Lithuanian higher education system, undergoing major reforms after the restoration of Lithuanian independence, is based on the principles of democracy, institutional autonomy and modernization of the study programmes. The reform was aimed at bringing Lithuanian higher education system closer to Western European and world – wide standards. Higher education institutions in Lithuania are divided into two types: universities and colleges, the latter ones provide non – university higher education. Both can be either state of privately owned. In year 2007/2008 there have been 31 state and 19 private higher education institutions (22 universities and 28 colleges) with over 120.000 students studying there.
Higher education in Lithuania is open to all persons who have completed general secondary education. Higher education is acquired after completing undergraduate studies, which usually take from three to five years and lead to a Bachelor’s or other equivalent qualification degree. Upon completion of undergraduate studies, graduates may pursue specialized professional studies or studies leading to a Master’s degree, which last from 1.5 to 2 years. The Doctoral studies may be pursued after the candidate has already obtained a Master’s degree, a professional qualification or an equivalent certificate. Doctoral studies last from 3 to 4 years.
The prospective student must have sufficient knowledge in the language the programme is taught. Any certificate that proves this knowledge is welcome.