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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main types of provision


8.Adult education and training

8.4Main types of provision

Last update: 27 November 2023

The main areas of adult education currently available in Lithuania are as follows: formal adult general education, adult vocational training, continuing education development in colleges and universities (in the form of extended studies) and non-formal adult education. 

Provision to raise achievement in basic skills

Education programmes. Adult education in Lithuania is subsidised by the state and provides basic competences in formal adult education. It can be primary adult education (ISCED 1), basic or lower- secondary adult education (ISCED 2) and upper-secondary education (ISCED 3).

The purpose of primary education is to provide an individual with the basics of moral and social maturity, foundations of culture (including ethnic culture) and elementary literacy, as well as to assist the learner in preparing him/her for learning according to the basic education curriculum. The primary education programme is a four-year programme of schooling (covering grades 1-4) upon completion of which learners attain primary education. This is the first stage of formal education providing a link between pre-primary and primary education.

The purpose of lower-secondary education is to provide an individual with the basics of moral, socio­cultural and civic maturity as well as general and technological literacy, cultivate national consciousness, foster an intent and ability to make decisions and choices and continue learning. It is the second stage of formal education implemented according to a six-year basic education curriculum. The first part of the lower-secondary education curriculum covers a four-year basic education phase and the second part a two-year basic education phase. The second part of the lower- secondary education curriculum may include modules of vocational training programmes, which will be credited when learning is continued according to vocational training programmes. On completion of lower-secondary (basic) education leaners are issued with a certificate

The purpose of upper-secondary education is to assist a person to acquire general academic, socio­cultural and technological literacy, moral, national and civic maturity and the basics of vocational competence. Upper-secondary education is implemented according to a two-year secondary education curriculum. The curriculum consists of compulsory and elective subjects of general education and available modules of vocational training programmes. The Matura certificate is awarded to a learner who has completed the secondary education programme and has passed the Matura examinations.

According to the Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Continuing Education, a person's general or special competence acquired through non-formal education or self-education may be recognized and validated as a qualification corresponding to a certain level specified in the Lithuanian Qualifications Framework.

The curriculum of formal adult general education is predetermined by the state-regulated level of knowledge and skills, i.e. the basic and secondary education standard. The standard is defined by the Ministry of Education and Science - the institution responsible for implementing adult general education policy. The standard sets down a list of compulsory and optional subjects and the compulsory core curriculum.

Admission Requirements. Persons are admitted to adult general education schools (education centres) from the age of eighteen. At the founder's proposal, schools may also enrol persons aged between 16 and 18 years who are not able to attend general education schools for social or personal reasons. Admission to studies according to the adult primary and/or basic education curriculum is granted to those aged 18 years and older persons seeking to acquire primary and/or basic education, as well as persons who have completed primary education and wish to repeat some subjects or modules. Admission to studies according to the adult secondary education curriculum is granted to persons seeking to acquire secondary education, as well as persons who have completed secondary education and wish to repeat some subjects or modules. In 2005, the Minister for Education and Science issued an order by which education levels attested by certificates of seven-year, incomplete secondary or eight-year education, certificates granted in 1993-1994 or certificates of basic education granted in 1995-1999 were recognised as corresponding to the basic general education programme and attesting to the completion of basic education. Persons with the above-mentioned education level may continue learning according to the secondary education curriculum.

Providers. Adults may acquire primary, lower-secondary and upper-secondary education in adult education institutions (education centres), or general education schools with classes for adults.

Training Forms. Adult schools implement the adult primary, basic, secondary or adapted secondary education curricula. Education may be consecutive or in the form of group or individual forms, according to which the learners can choose daily, extramural, remote or individual learning.

Consecutive education at adult schools, education centres and classes is organised according to the Procedure for Consecutive Education and differs from education provided at other general education schools only in the reduced number of weekly lessons set out in the General Teaching Plans. Adults are provided with an opportunity to attend classes in the evening thus enabling them to coordinate their studies with their job and/or family commitments.

Learning according to the adult primary, lower-secondary and upper-secondary curriculum is implemented under the Description of Regulation of Learning Forms and Organization of Learning [1] (2012). Forms of the general education and vocational education and training curriculum are:

  • group learning form, a group of adults are taught by a teacher for a period of time;
  • individual learning form, when individual learners are taught by a teacher for a period of time or the learner periodically participates in a group or individual consultation.

