A student is a student. Or is it?
Even though this statement sounds very obvious, it was not like this until the previous March. Even the most hard-working and ambitious student with the highest grades could not get the same award as some others did. The only reason for not getting a scholarship of the President of the Republic of Lithuania was that the students studied at a private, not a public university.
Encourages to do more
A scholarship of the President of the Republic of Lithuania was launched by the Ministry of Education and Science in 1995 in order to motivate young people to participate in scientific or artistic activity.
The scholarships in five different fields have been granted annually to the most distinguished students of public Lithuanian higher education institutions since then. Every field of study is granted with five scholarships – one for college students (190 euros per month), two for Bachelor’s degree students at universities (190 euros per month) and two for the best ones of Master’s degree (266 euros).
“I was aware of the scholarship from the very first year of my studies however it was not exactly my goal to get it. I just always loved to do my job as good as possible and to get an appropriate award for it”, says a winner of the last year’s scholarship, a fourth year then, Finance student at the Economics and business faculty of the Kaunas University of Technology Lina Sakalauskaitė.
For more than twenty years the scholarships of the Presidents of the Republic of Lithuania have been motivating the best students of Lithuanian public universities while the students of the private education sector including the ones from ISM University of Management and Economics were left behind.
Not only for the public institutions anymore
Last year Lihuanian National Union of Students asked the Government for equal possibilities to get the prestigious scholarships and the request was confirmed. Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the establishment of a scholarships of the Presidents of the Republic of Lithuania Antanas Smetona, Aleksandras Stulginskis, Kazys Grinius, Jonas Žemaitis and Algirdas Brazauskas’’ was changed with erasing the word „state“ on the previous March. This means that from then on all the higher education institutions can equally compete for the award.
How to win?
According to the resolution, thirty scholarships are granted every year – five for every one from the six study fields. For instance, the one of Antanas Smetona – for the most talented of the humanities and arts, of Aleksandras Stulginskis – for physical sciences, Kazys Grinius – biomedical sciences, Algirdas Brazauskas – for social and business fields students.
The winner of the award in the name of Algirdas Brazauskas Lina Sakalauskaitė gives an advice, “Try to do what you are interested in, feel the joy while doing it, be active and take everything what the university gives. Of course, while doing all that, do not forget to study.“
The scholarships are granted for one year and are payed from the beginning of the academical year. A list of candidates to this contest and their information to the Lithuanian academy of Sciences all higher education institutions of Lithuania can provide until the first of May every year. Each of them can offer
no more than four most efficient people from every field. Thus to get this prize you have to be especially remarkable at studies and scientific or artistic activities.
“I suppose I have been chosen for my activeness in various fields during my undergraduate studies – had good grades, danced at university’s Dance team, was a member of my faculty’s Students’ Association, volunteered, wrote scientific articles, was a mentor of a first year students, participated in composed contests of business and university, went to the Youth Exchange program, participated in KTU program of Career mentoring, was a member of Finance Study Program Commitee and have been representing Bachelor’s students of this field for a year.“, shares thoughts about the reasons of succses Lina.
Students are glad
It takes a lot of efforts but hard work always pays off. Students who already have the scholarships are very pleased not only for having the financial support, but also for the honor.
“When you are a student it is truly great to get a monthly income without having a job because you can invest that time in your hobbies and science instead of bending over backwards to provide yourself with the essentials. Needless to say, it is not only the material appreciation that matters, but also the feeling I got at the Ministry of Education and Sciences. It is amazing to be honored for what you just do.“ – says Lina.
An opportunity to get such award is important to every student. So it is not a surprise that communities of the private universities really appreciate the recent changes. ISM University of Management and Economics Students’s Association’s president Kotryna Kanclerytė says, „Student is student – no matter what is the origin of his university. All of us are here to seek for knowledge and education, therefore it is great that from now on our students’ achievements can also be honored by these scholarships.“
So now all the ambitious young scientists can follow Lina’s example, “I wish all the students to pursue their goals and not to give up. Do not think that you are not good enough and others are stronger candidates. Just try! If not this year, maybe the next one you will succeed.“
Article by Ringailė Kalinauskaitė