Studies in institutions of higher education (hereinafter referred to as IHE) are carried out according to degree or non-degree programmes.
Degree granting studies are of two types: those of college level and university level. The degree system is based on a three-cycle structure:
- 1st cycle: Professional Bachelor (profesinis bakalauras) or Bachelor (bakalauras);
- 2nd cycle: Master (magistras);
- 3rd cycle: Doctor of Sciences (mokslo daktaras) or Doctor of Arts (meno daktaras).
The 1st cycle Professional Bachelor’s programmes are offered by colleges whereas 1st cycle Bachelor’s programmes are offered by universities. The 2nd cycle degree granting programmes can only be offered by universities. The 3rd cycle programmes may be carried out by universities or universities together with research institutes. University level degree granting programmes can embrace the 1st and 2nd cycles of studies.
For those who acquire non-university higher education and wish to continue their studies in the 2nd cycle of programmes, the option is to choose levelling study programmes offered by universities. Such college level education is comparable to university Bachelor’s degree. Non–degree granting study programmes are aimed at preparing students for independent professional practice or gaining/upgrading professional qualifications. Certificate of studies is issued after completion of non-degree granting studies.
Both 1st and 2nd cycle studies are offered by state and private institutions of higher education.
There is a possibility to complete both 1st and 2nd cycle studies in the Lithuanian IHE in the English language. The programmes offered in English are annually reviewed and their number varies.
Currently, those wishing to pursue studies in the English language, are offered more than 200 1st cycle (Professional Bachelor and Bachelor) and more than 150 2nd cycle (Master) study programmes. Study programmes in the Russian language are also offered (40 1st cycle and 10 2nd cycle programmes). More information is available on Study in Lithuania website.
Submitting an Application
There are two application procedures depending on the basis of your citizenship.
- If you are a citizen of Lithuania, EU/EEA country, or have a right of permanent residence in the Republic of Lithuania or a child, grandchild and great-grandchild of the Diaspora and people of Lithuanian origin and you would like to compete for a state-funded study places, you need to complete an application form of general admission via the website of the Association of Lithuanian Higher Education Institutions (LAMA BPO). The time to do it is between 1st June and 23rd July.
- If you are a citizen of non-EU and non-EEA country and you want to finance your studies independently with your own funds, you should apply directly to the selected Lithuanian university or college. As rule of thumb, admission to studies is carried out in July.
Foreign citizens planning to study in Lithuania are advised to start application procedure as early as possible. Document recognition and subject equivalence identification procedures may take up to one month or longer.
Each university is a separate institution, therefore each one has a different set of requirements and admits students through a separate application process. The requirements and admission fees vary from university to university largely depending on the chosen study programme.
First you must choose a study programme.
Once you find the study programme you want to apply to and evaluate your academic background against the prerequisites of the study programme – you must directly contact the university that provides that programme.
The university then will give up-to-date instructions on their own application process.
You must submit all documents to the selected Higher Education institution before the deadline. Don’t forget to check the deadline for your study programme as it may differ from others.
Regardless of which Lithuanian higher education institution you select, you will probably need all or some of the following documents:
- a completed application form. Each Higher Education institution has its’ own form;
- Certificate of Education (including grades), recognised by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- a letter of motivation;
- a copy of your passport, certified by a Commissioner of Oaths;
- photographs (3 x 4 cm);
- a receipt proving that the application and tuition fees have been paid;
- bank statements demonstrating sufficient funds for study and living throughout the duration of your study.
What should a holder of foreign qualifications, seeking to be enrolled to the Lithuanian IHE, do?
- Choose a study program and check the requirements.
- Contact the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (hereinafter referred to as SQAHE) regarding academic recognition of foreign qualifications (with the exception of international and European Baccalaureate diplomas);
- Pass the Lithuanian language test (if the selected studies are conducted in the Lithuanian language and if the applicant has no proven record of language proficiency issued by competent authority (e.g., relevant documents issued by the embassy, municipality or the Lithuanian community officially registered in a foreign country);
- The pass/fail system used to test the knowledge of Lithuanian language is executed by the Department of Lithuanian studies at Vilnius University. The test is both oral and written. The cost of the test is 31.86 Euros;
Is there any support for persons of Lithuanian origin seeking to study in Lithuania?
