The first Israeli alumni meeting of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) was held on 7 April 2016 in Tel Aviv. The main goal of this meeting was to remember the study years and to present the University's achievements and challenges to the ones who have graduated from Kaunas Institute of Medicine, Kaunas Medical Academy, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuanian Veterinary Academy and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.
A total of 110 students from Israel are currently studying at LSMU; however, this number is the result of almost 20 years' hard work. The Independence of Lithuania opened wide possibilities for international cooperation activities, including studies of international students at LSMU. Although at present there are more than 600 international students, one of the biggest community is from Israel. Step by step, establishing connections with hospitals, universities and alumni Israel became one of the strategic countries for international cooperation.
The beginning of University activities in Israel in 1996 coincided with establishment of the Embassy of Lithuania in Tel Aviv, and the same year the first students from Israel started their studies at LSMU. Mainly, they were children of Litvaks. Later, the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences became famous also among Israelis who were born in Israel.
A total of 198 citizens of Israel have graduated the University during the years of Lithuania’s Independence. Many more have graduated from the University during the Soviet times and emigrated to Israel. Currently, the LSMU alumni are working as physicians, veterinary surgeons, odontologists, pharmacists, public health specialists, many of them are the owners of private clinics.
The first LSMU Israeli alumni meeting was conducted by Prof. Dainius Pavalkis and Philip Perlov. Warm greetings to guests expressed his Excellency Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Israel Mr. Edminas Bagdonas, on behalf of the Parliament of Lithuania appreciation to the guests and the University was extended by Mr. Raimundas Paliukas, Chair of the Committee of Education, Science and Culture. Mayor of Kaunas Mr. Visvaldas Matijošaitis send his warm regards through the video record. One of the most famous LSMU alumni in Israel, Prof. Joseph Press, CEO of the world famous Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, expressed his gratitude for all alumni and the University for this memorable meeting. The greetings were said by the Chancellor of Veterinary Academy of LSMU Prof. Henrikas Žilinskas and Prof. Angelija Valančiūtė – she did huge work building up the trust among Israelis to send their children to study in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Almost 200 guests, flags of both countries, Lithuanian food and drinks, music and photographs of the alumni years of studies, views of Kaunas and Lithuania created an amazing atmosphere for memories and communication.
Prof. Vilius Jonas Grabauskas, former Rector and current Chancellor of LSMU Medical Academy reviewed the history of the University starting from 1922, and Vice-Rector for Studies Prof. Daiva Rastenytė presented the current University's community, study programmes, research activities presenting possibilities for cooperation with alumni in the future – exchange of specialists, joint projects of business and research, training young talents of the University in Israel. The successful example of such a cooperation is the project of Prof. Virgilijus Ulozas – together with Israeli colleagues they patented in US the results of their research 'Voice Source Extraction Determining the Maximum Phase'. Prof. Algimantas Tamelis, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, presented development and strategic projects of the University Hospital Kauno Klinikos.
Certificates of appreciation were awarded for those alumni who have been supporting and representing the University during this 20-year period with never ending warmth and energy.
LSMU alumni and their families are the best ambassadors of Kaunas and Lithuania, our partners and friends, always keeping Lithuania in their hearts aiming for further collaboration in Israel.
- Every tenth student at LSMU is an international student;
- More than 600 students from 48 different countries are currently studying at the University;
- The biggest communities of students are from Sweden, Israel, Spain and Germany;
- A total of 778 international students got diplomas during the 25 years of Lithuania’s Independence, among them - 198 students from Israel.