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Lithuania - Education system (Institution types & credentials)
Types of higher education institutions:
Mokslo Institutas (Research Institute);
Brandos Atestatas - BA (Maturity Certificate)
Bakalauras - B (Bachelor)
Magistras - M (Master)
Daktaras - Dr. (Doctor)
Habilituotas Daktaras - Habil. Dr. (Doctor habilitatus)Aukštojo mokslo diplomas, pazymintis suteikta profesine kvalifikacija - PK (Higher education diploma awarded together with a professional qualification)
STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM
Duration of compulsory education:
Age of entry: 6
Age of exit: 16
Structure of school system:
Type of school providing this education: Primary School (Pradine mokykla)
Basic First Stage
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 6/7 to: 10/11
Type of school providing this education: Basic School (Pagrindine mokykla)
Length of program in years: 6
Age level from: 10/11 to: 16/17
Certificate/diploma awarded: Pagrindines mokyklos baigimo pazymejimas
Type of school providing this education: Secondary school, Gymnasium (Vidurine mokykla, gimnazija)
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 14/15 to: 18/19
Certificate/diploma awarded: Brandos Atestatas / Maturity Certificate
Type of school providing this education: Vocational School (2 to 4 years)
Length of program in years: 3
Age level from: 14 to: 17
General secondary education is obtained at triple level, twelve (12) year general education schools. One or more levels, i.e. primary: forms 1-4 (age from 6/7 to 10/11); lower secondary: forms 5-10 (age from 10/11 to 16/17); and secondary: forms 11-12 (age from 16/17 to 18/19); can form an independent establishment. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania regulates the length of the academic year. Other types of general education schools are gymnasiums and international baccalaureate schools. Gymnasiums provide an in depth, specialised general education and set higher requirements for pupils. They usually have forms 1-4 consisting of pupils in their 9-12 school years. Lithuanian gymnasiums specialise in the humanities (classical and/or contemporary languages and social sciences), practical arts (natural sciences, technology and economics) and fine arts (art and music). Gymnasiums with humanitarian and practical specialities have a four-year curriculum admitting any who have completed the eight grades in a general education school. Fine arts gymnasiums have a six to nine year curriculum. Graduates of secondary education, after passing the maturity examinations are awarded the Maturity Certificate, which gives access to higher education. Those who complete secondary education but do not take the Maturity examinations are awarded a Secondary School Graduation Certificate.
A general secondary education can be also acquired at appropriate vocational schools.
Adults can acquire a general education at adult general education schools (training centres) and adult departments (classes) at general education schools.
Pupils undergoing treatment in sanatoriums can acquire a general education at the sanatorium’s own general education school.
Special schools are devoted to children with special needs. Child welfare establishments for educating learning – impaired children are also attached to these schools.
Youth schools provide initial work skills and a general education for those having trouble adapting to society or not wishing to study at other schools.
In Lithuania, higher education is provided by 35 higher education institutions (HEI): 15 state university level institutions and 7 state non-university HEI, also as 4 non-state university level HEI and 9 non-state non-university level HEI.
A higher education is acquired after completing one’s undergraduate studies, which last four to five years in HEI. A Professional qualification could be obtained together with a degree (at university level) or separate (non-university level). Upon completing a Bachelor’s programme, a specialised professional or Master’s programme lasting one and a half to two years can be undertaken.
Doctoral studies in Lithuania last for three-four years, of which one and a half to two years are devoted to preparing for Doctoral exams. A candidate must prepare and publicly defend a doctoral dissertation in order to be awarded a Doctoral degree. The Lithuanian Government, on the recommendation of the Science Council of Lithuania, grants the right for research and HEI to accept candidates and award Doctoral degrees in a speciality. State research institutes (29), in an effort to integrate research and higher education are organising joint Doctoral curricula with institutions of higher education.
Main laws/decrees governing higher education:
Decree: Law on Higher Education Year: 2000
Concerns: All higher education institutions.
Academic year: Classes from: Sep to: Jun
Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 31 Aug
Languages of instruction: Lithuanian, English, German, French, Polish, Russian
Stages of studies:
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):
There are 7 non-university level HEI providing higher education. Duration of studies form 3 to 4 years. A maturity certificate or diploma of junior college should be obtained for admission. After completion of studies a Higher Education Diploma is acquired.
University level studies:
University level first stage: Basic studies (Pagrindines studijos):
Basic studies lead to a Bachelor's Degree or a professional qualification and generally last for four or five years (160 credits, 1 credit being one week of student work, 40 hours workload per week). They include general theory, speciality theory and practical subject modules. The programme may lead to a professional qualification (Diploma) such as teacher, engineer, artist etc…
University level second stage: Specialized or Master's studies (Magistras):
Upon completion of a basic study programme, graduates may pursue specialized professional studies or studies leading to a Master's Degree which last for one-and-a-half to two years. Specialized professional study programmes lead to professional qualifications, e.g. the qualification of medical doctor.
University level third stage: Doctoral studies (Doktorantura):
The Doctorate may usually be awarded after the candidate has obtained a Master's Degree, a professional qualification or an equivalent Certificate. It takes no more than four years, of which one-and-a-half to two years are spent on doctoral courses. The volume of these courses is no less than five subjects with final examinations, each subject taking more than 45 hours. Upon completion of the doctoral course, a doctoral thesis must be prepared and publicly defended in order for the candidate to qualify for the Doctorate. Higher education and research institutions must jointly organize doctoral studies.
