Main funding principles
Adult general primary, basic and secondary education carried out in institutions of formal education is entirely funded by State and local budgets based on the principle of the pupil’s basket.
Initial vocational education is also funded by the State and local budgets based on the principle of funding one student. The Law on Vocational Education and Training specifies the legal basis for promotion of employers who are involved in implementing the continuing professional development and vocational training of their employees.
Persons seeking to acquire a higher education qualification for the first time may be eligible for student places funded by the State. Upon enrolment in a study place for which fees must be paid, students must pay for their studies at the institution of higher education themselves. The cost of their studies may also be covered by their employers or other natural or legal persons.
Non-formal adult education is most often funded by the participants of study programmes or by legal and natural stakeholders, except for programmes that are commissioned by the State or local governments and that are financed by the corresponding budgets. Non-formal adult education programmes and purpose-specific projects commissioned by the State or local governments are funded by State or local budgets. In the Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Lifelong Learning adopted in July 2014 (the law came into force on 1 January 2015), the Government is supposed to prepare a new methodology for financing non-formal adult education. In October 2015, the Ministry of Education and Science presented the Government a project entitled Resolution Concerning funding methodology for studying in non-formal adult education and lifelong learning programmes. According to this project, non-formal adult education and lifelong learning programmes would be funded by targeted national or local budget funds. The Minister for Education and Science would set up and sign the order to finance programmes with money from the national budget. Local government councils would set up the procedures to finance programmes with money from the local government.
State institutions finance non-formal adult education programmes through targeted grants or application of project selection methods. The focus of attention is placed on labour market demand-oriented non-formal adult education, but non-vocational adult education is also supported to a greater or lesser extent.
Fees paid by learners
Adult general primary, basic and secondary education as well as initial vocational education and training are free of charge. A person who wants to study at a higher education institution may be provided state funding if he/she seeks to acquire the first higher education qualification. On failing to receive state funding, the person may be provided with a state-supported loan for covering the tuition fee.
Non-formal adult education may be paid for by the learner himself/herself or may be covered by funds of various programmes and projects, institution that is sending the adult for learning.
Financial support for adult learners
Residents of Lithuania are entitled to deduction from their annual taxable income of payments made by them during the tax period for covering the tuition fee of vocational education and training or studies (including doctoral studies), upon completion of which higher education and/or a relevant qualification are obtained. In the event that a studying resident of Lithuania is under 26 years of age and is not an income tax payer or has no possibility to exercise this right to have payments for studies deducted from his/her income, one of his parents (foster parents) or guardians may have those expenses deducted instead. As a result, the studying resident or one of his parents may recover part of the tuition fees paid.
The Labour Code provides for a purpose-specific educational leave to:
- employees who are entitled to educational leave in order to prepare for and take entrance examinations to higher education institutions (three days for each examination). From 2015 employees are entitled to use one day educational leave for defending a doctoral thesis or art project;
- employees who are studying at schools of general education or at colleges and higher educational institutions registered in the prescribed manner are entitled to educational leave subject to a certificate of the above institutions: to prepare for and take ordinary examinations (three days for each examination); to prepare for and take credit tests (two days for each credit test); for laboratory work and consultations (as many days as are set out on the syllabuses and time-tables); to complete and present the graduation thesis (Bachelor's, Master's) (30 calendar days); to prepare for and take state (final) examinations (six days for each examination);
- from 2015 the new kind of educational leave is available for the adult learners – it is a five working days per year leave for the employees to participate in the non-formal adult education programmes. The date of the leave must be agreed between the employer and an employee.
Subsidies for private providers
There no private formal general adult education providers in Lithuania. Non-governmental organisations that arrange provision of non-formal adult education can apply for its competitive funding.