Lithuania has twelve years of comprehensive education and three cycles of higher education, including the programmes of Bachelor, Master and the Doctorate. The system is designed for pupils and students to be able to freely choose their field of studies enabling them to concentrate on specific subjects.
The National Examination Centre is in charge of matura (school graduation) examinations. This ensures that pupils' achievements are objectively evaluated by independent evaluators. Centrally arranged matura examinations facilitate university admissions effected on the basis of the average grade of matura examinations.
Pre-schooling is offered for children from birth to six years of age. It is optional and is only available upon parents’ request. Pre-school education is provided both by public and private day nurseries, kindergartens, and schools-kindergartens.
Pre-primary education is provided for six-year olds, or earlier (but not earlier than five years), if parents request and if the child is mature enough for education. Education lasts one year and is intended to better prepare for school. It is free and universal, but is not mandatory. Pre-primary groups are set up in kindergartens or schools.
Primary education is provided from seven years of age or earlier, if parents so wish, and if the child has reached certain level of maturity. The completion of the programme that takes four years provides pupils with primary education.
Primary schools have no grade assessment, instead focussing on child's individual progress. Pupils get oral information or brief written description on their achievements. Trimester, semester or academic year end in round- up evaluation specifying the achieved level: satisfactory, basic or advanced.
Ethnic minority schools begin teaching the state official language in the first year. The first foreign language is introduced in the second year.
Basic education takes six years to complete. It is provided by basic, secondary, youth, vocational schools and gymnasiums.
Compulsory education is until 16 years of age. It normally lasts until the tenth grade.
Basic education may be followed by further studies in secondary or vocational schools. It is also possible to follow secondary education programme in conjunction with the vocational training program aimed at acquisition of the first qualification.
Higher education in Lithuania is optional. Usually it takes two years (11-12th grades in secondary schools and 3-4th grades in gymnasiums). Students follow individual education plans. The programme may include vocational training modules.
The secondary education programme may be followed in secondary, vocational schools and gymnasiums. Secondary education completes in matura examinations.
Vocational training is designed to develop or acquire skills. Vocational training is provided by vocational schools.
Apart from vocational training, vocational schools can provide basic and secondary education. Duration of the programmes may be from two to three years depending on whether the programme is designed to acquire basic or secondary education or if it is adapted for people with special needs. The duration of training for secondary school graduates is from 1 to 2 years.
Completion of a training programme followed by examinations leads to acquisition of a certain qualification. Acquisition of secondary education may be followed by further studies at colleges or universities. Higher education schools offer on admission additional points to best achievers and those with practical experience in the field of the acquired qualification.
Higher education study programmes
Higher education study programmes are of two types: university and college. There are three cycles of studies: first, professional Bachelor’s or Bachelor’s Degree, second, Master’s, the third, doctorate.
These studies can be followed on full-time and part-time basis.
Learning achievements in grades 5-12 in secondary schools as well as in the majority of higher education establishments are assessed as follows:
|Pass||10 (exellent)||Excellent, exceptional knowledge and competences|
|9 (very good)||Solid, good knowledge and competences|
|8 (good)||Knowledge and competences above the average|
|7 (average)||Average knowledge and competences, minor mistakes|
|6 (satisfactory)||Knowledge and competences (skills) below the average, mistakes|
|5 (weak)||Knowledge and competences (skills) meet minimum requirements|
|Fail||4, 3, 2, 1 (unsatisfactory)||Failing minimum requirements|
Secondary and higher education acquired outside the country is assessed by Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education.