There are two types of higher education institutions: universities and colleges and these may be state or non-state institutions. A state institution of higher education is a public legal entity functioning as a public establishment, possessing autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and the special status defined by this and other relevant laws of the Republic of Lithuania. A non-state higher education institution is a public legal entity functioning as a public establishment or a private legal entity.
Universities provide university-level study programmes, conduct scientific research, and pursue experimental (social, cultural) development and (or) high-level professional art. The name of a higher education institution engaged in those activities must contain the word ‘university’ or ‘academy or ‘seminary’.
A university aims to:
- deliver studies, designed to provide an individual with a higher university-level education based on scientific research and in line with modern knowledge and technologies, and a qualification in higher education, develop a fully educated personality, with a focus on ethical responsibility, creativity and entrepreneurship;
- pursue a sustainable development of multi-sphere scientific knowledge, conduct scientific research and experimental (social, cultural) development, train scientists, and cooperate with national and international partners;
- promote regional and national development through cooperation with public and economic partners and pursuit of scientific, educational, artistic and other cultural activities;
- develop a society which is open to education, science and culture, able to make effective use of science and compete in the market of high technologies, products and services.
More than a half of the university academic staff must be researchers and/or established artists.
Colleges deliver college-level studies, conduct applied scientific research and/or develop professional art. The name of a higher education institution engaged in such activities must contain the word ‘college’ or ‘higher education institution’.
A college aims at:
- delivering study programmes providing an individual with a college higher education and higher education qualification which meet the needs of the state of Lithuania, its society and economy and are in keeping with the contemporary level of science and latest technologies;
- developing applied research necessary for the region, providing counselling to local authorities and economic entities;
- creating conditions for persons to upgrade their acquired knowledge and skills;
- developing an education- and culture-receptive society capable of acting under the conditions of rapidly changing technologies.
More than half of the college academic staff must have at least three-year’s practical work experience in the field of the subject being taught. Continuing professional development in the relevant field is regulated by the procedures established by the college. Subjects that must be taught by scientific degree holders are set out in the descriptions of the study field, group of study fields or study area.