The beginning of spring at VIKO is marked every year by the International Teaching Week, which took place from 4-8 March this year. This is the 16th edition of such type of event, that brought together as many as 48 lecturers from higher education institutions and companies from 16 countries around the world. Continuing its unconditional support of Ukraine, VIKO funded the participation of 8 academics from Ukrainian universities in this Week. The International Teaching Week was also attended by 8 students from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and 4 students from the UCLL University of Applied Sciences in Belgium.

During the International Teaching Week, foreign lecturers gave over 80 lectures and seminars to VIKO’s Lithuanian and foreign students studying in part-time and full-time study programmes, and over 10 academic meetings were held on various topics of cooperation development. The students who attended the lectures of foreign lecturers highlighted the relevant and interesting topics discussed by the lectures, the charisma of the visiting lecturers, and their ability to attract the attention of the audience. On the other hand, fellow lecturers appreciated the sharing of different cultures and experiences, which had a very strong educational impact.

This year’s International Teaching Week also featured a number of very distinguished lecturers, including Hollywood costume designer Christian Cordella, known for his work on Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Jurassic World, Avatar 2 and others. The opening keynote speech was given by Prof. Carmel Borg from the University of Malta, a well-known educationalist, lecturer, author of books and articles, known in Europe and beyond.

During the Week, Lithuanian and Latvian jazz students, who have been rehearsing intensively together, created, and prepared pieces for the Birštonas Jazz Festival, which they presented at the traditional jazz evening of the International Teaching Week. The cultural programme of the Week also included a Lithuanian national music evening, which received great ovations from the guests – VIKO song and dance ensemble “Voruta” performed and invited the audience not only to listen to Lithuanian songs and watch Lithuanian dances, but also to try out playing Lithuanian instruments and dancing traditional folk dances themselves. The week-long event concluded with a concert by VIKO students to commemorate the Independence Restoration Day of Lithuania.

This year’s International Teaching Week programme also featured a two-day Seminar on Sustainable Development, during which were presented Action Plans, a Methodological Guide, and an SDG Scorecard – tools designed for assessing institutional progress in sustainable development at Higher Education Institutions. These tools were developed as part of Erasmus+ project „Universities for Sustainable Development“, carried out by VIKO in collaboration with Pablo de Olavide University (Spain), Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Finland) and OpenODS (Spain). Around 300 participants from Lithuanian and foreign HEIs, as well as other institutions, joined the seminar, both in person and online. This active participation underscores the significant interest and engagement of educational institutions in topics related to Sustainable Development and 2030 Agenda.

The International Teaching Weeks are one of the key events in the development of VIKO’s internationalisation strategy, with the main objective of promoting “internationalisation at home” by providing opportunities for VIKO community to gain international experience and develop academic links. These events are highly appreciated by the visiting foreign lecturers, who highlight the professional organisation of the week, the welcoming atmosphere, the variety of events, the excellent conditions for communication and cooperation, which is the greatest value of these events.

The next International Teaching Week of VIKO will take place on 3-7 March 2025.