Branches of study
First cycle studies may be implemented at universities and at colleges. Universities are higher education institutions that carry out international-level fundamental and applied research, experimental development and/or develop professional art. Along with that, university studies based on those activities are implemented. More than half of all teachers have to be scientists and/or recognised artists or doctor in the arts. Colleges (they are also higher education institutions) are oriented toward studies based on professional practice and applied research, experimental development and/or professional art. More than half of college teachers have to have at least 3 years’ experience of practical work in the taught field.
Studies at institutions of higher education are carried out in six study fields: bio-medical, physical, technological, social sciences, the humanities and the arts. The study fields are divided into groups of fields, and the latter into study areas. Branches of science form separate fields. The minister of education, science and sport approves a List of Study Fields and Study Field Groups.
General Requirements of Study Implementation states the study requirements. First cycle studies (not detailed, whether in university or in college) may constitute 180, 210 or 240 ECTS credits. In these credits:
1. At least 120 ECTS credits must be allocated to reach the study field goals. The practice and preparation of the final degree thesis include:
- The total amount of practice must constitute at least 15 ECTS credits in university studies and at least 30 ECTS credits in college studies.
- The final degree thesis and final examination must constitute at least 15 ECTS credits in university studies and at least 9 ECTS credits in college studies. When the studies are interdisciplinary, it is recommended to prepare one integral final degree thesis.
2. At most, 120 ECTS credits must be allocated to studies set by the higher education institution or chosen by the student. A student may improve his/her knowledge in the same field studies or expand his/her knowledge in other field modules (subjects). A student may study in adjoining field studies and choose pedagogical studies. A student may also have additional practice and improve digital competencies and other general skills, etc.
- Two field studies must meet the requirements of both study descriptors. Some credits may be allocated to elective studies, if parts of the goals match.
- At least 60 ECTS credits are allocated to teaching subject(s) and/or teacher training specialisation field studies. When a pedagogue of two or more subjects or a pedagogue of teacher training specialisation is prepared, modules are allocated up to 180 ECTS credits.
- 60 ECTS credits are allocated to acquire a pedagogical qualification. Out of these, 30 ECTS credits are allocated to teacher training field studies (including at least 3 ECTS credits for the final degree thesis) and 30 ECTS credits to pedagogical practice. The final degree thesis has to be related to the final degree thesis in the studied field or integrated into it.1.
To be eligible for admission to the first cycle studies of higher education institutions, a person must have attained at least a secondary education and have passed at least one state Matura examination. In addition, his/her learning results must reach minimal indexes set by the Minister or Education, Science and Sport. The indexes are defined according to the person’s necessary readiness to study in a higher education institution. These indexes are set after consulting the Lithuanian University Rectors' Conference and the Rectors' Conference of Lithuanian University Colleges and published no later than two years before September 1 of the corresponding year. The Lithuanian High Schools Association for Centralised Admission (LAMA BPO) organizes a competition to admission for higher education institutions.
A competitive score is calculated by taking into account the secondary school achievement results, entrance examinations and other criteria established by the higher education institution. Applicants have the right to apply to more than one higher education institution. Applying for specialised programmes, such as the arts, an additional competition may be held by the higher education institution itself.
Subject to evaluation by the students’ representation, the list of competitive subjects according to the study fields and the principles of working out a competitive grade, the lowest passing entrance grade and other criteria are set by higher education institutions and are publicised no later than two years prior to the beginning of the respective academic year.
The total number of study places is established by the higher education institution taking into consideration the possibilities of assuring the quality of studies. After consideration of the higher education institutions’ suggestions, the minister of education, science and sport sets the minimum number of study seats in state high schools by study fields and cycles.
Contents of study curriculum
In preparing the study curricula, higher education institutions take into account a descriptor of a certain study field. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport or the higher education institution itself initiates the preparation or change of the study field descriptor according to the recommendations. The minister of education, science and sport approves study the field descriptors prepared and coordinated with higher education institutions.
Certain points that have to be reflected in study curricula are listed in the study field descriptors:
- General provisions. Qualification levels and qualifications acquired after finishing university or college studies; the possible volume of study curricula, forms of study and admission requirements are listed here.
- Study field (fields) concept and coverage. Possibilities and restrictions to implement studies of a certain field (fields) as adjoining studies.
- General and special study results: a person’s knowledge, abilities, skills and competencies after finishing his/her studies, i.e., knowledge, its understanding and application; abilities to do research; special abilities; social abilities; personal abilities.
- Teaching, studying and assessment.
- Requirements for the implementation of studies. Minimal requirements for teachers’ qualifications, materials and methodical study base are listed.
Modes of study are as follows: face-to-face class work, self-study hours and practical training. Different learning and teaching methods are used when studying: lectures, practical work, laboratory work, designing work, seminars, self-study hours, library work, group tasks, scientific research work, etc., as well as a combination of all these methods. Studies can be organised by way of distance learning. Face-to-face class work is organised in groups. Consultations can be individual. The duration of face-to-face class work is measured in academic hours. The duration of one academic hour is 45 minutes. Teachers of higher education institutions can use different methods of teaching. The materials or notes of lectures taught to students during the lectures are often put in the virtual environment of the higher education institution. Information technologies are widely used and implemented in the study process.
Students carry out fundamental and applied research, engage in the applied scientific activity, and take part in the research programmes of their own country and foreign countries. Apart from a scientific activities, the artistic activities of teachers and students oriented towards the artistic education of the public and the unity of art practice and studies is developed at higher education institutions.
All studying individuals can make use of the possibilities provided by the Lithuanian Academic Libraries Network (LABT). This network connects the libraries of universities, colleges, state research institutions and the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.
Students buy textbooks and other educational books or use those available in the stocks of libraries of higher education institutions.
The Law on Higher Education and Research states that 15 or 30 credits of first cycle studies must be set for practice in an actual work place. The possibility to practice at a potential employer’s workplace contributes to a student’s employability later or even during studies.
Along with that, high schools have their carreer centres, which provide students with various general and individual consultations. They also provide various employability training sessions and help to find practical placements and, later, a work-place. They also help employers find employees.
Civil society representatives, including employer representatives, can apply for a seat in the high school’s board.
Student assessment and progression
The assessment of students is made according to the procedure established by the Statute (Regulations) of Studies of each higher education institution. This procedure can differ at different universities or colleges; overall, however, several basic assessment principles and methods are in effect. The study programme is completed by assessing the competence of the graduate during a defence of the final degree thesis (project) and (or) during the final examinations.
The main form of progress assessment is an examination. In many higher education institutions, the number of examinations given in one examination session is limited. Achievements in some subjects may be assessed by giving students a ‘pass’ at credit tests, or the final assessment is obtained by cumulative assessment. The rules and procedures of the cumulative assessment, as well as the preparation of tasks, is the responsibility of the subject teacher. The examination (pass) results and written work are assessed in grades.
Students’ knowledge during examinations is assessed by assigning students grade points 1 to 10. The results of credit tests are assessed by assigning a ‘pass’ or ’fail’ grade. Higher education institutions can also lay down other principles of assessment. A positive assessment is one that is at least five points.
Students’ progression to a higher stage. Each higher education institution sets rules of progression to a higher stage in its Statute (Regulations) of Studies. According to higher education institution rules, regressive students may be excluded from the high school.
Upon completion of the first cycle study programmes, graduates are issued diplomas attesting to the qualification degree awarded and a diploma supplement. The diploma supplement is an integral part of the diploma providing a description of the nature, level and content of the studies that were successfully completed by the individual named in the diploma (studied subjects, credits allocated to them, received assessments).