University level fourth stage: Habilitation/Habilitacija:
The highest academic research qualification, the Habilituotas Daktaras, is awarded to holders of a Doctorate who have published significant scientific results in relevant Lithuanian or international journals as well as in monograph or habilitation theses.
Training of primary/basic schoolteachers
Pre-primary and primary school teachers are trained at Vilnius Pedagogical University, Klaipeda University, Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute, and pedagogical colleges. Studies last three or four years.
Training of secondary school teachers
Secondary school teachers are trained at Vilnius University, Vilnius Pedagogical University, Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute, Vytautas Magnus University (in Kaunas) and Klaipeda University. Four-year course programmes are offered in certain other tertiary institutions. Master's degrees confer the right to teach in gymnasiums and colleges. Admission is on the basis of a Bachelor's degree and at least one year of teaching experience.
Training of higher education teachers
A Doctorate is required for teaching in higher education institutions. A master's degree is needed to begin a career as a lecturer.
Distance higher education
Course programmes are conducted by transmitting to the student specially prepared learning materials through the postal service.
Lifelong higher education
The Ministry of Education and Science has licensed 90 institutions to offer non-formal studies. Around 700 institutions are listed in the Register of the Ministry of Economy for adults and others. These include 63 state-owned companies, 288 joint-stock companies, 271 individual companies and 46 foreign investment companies. In addition, special departments for adult training have been set up in the universities. The courses offered include training and retraining, particularly in the fields of pedagogy, psychology, special or additional education etc.
Administration & co-ordination:
Department of Research and Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Science
Minister of Education and Science: Algirdas Monkevicius
Volano g. 2/7
Tel: +370 2 62-37-79 +370 2 22-22-51
Fax: +370 2 31-22-95
Lithuanian Rectors' Conference (Lietuvos rektoriu konferencija)
President: Juozas Antanavicius
Secretary-General: Vytautas Sereika
Gedimino pr. 3
Tel: +370 2 61-26-91 +370 2 22-49-67
Fax: +370 2 22-69-82
Science Council of Lithuania
Gedimino pr. 3
Tel: +370 2 62-56-26
Fax: +370 2 61-85-35
Admissions to higher education
Admission to non-university higher education studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Brandos Atestatas
For entry to: Non-university level studies.
Admission to university-level studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Brandos Atestatas
For entry to: All university programmes.
Numerus clausus/restrictions: There is a numerus clausus for students entering university level education.
Foreign students admission
Definition of foreign student: A foreign student is a person who is not a permanent resident in Lithuania and is enrolled at a Lithuanian institution of higher education.
Admission requirements: Students must hold the Maturity Certificate or an equivalent qualification and sit for an entrance examination.
Entry regulations: A study visa or residence permit, depending on the length of studies, except for some countries, and financial guarantees are required.
Health requirements: A health certificate is required.
Language requirements: Students must have a good knowledge of Lithuanian, except for those entering programmes offered in English, German or Russian or individual studies (e.g. Music, Art).
Apply to individual institution for entry to: Universities, academies.
Apply to national body for entry to: Only in case of intergovernmental bilateral exchanges and scholarship awards.
Recognition of studies & qualifications:
Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):
Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education
Head: Birute Mockiene
Suvalku str. 1
Tel: +370 2 23-25-52 +370 2 23-25-55
Fax: +370 2 23-25-53
Services provided & students dealt with: Recognition of foreign diplomas, courses and period of studies. Information, consultation in the field of educational system of Lithuania. Information, consultation and recommendations on the recognition of foreign qualifications in higher education, evaluation and recognition of foreign qualifications and periods of study.
Special provisions for recognition:
For the exercise of a profession: Competent bodies (ministries, agencies, associations) deal with professional recognition.
Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies
Name of agreement: Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention)
Year of signature: 1999
Name of agreement: European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities
Year of signature: 1997
Name of agreement: Unesco Convention On the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees Concerning Higher Education in the States Belonging To the Europe Region
Year of signature: 1994
References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies
Title: Foreign Student Guide
Author: Vilnius Technical University
Title: Higher Education in Lithuania
Author: Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education
Year of publication: 1999
Title: Student Handbook
Author: Council of Europe
Publisher: Bock Verlag
Year of publication: 1998
Main student services as national level
Association for the exchange of students for technical experience (IAESTE)
Daiva Beisiene, K. Donelaicio 73
Tel: 370 7 20-23-06
Fax: 3707 20-26-40
National student associations and unions
Lithuanian National Union of Students
Universiteto g. 3
Tel: +370 2 61-44-14
Fax:+370 2 61-79-20
Special student travel fares:
By road: Yes
Available to foreign students: Yes
Student expenses and financial aid
Average living costs: 2300 (US Dollar)
Home students tuition fees: Minimum: 0 (Lithuanian Litas)
Maximum: 12000 (Lithuanian Litas)
Foreign students tuition fees: Minimum: 1300 (US Dollar)
Maximum: 6000 (US Dollar)
Publications on student services and financial aid:
Title: Study Abroad 2000-2001
Year of publication: 1999
Main grading system used by higher education institutions
Full Description: 1-10; 10: excellent; 9: very good; 8: good; 7: sufficient; 6: satisfactory; 5: weak; 4-1: bad
Pass/fail level: 5
Lowest on scale: 1
Notes on higher education system
Data for academic year: 1999-2000
Source: Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (Lithuanian ENIC/NARIC), Vilnius, 2000