Group learning can be organised as follows:

  • Daily - pupils attend school regularly (5 days per week) and learn consecutively with a teacher.
  • Extramural - pupils gather regularly once a week for sessions organised by the school and learn consecutively with a teacher and receive consultations from the teacher. This model of learning can also be held in sessions over 2-3 days per week where leaners are taught by a team of teachers under the productive learning curriculum that corresponds to the second part of the basic education curriculum. Learners, at their request, can also request to repeat a subject of the general education curriculum in specially formed classes or groups.
  • Distance learning courses - pupils in different remote locations, using IT, join a class or group regularly 5 days per week and learn alongside a teacher.

Individual learning can be organised as follows :

  • Independent - a pupil learns independently (all subjects, separate subjects or modules). For pupils that learn independently teachers provide individual or group consultations.
  • Distance - pupils that learn independently contact the teacher and participate in individual or group consultations using IT.

Flexible forms of learning create favourable conditions for adult learners to choose a suitable time for learning and the necessary scope of the curriculum, to contribute to planning their education and to developing the right attitude to lifelong learning.

Schools and education centres with the necessary material facilities and vocational education programmes recorded with the Register of Studies and Training Programmes may provide vocational education and create conditions for pupils to acquire a vocational qualification. In formal adult education, schools do their best to adapt to the needs of learners in terms of the choice of study forms and scheduling of classes. The form of teaching is mutually agreed with the learners and the schools. Learners can change their forms of study depending on their needs and possibilities.

Certification. Certificates attesting to learning achievements in adult general education schools are issued according to the Procedure for Awarding Certificates and Matura Attestations (2007).

The certificate of primary education is issued to a person who has completed the curriculum of adult primary education, while the certificate of lower-secondary education is issued to a person who has completed the curriculum of adult lower-secondary education.

The Matura Attestation is issued to a person who has completed the adult upper-secondary education curriculum and has passed the Matura examinations. The Matura Attestation is issued by state-run, municipal, private general education and vocational schools. In the event that a person is already a holder of a Matura Attestation or a Diploma testifying to the completion of a vocational school, he/she is granted a special Matura Attestation Supplement once he/she has further upgraded his/her knowledge in the subject and passed the corresponding Matura Examinations.

Learners who have completed a module of a subject or curriculum and a certain curriculum, or learners who have Matura Attestations are issued a document of a definite form by the school principal in an order established by the Minister for Education and Science.

Learners who have not completed the adult basic curriculum receive a certificate attesting to their learning achievements. The certificate is issued by state-run, municipal, private general education and vocational schools. Marks to assess the progress and learning achievements of current learners or those who leave the school (centre) are recorded in their progress reports.

The National Agency for Education is responsible for checking on the assessment of basic education academic achievements in general education schools, as well as the organisation of Matura examinations.

Type of Funding. Adult general primary, lower-secondary and upper-secondary education carried out in institutions of formal education are funded entirely from the state budget and municipal budgets based on the principle of the ‘pupil basket'. This is a special state subsidy distributed through the municipalities to the schools. The ‘pupil basket', which consists of funds for education, is provided to both state and private educational institutions. In state schools, the founder provides the remaining, and private schools can raise the money by charging tuition fees, receiving it through private sponsorship, etc. The money of the ‘pupil basket' cannot be allocated to anything other than education needs. The government sets the amount of the ‘pupil basket'.

Provision to achieve a recognised qualification during adulthood

Education programmes. Formal adult vocational training programmes are recorded in the Register of Studies and Training Programmes. According to the Lithuanian Qualifications framework the education programmes correspond to levels I-IV. This corresponds to ISCED 1-ISCED 4 levels.

Those wishing to study can find information about the mode, duration and scope of studies, education level to be obtained, qualification degree, vocational qualification or the licence granted to perform a certain type of work and also the name and code of the vocational training standard or regulation of the study field/area in the Register of Studies and Training Programmes. Non-formal labour market vocational training programmes lead to the acquisition of certain competences to carry out specific types of work or help develop or upgrade the qualifications obtained earlier. Information about non- formal training programmes is accumulated in the dossier of non-formal training programmes collected and stored by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange.

In order to expand the opportunities for training and integration into the labour market, arrangements are made to provide all types of programmes, including those adapted for the needs of specific groups of learners, such as the long-term unemployed, handicapped people, Roma, and also distance learning and others.

Admission Requirements. Enrolment in vocational schools, colleges and universities is carried out according to the order established by these education institutions. Persons accepted to vocational education institutions must be at least 14 years of age. There are no entrance examinations for applicants.

The Pupils Admission Commission makes the decisions regarding admission to a vocational education institution. First priority is given those with better learning achievements and those who apply and deliver all the necessary documents first. Initial vocational education and learning is funded by the state. Students receive a scholarship and those who perform better receive bigger scholarships.

