German students greatly appreciate their studies at the Faculty of Medicine

The admission of foreign students to the Faculty of Medicine (MF) of Vilnius University (VU) is growing annually, with over 100 first year students enrolled in medical and dental study programs. It's no secret that the Faculty of Medicine is particularly attractive to young people from Germany, and they constitute the majority of all international students (about 30%). After the graduation of the first class of international students, the decision to increase admission was made, and great emphasis was put on the quality of studies. In order to get feedback on student satisfaction with their studies, the MF Council invited a representative of the German University Foundation, Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg, for a discussion. At the meeting held by the MF Council on the last day of summer, the honored guest presented the results of the survey on the satisfaction of German students with studying abroad.

“Vilnius University is deservedly making Lithuania famous not only in Europe but also throughout the entire world,” Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg, the representative of the German institution responsible for overseeing the medical and dental studies of German citizens at foreign universities, said. “We are grateful to the Faculty of Medicine for the high quality of studies, for the knowledge and professional skills provided, for the supportive team of professors, and for the respectful and dignified attitudes towards foreign students. All this, coupled together with the beauty of the Lithuanian countryside, warm people, a magnificent language and distinctive traditions, contributes to the high level of student satisfaction with their studies.”

According to Dr. Naumann zu Gruenberg, getting admitted to medical studies in Germany is not easy: even though education is free, the number of available places is very limited. “Of course, these places are taken by the best of the best. Those with strong motivation but a slightly lower score need to wait a few years before they can start their studies. It is unfortunate that even the top 5% of students cannot be sure of their ability to study medicine. Therefore, German citizens choose to study in other countries: they go to Lithuania, the Czech Republic, or Hungary, and some choose to study in Latvia,” the guest said.

According to the results of the survey presented by the representative of the German University Foundation, student satisfaction with the quality of studies at the VU Faculty of Medicine reaches an impressive 94%. This result is only surpassed by a private US university in Cyprus (Nicosia), which received 99%. Third place was taken by the University of Wroclaw in Poland, with 91%. The average satisfaction score of all other foreign universities where young Germans study to become doctors or dentists is around 80%.

Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg also provided statistics on the increase among Germans in the desire to study at the VU Faculty of Medicine. “In 2014 only 15 persons applied to study medicine in Vilnius and 11 future doctors were selected. We can compare that to 2018, when the number of applicants rose to 47 (30 were admitted), and 9 candidates also applied for dental studies (8 were admitted). Students always choose to study where they can get the highest quality of education and where their preparation most closely matches the German standards,” the representative of the Foundation said.

When asked by the members of the Medical Faculty Council about the main challenges that future doctors and dentists from Germany studying in Vilnius face, Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg responded by expressing gratitude to the University community for their exceptional ability to avoid or quickly solve problems, always taking the needs of the students into account. He thanked the Prof. Algirdas Utkus, dean of the Faculty of Medicine; Prof. Vaiva Hendrixson, vice-dean for studies; and the entire academic community for the great opportunity to gain knowledge in this “oasis of education”.

After graduating from Vilnius University, young doctors can continue their studies in various countries around the world. They also have the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies at one of the 15 university hospitals in Germany. As ambassadors of the Faculty of Medicine, they willingly share their experiences and impressions, thus attracting even more people who desire to study in Lithuania. Currently there are already 17 candidates from Germany waiting for the opportunity to submit documents and start their studies at Vilnius University in 2019.


Photo: from left Prof. Algirdas Utkus, Prof. Vaiva Hendrixson, Dr. Dirk Naumann zu Gruenberg.


Information prepared by Natalja Samp and Lina Kocienė