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Study in Lithuania

Created: 2015.01.07 / Updated: 2015.04.13 09:50

Studies are conducted according to degree and non-degree study programmes. There are two types of study programmes: university and college.

Studies are organised in three cycles: the first cycle – Professional Bachelor’s Degree studies or University Bachelor’s Degree studies, the second cycle – Master’s Degree studies, and the third cycle – Doctoral Degree studies.

First cycle higher education college study programmes are oriented towards training for professional activities. A professional bachelor’s degree or a professional bachelor’s degree and professional qualification are awarded on completion of studies and the professional bachelor’s degree diploma is issued. Full-time studies usually last 3 years and part-time studies usually last 4 years. Practical training accounts for at least one-third of the study programme. Those who acquire practical work experience and complete bridging courses (the duration of which are determined by a higher school) may continue their studies in the master’s degree programme at the university. College studies are provided by public and private colleges.

First cycle university study programmes provide universal general education and are more focused on theoretical preparation and top-level professional skills. A bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree and professional qualification are awarded on completion of studies and the bachelor’s degree diploma is issued.

Full-time studies at universities usually last 4 years. University studies are provided by universities, academies, and seminaries.

Second cycle (Master’s degree) study programmes are designed to prepare students for independent research (artistic) or other work which requires scientific knowledge and analytical skills. A master’s degree or a master’s degree and professional qualification are awarded on completion of a master’s degree study programme and the master’s degree diploma is issued.

Integrated studies – these are studies where the first and second cycle studies are combined as a continuous programme. On completion of these studies the master’s degree is awarded.

Third-cycle studies are conducted in the doctoral programme of science (art). After completing doctoral studies and defending a dissertation (or an art project), the doctoral degree in science (artistic) is awarded.

Bridging courses provide the competences necessary to study in a master’s degree programme where they have not been acquired by the student in the first cycle of studies.

Non-degree study programmes are geared towards acquiring a qualification or preparation for independent practical activities.

Residency – a course of study in a non-degree programme for individuals who have a university education and wish to prepare, according to the procedure stipulated in the law, for independent practical activities. After completing the residency, a certificate is issued.

Pedagogical studies – a course of study in a non-degree programme for individuals who wish to acquire a pedagogical qualification. The studies are intended for individuals who have acquired a university education and wish to become teachers of a certain school subject or profession.

A credit – the scope of studies is measured in credits. A credit is a unit of the volume of the study subject used to measure learning outcomes and the working time of the student. It is considered that the 1600 working hours needed to complete one academic year correspond to 60 credits. One study credit is equal to one European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credit.

The national system of quality assurance in higher education is in place in Lithuania. Only accredited degree programmes are provided. An accredited degree programme is registered for a maximum six-year study with the Register for Studies, Curricula and Qualifications. External assessment of higher school study programmes can be performed by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education or other higher education quality assessment agency listed in the European Quality Assurance Register in Higher Education.

Permits to carry out activities related to studies are issued by the Ministry of Education and Science. Permits may be provided to a representative office of a foreign higher education school in Lithuania.

** Joint degree programmes are designed and provided jointly by a number of higher education institutions. After selecting this programme, the student studies some of the time in Lithuania, and some of the time at a foreign university or college, and after graduating is awarded diplomas of both higher education institutions.

In Lithuania, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Vytautas Magnus University, and the College of Social Sciences offer joint degree programmes with higher education institutions in Austria, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Russia and other countries. **


Foreign students, teachers and researchers can receive state scholarships for a period of studies in any chosen field, short- or long-term internships. These state scholarships can also cover Lithuanian language and culture summer courses, short-term studies, including Lithuanian/Baltic studies or research visits in Lithuanian higher education and research institutions (managed by Education Exchangers Support Foundation, see more information). Some Master degree scholarships are available for citizens of dedicated countries (Belarus Republic, Republic of Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Republic of Ukraine, the Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Uzbekistan and People's Republic of China). Together with an extensive marketing campaign (see these measures have resulted in a 10% year-on-year growth of full-time international students in Lithuania. 94% of them agree that they would recommend studies in Lithuania to their friends.

Additionally, Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Lithuania allocates a dedicated budget to Lithuanian universities and colleges to hire staff from other countries. In the last few years researchers and world class lecturers came to Lithuania from more than 30 countries, with almost a hundred coming every year. Besides short term visits by guest lecturers, institutions employ more than 400 foreign lecturers.

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