Education System in Lithuania
In Lithuania Education is free of charge and compulsory from the age of 6 or 7 to 16 years which covering primary and basic education.
Pre-school education is offered by day-care centres, kindergartens, etc. It is designed to Prepare children for school and to bring all pre-school pupils up to the same level of Knowledge. Primary education lasts for 4 years and is intended for pupils 7 to 11 years of age. Pupils who successfully complete the fourth year will continue in lower secondary education. Lower general secondary schools last 6 years and pupils are usually between 10/11 and 16 years of age. Upper general secondary education is for pupils from 16/17 to 18/19 years of age and lasts 2 years. The Maturity Certificate grants access to higher education.
Lithuania has a binary system of higher education with university institutions and professionally oriented institutions –colleges.
University institutions primarily provide academic education, while the colleges focus on non-academic education.
A 3-tier system of education has evolved in the University Education: First cycle (undergraduate); Second cycle (graduate); and Third cycle (post-graduate).
A first cycle leads to undergraduate degree, possibly in combination with a professional qualification. A study load of 140 to 180 national credits is required. With the awarded degree, students have access to the second cycle of higher Education.
A second cycle leads to the Masters degree, possibly in combination with a professional qualification. A study load of 40 to 80 national credits is required. Integrated studies combine the first and second cycle and lead to Masters Degrees in medicine, engineering, law and theology. The study load may differ but a minimum of 180 credits is required for a professional qualification, and 200 to 240 for a master degree in combination with a professional degree.
The third cycle distinguishes between 3 forms of postgraduate education. In this cycle, students study for a postgraduate qualification. This could be for a Doctorate, a Residency (for example, those studying medicine or veterinary science) or a postgraduate qualification in the Arts.
Admission to all cycles takes place on a competitive basis according to the admission rules set up by the higher education institution and validated by the Ministry of Education and Science.
To apply to undergraduate programmes , the student must hold a secondary or equivalent education certificate. To apply to graduate programmes , the student must hold a Bachelor or equivalent degree. Postgraduate studies are offered by a university or a university and science institution collectively. The duration of the different postgraduate studies is determined by the Government. To apply to post-graduate studies, the student must hold a Master or equivalent degree in the selected field.
There are both state institutions and private institutions. Private institutions must have a Government permit to operate. The programmes offered by all institutions are listed in the register of the Ministry of Education and Science.