Study in Lithuania
Lithuania is a member of the European Union and the largest economy among the three Baltic states. Lithuania belongs to the group of very high human development countries.
Lithuania was the first country to declare independence from Soviet Union in 1990 and rapidly moved from centrally planned to a market economy, implementing numerous liberal reforms. It enjoyed high growth rates after joining the European Union along with the other Baltic states, leading to the notion of a Baltic Tiger.
Education is free of charge and compulsory from the age of 6 or 7 to 16 years(covering “primary” and “basic” education), as stated in the national Law on Education. In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 98 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for Lithuania as of 2001. While enrollments rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children’s participation in school.
Education in Lithuania
Pre-tertiary education is organized in 4 main cycles: Pre-school education (until age 5 or 6), Pre-primary education (1 year, between age 5-7), primary education (4 years, between age 6-11), basic education (6 years, between age 10-17, ends on a “basic education certificate”), upper secondary education(two years, between age 16-19). Upper secondary education ends on the “matura” examination, opening gates to tertiary education. Vocational and technical education starts at the fifth year of basic education (age 14-15). Its structure is similar to comprehensive education: The program lasts two to three years before the “basic education certificate”. Students can then pursue into vocational upper secondary education that also leads, after two or three years, to a “matura” examination. However, in order to reach tertiary education (university or college), vocational students have to follow an extra “post-secondary” education program of 2 years.
Tertiary education can be divided into university and college. Universities offer an academic education leading to international Bachelor-Master-Phd degrees (Lithuania has implemented the Bologna process in 2006). Colleges offer vocational Education. Since 2006, they can award professional Bachelor degrees.
The school year in Lithuania usually starts on the first of September, including in tertiary education.
Once students have reached 18 years of age, they are offered a variety of opportunities for further education. It is possible to continue one’s education in general education schools and centres for adults, by taking various courses or just using the Internet, reading books, or being interested in special literature.
Adults can obtain primary, basic or secondary education in adult schools, education centres, and general education schools with forms established for adults. General education of adults is organized by approx. 60 institutions in all municipalities of the country, which number about 12 thousand adults. These schools also provide non-formal adult education services.
The scope and subjects of study programmes for adults are adapted according to the needs. Adults who study under general education and non-formal education programmes can choose a flexible learning form that is most suitable for them — modular education, independent education, extramural education, or distance education. These forms allow adults choosing suitable time for their studies and a study programme, as well as planning their learning process on their own.
The modular learning method creates opportunities to study single subjects and complete the selected education programme within acceptable time frames as well as study for the purposes of self-education. Extramural students arrive to the adult school only for consultations and to take credit tests. Part of consultations under the correspondence and individual programmes (and all consultations for disabled people) can be provided distantly, by communicating with teachers with the help of information communication technologies — Internet sites, e-mail, or Internet Telephony Programs.
Adults study not only in order to obtain formal education, but also for self-expression, improvement of their skills, or communication with other people. On non-formal adult education courses and seminars adults tend mostly like to study foreign languages, Basics of Law and Business, Psychology, Computer Literacy as well as Arts, Literature, and Philosophy. Improvement of competencies in citizenship, traffic safety, and career management is also important. Non-formal adult education is organized by approx. 700 public and private institutions. Adult learning also takes place in the workplace and is organized by the employers taking into account their business demands.