Providers. Vocational education and training is provided at state, municipal and private institutions of vocational education and training and also at industrial enterprises. Higher education institutions may also implement education providing qualification.

Teaching methods. Teachers are free to choose the ways, forms and means of organizing pedagogical activities. More information on the choice of learning tools and methods available for teachers in general education, can be found in section 6.2.2. “Learning tools and methods”.

Certification. The manner of awarding adult vocational qualifications varies depending on the level of vocational qualification awarded.

The following documents are issued attesting to qualification and learning achievements:

  • Vocational Education Diploma is awarded to students who have gained a pass mark for the competences required for the qualification;
  • a Certificate is issued to students who have completed a module of a certain vocational education curriculum.

Students who have followed a formal vocational education curriculum or module of a vocational education curriculum but have not completed the course may receive a certificate attesting to their learning achievements.

Learners can choose a training curriculum that not only allows them to acquire a professional qualification, but also allows them to obtain basic or secondary education. In this case, following evaluation of the qualification obtained and (or) passing examinations, students obtain the initial professional qualification and (or) basic/secondary education. A student who has completed the vocational education curriculum in parallel with the basic education curriculum and has passed the Matura examinations is awarded a Matura diploma. If the student has not completed the basic education curriculum or passed the Matura examination he/ she receives a certificate attesting to their learning achievements.

Continuing vocational training is undertaken by learners who wish to improve their existing qualification or acquire a qualification or competency, needed for their work. Continuing vocational training includes both formal training (learning) of adults and non-formal adult education. The duration of such programmes is normally less than a year. A qualification is gained on completion of the vocational training curriculum and (or) passing of qualification examinations.

Upon completion of the vocational training programmes included in the Register of Studies and Training Programmes, learners are awarded a nationally recognised certificate attesting to the qualification obtained or ability to perform a certain type of work. Persons who complete programmes or modules of non-formal training receive a certificate of non-formal training attesting to the completion of the programme or module.

After passing the necessary examinations at institutions of formal education, learning and studies, learners engaged have a right to be assessed on the knowledge obtained in the system of non-formal adult education and be awarded a state-recognised certification of their education, a particular stage thereof or a certain part of the approved programme (module).

Funding. Initial vocational education is also funded from the state budget and municipal 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 to student places funded by the state. Upon enrolment in fee-paying study places, students must pay for their studies at a higher education institution themselves. The cost of their studies may also be covered by their employers and other natural or legal persons.

Adult Education for Integration into the Labour Market

The Employment Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour organizes vocational training in accordance with formal vocational training and non-formal adult education programmes in order to increase the competitive opportunities of job seekers and provide employers with missing labour force. The Employment Service provides opportunities for both unemployed and employed people to study and acquire their desired profession. The Employment Service helps to acquire the necessary qualifications, new competencies or to retrain. Priority is given to professions in demand at regional or national level.

The Ministry of Social Security and Labour has prepared five development programmes to achieve the strategic objectives defined in the National Progress Plan. One of these programmes is the 2021-2030 development programme of inclusive labour market.

Implementing the Law on Employment, on 30 June 2017, the Minister of Social Security and Labour approved the description of the conditions and procedures for the implementation of employment support means, which defines how programmes for integration into the labour market are supported. Vocational training according to formal vocational training programmes may be provided by vocational training institutions which have received a licence according to non-formal adult education programmes issued by the Ministry of Education and Science; the concept of education and a continuing education provider and registered in the Register of Education and Science Institutions.

The list of vocational training providers is compiled on the basis of certificates submitted by vocational training providers in the form established by the Director of the Employment Service on vocational training services, excluding vocational training services, which may be organized in the form of apprenticeships, and vocational training service under non-formal adult education programmes according to the requirements established by the director of the Employment Service and evaluation criteria indicated in the requirements of non-formal adult education programmes The Employment Service publishes the list of vocational training providers on the Employment Service website

The assessment of the acquired competencies of an unemployed person who has completed a formal vocational training or non-formal adult education programme is carried out by the vocational training provider in accordance with the procedure established by the Minister of Education, Science and Sports. An unemployed person who has completed a formal vocational training programme and/or received an assessment of the acquired competencies is awarded an appropriate level of qualification. In the case of an unemployed person who has completed a non-formal adult education programme, the acquired competencies may be recognized as competencies required for a job or function regulated by law in accordance with the procedure established by the Minister of Education, Science and Sport.

