub team members to engage with the top European universities to educate, apply, and adapt their disciplines to businesses and public administrations.

Joining the Quantum Network

In May 2023, Vilnius University was one of the first Central European institutions to join the IBM Quantum Network. This allows VU's academic community to utilize “quantum technologies and develop new fields of science and study in the area of quantum computing at VU and nationally.” This is a massive feat for the university as it opens up new opportunities for research and the study of quantum computing. This cooperation hasn’t happened overnight, said Professor Povilas Treigys, Mathematics and Informatics faculty member at VU, “our partnership in high-performance computing has lasted over a decade.” Being part of a university that is paving the way for future leaps in quantum computing technology is a privilege in itself. Lithuania and VU’s commitment to research surrounding computing technology is evident from this partnership.

ARQUS European University Alliance

This alliance unites universities like Granada (Spain), Graz (Austria), Leipzig (Germany), Lyon (France), Maynooth (Ireland), Minho (Portugal), Padova (Italy), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Wroclaw (Poland), to create a practical barrier-free cooperation between institutions who share an extensive experience in joint projects and have a long history of comprehensive research. Why is this so special? This transforms the university from its current concept to an institution without barriers. You can participate in university exchanges, gain work experience in other countries or industries, and improve your foreign language skills. ARQUS provides unique benefits such as summer schools or workshops while networking with other European research groups. You will also have access to not one but eight other university resources to help bolster the research effort.

VU Review 2
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Computing Study Programs

Some programs, especially at the graduate level, are available in English to accommodate international students. The two programs at the bachelor level in Computing offered in English are Software Engineering and Information Systems and Cyber Security. The four master’s level programs in English include Computer Modelling, Data Science, Informatics, Software Engineering, DeepTech Entrepreneurship, and Electronics and Telecommunication Technologies. Through these programs, you will have the opportunity to work with well-known companies and institutions worldwide. You could intern at NATO, NASA, CERN, or the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF.) You may even get the opportunity to visit volcanoes in Japan.

Let's have a look at these programs in more detail.

Bachelor degree programs

Information Systems and Cyber Security

Why choose this program?

  • This course will prepare you for an information systems and cyber security career by arming you with fundamental and applied knowledge of informatics engineering, secure analysis, design, structuring, and maintenance of information systems.
  • This program is one of the first cyber security programs offered in Lithuania. Here, you are a part of something new and revolutionary in the country. You will have access to new insights by joining an ever-evolving community of researchers, experts, and professionals in informatics and cyber security.
  • Think of your future self. Shortly, the demand for experts will grow exponentially due to the tight legal environment and data and information security growth in the European Union. You could be a part of something bigger by protecting cyberspace against potential threats.

This program will teach you new knowledge surrounding your chosen discipline and strengthen your pre-existing skills. Throughout your course, you will encounter some facets of Information Systems and Cyber Security.

  • Gain an understanding of computer architecture, employing programming languages and technologies for providing information on the internet.
  • Learn about security components.
  • Access files of cyberattacks DoS and DDoS.
  • Detect cases of hacking and carry out preventive measures.
  • Understand the security of WEB components – forms, session management, and more.

During your course, you will undertake seven semesters of study, which include compulsory courses and some elective courses in semesters three and four.

Compulsory courses include but are not limited to:

  • Computer Architecture
  • Legal Regulations for Cyber Security
  • E-Transactions and their Security
  • Information Security and Risk Management
  • Mobile Applications Development
  • Methods of Ethical Hackings
  • Basics of Virtualization
  • Forensic Analysis of Digital Content and Analysis of Malware

Some elective courses include:

  • Geographical Information Systems
  • General Education Modules
  • Python Programming
  • R Programming

In semester seven, you will complete your bachelor's thesis.

Software Engineering

Why choose this program?

  • There is a high level of employability in the field of software engineering. If you want to successfully secure a job post-graduation as a highly qualified software engineer, Vilnius University can equip you with the tools that help make that transition seamless.
  • Students looking for more challenges may decide to join the research teams and conduct projects in the field of applied sciences.
  • You have the opportunity to embark on incredible internships in the country and across Europe.

This course will have seven semesters, comprising compulsory courses and specialization subjects.

Here are the specializations that you can choose from:

1. E-services

2. Robotic Systems

Here are some compulsory subjects that you will undertake during this course:

  • Discrete Structures
  • Data Structures
  • Programming of Embedded Systems
  • Software Quality and Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction

In semester seven, you participate in modules like Information Law and Ethics and Recognition and Processing Methods of Digital Objects– you will also be writing your bachelor thesis.

Master degree programs

Data Science

Why choose this program?

  • It is the only study program in the Baltics that includes advanced courses in econometrics, informatics, and mathematical statistics.
  • The program combines data analysis, informatics, and mathematical statistics.
  • Choosing specific subjects from statistics, informatics, or econometrics is possible.

This program contains a mix of compulsory and elective subjects– this course will be three semesters long, and in semester three, you will be writing your master’s thesis.

Some of your compulsory subjects include:

  • Data Mining
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Big Data Analysis
  • Functional Data Analysis

Some of the elective courses include:

  • Panel Data Econometrics
  • Sample Surveys
  • Financial Econometrics
  • Multidimensional Data Visualization

Software Engineering

Why choose this program?

  • You will have a strong knowledge of technologies and management and the ability to lead software development, maintenance, and process improvement projects.
  • It combines a practical orientation with developing the ability to conduct research.
  • You can work as a project manager in information technologies, as a manager of software process improvements, or as an analyst, designer, programmer, or researcher in the private and public sectors in Lithuania or abroad.

This program contains a mix of compulsory and elective subjects. It will be four semesters long, and in your last semester, you will be writing your master’s thesis.