In the attempt to attract children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Lithuanian Diaspora and people of Lithuanian descent to study in Lithuania, Lithuanian IHE awards these persons an additional admission point and provides financial assistance for their studies in Lithuania. An additional point is awarded to entrants of Bachelor study programmes and is added to the competitive score, calculated according to the procedure of making an applicant list taking into account the grade score of maturity (entrance) examinations.
You are eligible for financial assistance during the studies in Lithuania if you meet the following conditions:
- You are a child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the Lithuanian diaspora and people of Lithuanian descent;
- You lived abroad for at least three years;
- You started your schooling at no lower than 8th grade.
Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Lithuanian diaspora and people of Lithuanian descent may be granted support of two types: a scholarship and /or social benefit. The monthly amount of scholarship is three basic social benefits (114 Euros) per month. It is granted for one study semester and paid out monthly until the end of the semester. A social benefit is a single payment which is granted considering the social status of the person applying for support (from 202.73 Euros to 318.58 Euros). A student falling under the above-mentioned categories is entitled to both types of support. The support shall not be granted to the individuals who choose to study the languages of their country of origin.
People of Lithuanian descent applying for assistance are required to register with the State Studies Foundation website and fill out the electronic application form. The deadlines are as follows:
- For autumn semester – until September 30;
- For spring semester – until February 20.
How is the admission score calculated?
The admission score is calculated considering the information presented in the document on completing secondary education, grade score of maturity examinations, and other additional data about the person in question (sports achievements, outstanding performance in competing at student Olympiads, international competitions, etc.). Based on this score, applicants’ priority list is drawn. Admission is based on the competition for seats among all applicants. In the case of an equal number of competitive scores, priority is determined considering the grade score of maturity (entrance) examinations and the place of the relevant programme on the preference list indicated in the application. Finally, a list of successful entrants is announced.
Admission procedures to private and public IHE are different. Private universities and colleges may not participate in the general admission to higher education. Such IHE have their own procedure for admission of applicants to respective study programmes. A list of all IHE is available in AIKOS information system.
How much does it cost to study in Lithuania?
On average, the cost of studies at an institution of higher education is approximately between 1 248 – 11 587 Euros per year for 1st cycle (Bachelor) studies, from 2 242 to 12 581 Euros per year for 2nd cycle (Master) studies (the total costs for studies are indicated, including both public and private universities). More information can be found here.
High-performing students of Lithuanian IHE are awarded scholarships. The Law on Education and Science also provides for the possibility for high-performers to pursue studies financed by the state (that is, they are provided free tuition).
The right to state-funded studies or to a refund of the tuition fee is granted to:
- Lithuanian citizens;
- Foreigners who are children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Lithuanian diaspora and people of Lithuanian descent (hereinafter referred to as the diaspora and people of Lithuanian descent;
- Citizens of the member countries of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA).
Other persons admitted to Lithuanian HEI are required to cover tuition fees themselves.
Are there any scholarships for Master’s degree studies?
The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania takes pleasure in offering Lithuanian state scholarships for full-time Master degree studies for nationals of the Republic of Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the State of Israel as well as foreigners of Lithuanian origin to study at Lithuanian higher education institutions. The scholarships are intended for full-time Master’s degree studies in Lithuania. All approved candidates will receive a for the whole duration of the studies. Only the nationals of the Republic of Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Georgia and foreign citizens of Lithuanian origin for their Full-time Master degree studies will be covered the cost of the studies, up to limit not exceeding national standard study cost.
- Candidate must be a national of one of the above mentioned countries. Foreigner of Lithuanian origin cannot hold the citizenship from one of EU or EEA country.
- Candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Candidate must have an official letter of acceptance or pre-acceptance for full-time Master’s degree studies or integrated studies programme from one of the Lithuanian higher education institutions.
- Candidate must have good knowledge of the Lithuanian, English or another language the study programme is conducted in (the minimum B2 level of command of the language of instruction according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
- A scholarship can be granted only once. A candidate, who has already got funding under this instrument, will not be eligible.
- A scholarship cannot be granted to a candidate who is studying or planning to study an international joint degree programme with a part of the studies (as mandatory mobility period) in the candidate’s home country.
Source: Study in Lithuania, Ministry of Education