Lithuanian University of Health Sciences: Country’s Leader in Medicine and Health

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This autumn, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) has been evaluated under several important frameworks that have testified the high quality of its activities. This year, LSMU was evaluated in different areas by national and international experts.

The results are convincing: The University has been accredited for the maximum period of time and health sciences in Lithuania and has been recognized as a leader in the field of medicine and health sciences in Lithuania, maintaining high positions in the international rankings.

Recently, the Research Council of Lithuania (RCL) finalized the results of a comparative expert evaluation of research and experimental development (R&D) carried out by universities and research institutes in 2018–2022. Thirteen foreign expert panels assessed the country’s research institutions, taking into account the quality, economic and social impact, and viability of research activities.

The results of this evaluation are particularly favourable for LSMU.

“We are leaders in the medical and health sciences. This is confirmed by the results of the comparative expert evaluation of the fields of medicine, pharmacy, public health, nursing, and odontology. We are very pleased with the very positive evaluation results in the fields of biology, veterinary and animal science,” says Prof. Habil. Dr. Vaiva Lesauskaitė, Vice-Rector for Research.

Medical and biology fields of science scored particularly highly, while veterinary and animal sciences scored highly in agricultural sciences. The University’s research activities in odontology, nursing, and public health sciences have also been highly rated.

Exceptional Achievements in Medicine

The results of both recent and previous evaluations have confirmed that LSMU researchers are leading in medical sciences in Lithuania and conduct research that meets international standards.

The experts highlighted that LSMU pursues clear research priorities in the field of medicine, in line with global research trends; the University researchers’ expertise, the needs of the healthcare system, Lithuania’s smart specialisation directions, and the European Union’s science and innovation endeavours.

Various LSMU research teams conduct advanced translational research in neuroscience, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, and the digestive system. Results are published in highly regarded journals with high impact factor, and the continuity and development of the research is ensured by grants through national and international competitions.

LSMU’s state-of-the-art research facilities and modern equipment have also received appraisal. Significant projects are being developed, including artificial intelligence (AI) in imaging, involvement with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), development of nuclear medicine, and other projects of great importance, and the establishment of a human biospecimen repository (BioBank).

The economic and social role of research is reflected in the technology transfer licensing agreements with the business sector, rising patenting activity rates, and pro-active involvement of our researchers in addressing urgent healthcare challenges.

Pharmaceutical Innovation of Global Significance

In the field of pharmaceutical research, the experts specifically highlighted the innovative micro- and nanotechnologies developed at LSMU for targeted drug delivery, biotechnological platforms for the development of tissue-on-a-chip models, analytical methods for drug testing, and the search for advanced drug substances. The experts commended the strong cooperation with the business sector, the very effective fundraising efforts, and the commercialisation of knowledge and technology.

The experts noted the highly motivated and enthusiastic researchers at the LSMU Faculty of Pharmacy. The researchers are co-authors of international patents, inventors of licensed technologies, founders of start-ups, securing the ongoing progression of research. The current facilities of the Faculty of Pharmacy, complemented by new modern equipment such as a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and a 3D tablet printer, contribute to the success in development of pharmaceutical innovations.

In the research field of animal science, LSMU researchers have been recognized nationally and acknowledged as having promising international potential

in the development of innovations in livestock farming. According to experts, LSMU pursues the goals of tackling climate change, demonstrating progress in animal genetics, biodiversity, food production, and food sustainability.

“Insights from external international experts allow us to assess and improve research development, and to compare the results of our own evaluation with those of other research and study institutions,” says Prof. Vaiva Lesauskaitė. “We take great satisfaction in the consistent and advancing results of LSMU research evaluations, which is a credit to the entire academic community of the University.”

In the forthcoming year, based on the results of the second national expert evaluation, 70% of the basic funding from the state budget will be allocated to Lithuanian higher education and research institutes for the development of R&D activities across all scientific disciplines.

LSMU Accredited for the Maximum Period

In October, the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) accredited LSMU for the second time for a maximum period of 7 years. The international group of external experts convened by the SKVC gave high scores to the performance of LSMU.

The University’s performance was assessed in four areas: Management was rated as very good; Quality Assurance – good, Studies and Research – very good; Impact on Regional and National Development – very good.

The international panel of experts that assessed the University identified 8 examples of good practice.

LSMU’s investment in simulation laboratories, recognized as one of the best international practices in the field, has been praised. The experts also commended the comprehensive financial, academic and psychological support provided in Lithuanian and English languages to all members of the academic community.

LSMU has received positive feedback on its strong integration between education, research and clinical practice, low drop-out rates, and recognition of high quality of graduate training.

LSMU was also commended for its two WHO collaborating centres and for implementation of the entrustable professional activities (EPAs) in several programmes, as well as transformative learning practices in nursing and public health.

High Scores in Prestigious Rankings

This autumn, LSMU’s performance was once again ranked among the top in Lithuania in the latest prestigious Times Higher Education 2024 (THE WUR) global university ranking. Regarding its results, LSMU is tied for first place in the country only with Vilnius University. 

Times Higher Education (THE WUR) is one of the top three most prestigious global university rankings. The ranking focuses on the quality of education, research and the global impact of scientific activities. It also looks at the internationalisation of the universities and the research income an institution earns from production or industry.

Under this ranking, LSMU is the leading university in the country in terms of quality of education and research. Most of the indicators have been growing consistently over the last three years.

LSMU has been ranking high in international rankings for several years now. The University community views this international breakthrough as an acknowledgement of high quality.