Funding Overview

Higher Education in Lithuania

There are approximately 150,000 students in higher education in Estonia. There are around 4,000 foreign students, most of whom come from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Nigeria and Azerbaijan. There are 27 public institutions controlled by the Ministry of National Education and 19 private higher-education institutions. Although the majority of programmes are taught in Lithuanian, around 180 programmes are taught mostly in English, but also in Russian, German and Polish, at undergraduate and Master’s levels. Although some state universities offer programmes in English, particularly in Medicine, most English-language programmes are at private universities.
Lithuania offers Students a Rich Academic Experience
Lithuania offers Students a Rich Academic Experience

Educational system

In Lithuania there are two groups of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) – universities and colleges. These may be state-funded or privately-funded. There are 14 state universities and 8 private universities. There are 13 public and 11 private colleges. Higher education in Lithuania has the responsibility to help ensure the country’s cultural and economic prosperity, to support individual’s life goals and to satisfy the desire for knowledge. Lithuania has organized its tertiary education system to fully conform to the Bologna Process and standards since 2012.

Universities universitetas

  • Universities must combine relevant research with teaching and engage in activities promoting personal development, ethical responsibility, creativity and entrepreneurship.
  • They offer degrees at all three levels, as well as carrying out research relevant to their areas of instruction.
  • More than 50% of the staff must be researchers or established artists.

Colleges kolegija

  • Colleges deliver only the Professional Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Colleges teach applied subjects and must also engage in applied research.
  • More than 50% of the staff must have a minimum of 3 years practical work experience in their field. Staff teaching scientific subjects must hold relevant degrees.

Admission Procedures

Entry into Lithuanian HEIs is possible with the upper-secondary leaving certificate, or after upper secondary vocational education or post-secondary non-tertiary education. However, most institutions have supplementary admission requirements: such as possession of the National Examination Certificate, entrance exams, aptitude tests and aptitude interviews. Students entering programmes taught in Lithuanian are required to demonstrate their ability to study in that language by passing a language competency test.

EU residents are admitted under exactly the same conditions as Lithuanian residents. However, they must know the language of instruction well, or study it in a preliminary year, and have the equivalent certificate for completion of upper-secondary education. They must have the European Health Card to cover their health costs.

For non-EU students, a National Visa is required to enter the country and a Temporary Residence Permit must be obtained after entry, if staying longer than three months. Health insurance is also required. Foreign qualifications must be approved by the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (CQAHE). Lithuania participates in the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) which allows students from EU countries to use credits from other Universities towards a degree in Lithuania, or transfer credits from Lithuania to a degree in another EU country.

Bachelor’s Degree Bakalauras (first-cycle degrees)

  • There are two types of Bachelor’s Degree in Lithuania. Universities offer Bachelor Degrees and Colleges offer Professional Bachelor Degrees.
  • Both University Bachelor and Professional Bachelor degrees normally take four years to complete.
  • At least one-third of the study for a Professional Bachelor must be practical work or training.
  • Both kinds of degrees are structured to make it possible to graduate in a major and a minor field, in which case the degree is referred to as ‘double’ degree.
  • Where appropriate graduates simultaneously receive the necessary professional qualification for their field along with their degree.
  • There are no ‘short-cycle’ (2 year) programmes in Lithuania.

Master’s Degree Magistro (second-cycle degrees)

  • Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree in the appropriate area of study to be admitted to a Master’s programme in that area.
  • Students holding a Professional Bachelor’s degree may be required to undertake additional study courses, or demonstrate a minimum of one year of practical experience, before admission.
  • Only Universities offer Master’s degrees.
  • A Master’s normally takes two years full-time to complete.
  • Presentation of a Master’s thesis of original research or investigation is an integral part of the programme.

Integrated Study Programmes

  • In Lithuania it is also possible to take a programme integrating Bachelor and Master’s studies. These programmes are offered in a variety of fields: Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Law, Religious Studies, Aerospace Engineering, Maritime Engineering and Maritime Technology.
  • Residency periods for students of medicine are also considered to be a programme of this nature.

Doctoral Programmes Daktaras (third-cycle degrees)

  • Doctorates are offered by Universities only. They normally require five years to complete on a full-time basis.
  • Relevant lower degrees – Bachelor’s and Master’s - are required for admission.
  • Study is primarily through independent research and presentation of a thesis is required.