Admission Requirements. There are a few conditions for those wishing to learn according to the formal or non-formal vocational education programmes. Firstly, they must meet the requirements of the vocational education programme, if already in employment, they must have a triangular agreement with the employer. Secondly, they must have completed a vocational education programme not less than three years ago and to have acquired a qualification or a competency not less than one year ago unless they cannot work according to the acquired qualification and/or competency due to health issues, or do not have the right to work according to the acquired competency because they do not have the qualification certificate required according to the legal acts. The above-mentioned requirements can be fulfilled by a person who is:

  1. unemployed, and whose individual employment action plan is foreseen in vocational education and training;
  2. who has received a redundancy notice and has registered with the Lithuanian Labour Exchange.

Jobseekers have to meet some formal criteria in order to participate in vocational education, they must:

  • meet criteria set up in the law and other legal acts;
  • meet criteria set up for the target groups of projects funded by the EU structural funds;
  • meet the list of priorities set for target groups and supported professions set up by the labour exchange.

Where not enough people meet the formal criteria for entering vocational education, those satisfying additional non-formal criteria are offered places in vocational education. They must meet the following non-formal criteria:

  • have never participated in vocational education;
  • have been registered with the labour exchange for a long time;
  • fulfil the requirements set by the employer.

Where there are not sufficient numbers of people meeting the formal and non-formal criteria, a person who satisfies additional specific criteria is offered a place. Jobseekers must meet the following specific criteria:

  • acquire an initial qualification and/or competences;
  • have a profession that is currently not in demand in the area served by the labour exchange;
  • be willing to acquire a qualification and /or competences that are in demand in the local labour market;
  • be willing to make a Triangular agreement.

Providers. The labour exchange organises vocational education when:

  1. A Triangular learning agreement is made between the labour exchange, employer and the jobseeker or a person who has received a redundancy notice;
  2. A Bilateral learning agreement is made between the labour exchange and the unemployed person. On completion of the vocational programme, the learner must work in a job where the skills are required or they can find a job themselves, or set up their own business.

Education forms. Education forms and duration of the programme depend on the programme chosen.

Funding. The labour exchange issues a learning voucher to subsidise vocational education. Before issuing the voucher the labour exchange evaluates the need for funding foreseen in the individual employment action plan of the jobseeker and follows the vocational education priorities and priorities for the target groups approved by the director of the territorial labour exchange.

A learning voucher is a document issued to an unemployed person or a person who has been made redundant. This document obligates the labour exchange to reimburse the vocational education service provides for the programme provided. The reimbursement cannot exceed the value indicated in the learning voucher.

A person in receipt of a learning voucher may chose a vocational education provider from the list of vocational education providers and must then complete part II of the voucher and return it to the labour exchange within 15 days. If part II is not returned within 15 days, the voucher is cancelled.

The list of formal and non-formal vocational education programmes provided by vocational education providers is published on the webpage of the labour exchange.

The labour exchange may give a working-age unemployed person or a person who has been made redundant the Government approved minimal monthly salary (hereinafter - MMS) for up to 6 months for the acquisition of qualification and 3 MMS for qualification development or competency acquisition.

The territorial labour exchange subsidises the following expenses during the learning process:

  • Accommodation expenses for the unemployed or those who have received redundancy notices.
  • Costs of travel to the education institution or place of practical training and return, when the learning process takes place outside the learner's locality.
  • Costs of a compulsory health check-up and vaccination from contagious diseases if this is required in the legal acts that regulate workforce security and health at the work place. The costs are reimbursed on production of a receipt.

A study grant is paid during the period of study. If the learner is also in receipt of, or is supposed to receive unemployment insurance benefit (hereinafter - NSDI) during the study period, the labour exchange requires that an application be made for the study grant and the size of this might be 0.6 of a MMS or a study grant that is equal to NSDI. The amount of the study grant equal to NSDI is set and estimated by the Law on Unemployment Insurance. The period during which a study grant equal to NSDI is paid is counted towards a period of NSDI payment.

Admission Requirements. Support for the acquisition of working skills may be granted to a working-age person who has received a notice of redundancy and the qualified unemployed who need to upgrade their working skills or acquire new ones. Support can be provided for:

  • those who start working under the acquired qualification for the first time;
  • long-term unemployed;
  • those who have not worked for 2 years or more before registering in the labour exchange;
  • those who have completed a vocational rehabilitation programme.