Some of your compulsory subjects include:

  • Project Management
  • Software Engineering Methods and Tools
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Cyber Security Technologies

Some of the electives include:

  • Software Quality
  • Methods of Cryptography
  • Distributed Systems
  • Digital Crime Investigations
  • Methods

Computer Modelling

Why choose this program?

  • Why not be a part of a new, innovative field of professionals that continually contribute to development in the technology sector? Computer modeling is an up-and-coming field where you have the opportunity to develop coveted skills.
  • You could be a part of groundbreaking research in drug discovery, financial analysis, and various other sociological factors that increasingly affect our world, as computer modeling is often applied to multiple profound problems, so you could be making a positive change by choosing computer modeling.

This program contains a mix of compulsory and elective subjects– this course will be three semesters long, and in semester three, you will be writing your master’s thesis.

Some of your compulsory subjects include:

  • Methods of Cryptography
  • Deep Learning
  • Methods of Nonlinear Modelling
  • Signal Analysis and Processing
  • Data Mining

Some of the elective courses include:

  • Secure Networks
  • Multi-dimensional Data Structures
  • Optimization Algorithms in Grid Environment
  • Audit of System Security

In semester three, you will be writing your master’s thesis.

Informatics

Why choose this program?

  • The use of informatics in business is widespread; therefore breaking into the job market is easy for students who study informatics degrees.
  • You can develop practical skills that challenge you intellectually and practically by creating something functional.
  • Informatics may help you develop entrepreneurial skills that could benefit your bank account and earn a well-paid salary post-graduation.

The duration of this program is four semesters long, and in semester four, you will be writing your master’s thesis– the course is comprised of compulsory subjects and electives.

Here are some of the compulsory subjects you will study throughout this program:

  • Data Mining
  • Modeling and Verification of Software-based Systems
  • Artificial Neural Networks

Some elective courses include:

  • Heuristic Algorithms for NP-complete Problems
  • Object Databases
  • User Experience Engineering
  • Randomized Algorithms
  • Graphics and Visualization
  • Programming in Cloud Computing

DeepTech Entrepeurnership

Why choose this program?

  • The program includes a study visit to CERN in Geneva, Switzerland (only for students who will be creating start-ups), allowing the students to assess the possibilities of developing a new product or service for their designed start-up.
  • There are options for students to pursue a research thesis or engage in their established start-ups, which university professors mentor.
  • Your career perspectives will be endless. You can break into various industries and take on different job roles. These include becoming a company founder, innovation manager, or technology entrepreneur.

The duration of this program is three semesters long, and in semester three, you will be writing your master’s thesis. Throughout this course, you will take a mixture of compulsory subjects and some electives.

Here are some compulsory subjects:

  • Design and Implementation of Engineering Products Development
  • Technology and Innovation Management (with a study visit to CERN)
  • Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Structuring Investments and Partnerships
  • Leadership and Strategic Management

Elective subjects include:

  • Laser Technologies
  • Practical Statistics in R for Business Analytics
  • Software Development Process
  • Nano- and Microstructure Technologies
  • Creativity and Communication

Electronics and Telecommunication technologies

Why choose this program?

  • Become a highly qualified specialist who understands, develops, and integrates the latest technologies in the modern electronics and telecommunication market.
  • Pursue a career in industrial companies specializing in developing, implementing, and administering various electronic and telecommunication solutions and products.
  • You will be able to develop and improve embedded microcontroller systems and integrate them into the existing electronics infrastructure.

The duration of this program is four semesters long, and in semester four, you will be writing your master’s thesis– this course comprises compulsory and elective subjects.

Here are some compulsory subjects:

  • Information Elements and Systems
  • Radio interface in mobile communication systems
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Microcontrollers in Embedded Systems
  • Telecommunication Network Modeling
  • Applied Electrodynamics

Elective subjects include:

  • Applied Terahertz Physics
  • Digital Optics and Imaging
  • Modelling of the Wireless Propagation Channel

Entry requirements and acceptance rates

The acceptance rate for Vilnius University is 41% (2023), and the general entry requirements for the bachelor's and master's programs are as follows.

Bachelor programs:

Below is a list of documentation and requirements needed while completing your application.

1. School (secondary or equivalent) graduation certificate and marks sheet/list (academic transcript). Suppose you are still completing your last year of high school. In that case, you must provide the most recent transcript of educational records and the certificate indicating the date of receiving a final secondary school certificate.

Remember, you must get an official translation if your documents are not in English.

2. You must also provide a motivation letter (1200-4000 characters).

3. English proficiency test - the accepted tests are IELTS, TOEFL, and Duolingo. For the required level, please refer here.

4. You must provide a copy of your passport/ ID.

5. There will be an application fee of 100 euros.

You will also need to undergo a motivational interview for both bachelor programs.

Master programs:

Below is a list of documentation and requirements for completing your application.

1. University Bachelor's degree certificate and its supplement. If you have not yet graduated with your Bachelor’s degree, you must provide a records transcript.

Remember, you must get an official translation if your documents are not in English.

2. The applicant is required to submit a motivation letter (1200-4000 characters).

3. English proficiency test - the accepted tests are IELTS, TOEFL, and Duolingo. For the required level, please refer here.

4. You will need to provide a copy of your passport/ ID.

5. There will be an application fee of 100 euros.

Some programs may follow different protocols when admitting prospective students. For example, the Software Engineering program requires mathematics and physics as compulsory subjects at the bachelor level.

Specific entry requirements

Here are additional entry requirements for the Master programs:

Computer Modelling

  • Undergraduate university studies in the following fields (all subjects): Biomedicine, Physical Sciences, and Technology.
  • A solid undergraduate background in computer science, including programming

For more specific details, visit the university website here.

The programs' deadlines are 1 May (non-EU) and 1 July (EU).