Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in Northern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, it is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.9 million people as of 2015, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, are the only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.
Higher Education System
The higher education institutions are of two types: universities and colleges (non-university higher education institutions). Studies are organised in three cycles: bachelor studies (in universities) or professional bachelor studies (in colleges), post-graduate studies and doctoral studies. Full-time and part-time studies are available.
College studies (non-university higher education) are oriented towards training for professional activities. The duration of full-time studies in colleges is usually three years and for part-time studies – four years. Practical training covers at least one third of the study programme. Graduates are awarded with a professional bachelor degree. Students with practical experience can complete additional studies (the duration of which is set by each higher education institution) to continue post-graduate studies in universities. College studies are offered by public and private colleges.
University studies provide a universal academic education, theoretical training and the highest level of professional excellence. The form of university studies can be continuous, for example, in medicine the first and the second cycles are connected. The duration of full-time studies in universities is four years and for part-time studies it is often five years. Graduates are awarded with a bachelor degree. They can continue their studies in post-graduate studies that last one and a half to 2 years. Those who want to dedicate themselves to academic activities after post-graduate studies can study for a doctoral degree (the duration of studies is four years). University studies are offered by universities, academies and seminaries.
There are 23 colleges in Lithuania (10 out of them are private) and 22 universities (8 private).
Average tuition fees in higher education institutions depend on the field of study and the study cycle. On average, the cost of studies at higher education institutions is approximately between 1.000 – 5.300 EUR per year for bachelor studies, from 2.200 to 6.500 EUR per year for master studies and from 7.100 to 8.500 EUR per year for doctoral studies. With higher education being notoriously expensive in most parts of the world, more than three-fourths of international students in Lithuania agree they are getting a bang for their buck – with reasonable tuition fees for the highest quality of studies and generous scholarship schemes for top quality education.
There are various scholarship opportunities in Lithuania. Scholarships are offered by the state, higher education institutions and International Scholarship Programs. Each higher education institution also has its own scholarship funds and financing schemes based on which one-time awards or other type of awards are given to the students meeting certain requirements from institution’s funds. Lithuanians living abroad and expatriates (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of expatriates who had lived abroad for more than three years and started studying in at least in the ninth grade in Lithuania ). This scholarship is granted for one semester, including holidays.
Most foreign students say that 350-400 EUR is enough to live off for a month (minus the tuition fees). It really depends on how much you want to travel and go out, but our night clubs, pubs, museums and other attractions are less expensive than the ones found elsewhere in Europe. A day menu at most restaurants will cost from 3 to 5 EUR, a cinema ticket – up to 6 EUR, ten minutes at a local carting track – 10-12 EUR.
Recognition of foreign qualifications
Candidates to Lithuanian higher education institutions who have received their secondary or higher education abroad should arrange for the academic recognition of foreign qualifications. Academic recognition means determining the value of the qualifications, i. e. if these qualifications generally meet with the requirements of relevant qualifications in Lithuania from the academic point of view. Academic recognition of foreign qualifications is undertaken by the centre of Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) and higher education institutions holding the authorisation of the Minister of Education and Science in Lithuania.
A Permanent Residence Permit in Lithuania for foreign national (non European Union) can be granted give that this person has had a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Lithuania for 5 years in a row. A permanent residence permit in the Republic of Lithuania is granted for 5 years and, at the same time, grants a permanent resident status to the person.