Funding. Subsidies are paid to employers who employ someone for practical training. The subsidy includes the costs of wages and the part of national social insurance counted as part of that wage. The size of the subsidy cannot exceed 2 MMS and consists of:

  • Fifty (50) per cent of the estimated funds when those being offered employment are registered with the labour exchange and start working under the acquired qualification for the first time or long-term unemployed or those who have not worked for 2 years and longer before registering with in the labour exchange. This amount is also paid to people following a rehabilitation programme and for whom it has been determined that their level of efficiency is 45-55 per cent, or for those with a minor disability or who have received notice of redundancy;
  • Sixty (60) per cent of the estimated funds for those being employed following a rehabilitation programme and for whom it has been determined that their level of efficiency is 30-40 per cent;
  • Seventy-five (75) per cent of the estimated funds for those being employed following a rehabilitation programme and for whom it has been determined that their level of efficiency is 25 per cent.

Duration. Support for the acquisition of working skills is given for a maximum of 12 months for a person who is being employed for the first time according to the acquired qualification, and for no longer than 5 months to those from other target groups. The territorial labour exchange has the right to set priorities for the acquisition of working skills, prioritised target groups and concrete period of subsidies for wages. This right can be implemented after evaluation of the situation in the local labour market and discussions with social partners.

Provision of liberal (popular) adult education

Non-formal adult education is ascribed to liberal (popular) adult education. Non-formal adult education programmes are designed and implemented by educational institutions and other legal persons and individuals in accordance with the Law on Non-formal Adult Education until 31 December 2014 (from 2015 - the Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Continuing Learning). New non-formal education programmes developed at the request of employers may be used for non-formal vocational education and training.

Providers of non-formal adult education must ensure the quality of education programmes; they must develop, upgrade and implement those programmes taking into account the requests of the participants, founders and sponsors of non-formal adult education.

Ministries, other institutions of the Government and municipalities commission and fund non-formal adult education programmes and purpose-specific projects. They can also support non-formal adult education programmes of other institutions and organisations, with due regard to their importance and quality.

Surveys conducted during recent years have shown a great need for non-formal non-vocational adult education. Programmes intended for continuing professional development, foreign language teaching, development of computer and legal literacy and entrepreneurship skills have become particularly popular . The supply of non-formal adult education programmes is steadily increasing.

The forms of professional development, qualifications upgrading and retraining are predetermined by a number of factors, including the constant improvement of qualifications promoted and organised by the administration of organisations, in-service training of staff in compliance with the interests of the state and the needs of institutions, organisations and private initiatives and also retraining. The choice of educational institutions depends on the aims and forms of learning. Continuing professional development is promoted through seminars, courses, self-education, etc. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour organises vocational training for low-skilled employees but no formal qualifications are awarded.

The content and programmes of non-formal education are determined by educational institutions, which have to take into consideration the requests of their founders and trainees. The content of education is limited only by the legislation in force. The state may commission state education programmes for non-formal education bodies. Non-formal education programmes are not directly linked to programmes set out in the general education standard or the State Register of Professions. The content of the education and programmes are tailored to the needs of individuals, community and society at large. Non-formal education may take the form of organised purpose-specific self­education, day, evening, continued, short-term courses, seminars, lectures, extramural (distance) education and educational programmes conveyed through the mass media.

Admission Requirements. In Lithuania, the Law on Education (2011) states that an individual is free to pursue non-formal education programmes and self-education. No admission requirements are imposed on participants of non-formal adult education. Any adult person (normally 18-years of age and older) can participate in non-formal adult education.

As a rule, there are no requirements with regard to previous general and vocational education. Persons applying for studies in universities and colleges according to non-formal education programmes or individual subjects (their groups) are admitted in an order established by higher schools.

Funding. Public funding can be allocated for non-formal adult education programs from the budgets of the government and municipalities. Funding may be provided to a specific list of approved non- formal adult education programs that fit the criteria set by law.

The list of the programs is approved on a yearly basis by the minister of Education and science. The content of programs must fit at least one of these criteria:

  1. Development of lifelong learning services in regions;2. Improvement of general competences relevant for the labour market;
  2. Learning in “Third age universities”;
  3. Improvement of andragogical competences;
  4. Learning of skills relevant for professional activities;
  5. Improvement of a personal general culture;

The programs that will be funded publicly are chosen according to the following criteria:

  • Fitness for purpose;
  • The results of the program, clarity of wording for aims and objectives, concreteness, a clear connection to the content of the program;
  • The efficiency of the program, completeness of content, consistency of methods, timing and approaches;
  • The probability of effect and the logical relation between the planned competences and the main aims of the program;
  • The possibility of continuity;
  • Other sources of funding;

The providers of the program must fit the following criteria:

  • A right to carry out educational activities (must be registered in list of Education and science providers list).
  • Must fit the definition of non-formal adult education provider;
  • Must have human resources with no less than 1 year of experience in provision of non-formal adult education.