Lithuanianís research and higher education system is based on the Law on Research and Higher Education, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 21 February 1991. According to this act and the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the principles of university autonomy, academic freedom and the integration of research and higher education are guaranteed.
State higher education institutions are established, reorganised and closed by the Seimas, which also approves their statutes. Private higher education institutions may be established after receiving a licence from the government. The targets of the current reform process in the research and higher education system are democratisation, development of self-government and modernisation of the study programmes. The reform is aimed at bringing Lithuanianís research and higher education system closer to Western European and world-wide standards, ensuring partnership relations.
Higher education institutions
In 1998, Lithuanianís higher education system consisted of 15 higher education institutions comprising 9 universities, 5 academies and 1 institute which provide higher education on 3 academic levels (basic, specialised and doctoral studies). As yet, there are no private higher education institutions in Lithuania.
Study programmes at the Lithuanian institutions of higher education are of several types:
The academic year is divided into 2 semesters with the autumn semester usually running from September to January and the spring semester usually lasting from February to June.
Studies courses are usually held in the Lithuanian, but most higher education institutions offer some study programmes in foreign languages such as English, German or Russian.
According to the regulations on higher education set by the government, higher education is provided on the level of basic studies and specialised professional or Masterís degree studies. Upon completion of basic studies lasting 4 to 5 years, a Bachelorís degree, or a professional qualification such a teacher, engineer, artist etc. is awarded.
Upon completion of a basic study programme, graduates may pursue specialised professional studies or studies leading to a Masterís degree, which last 1Ĺ to 2 years. Specialised professional study programmes lead to professional qualifications, e.g. the qualification of medical doctor.
The doctorate may usually be awarded after the candidate has already obtained a Masterís degree, a professional qualification or an equivalent certificate. A doctorate takes no more than 4 years, of which 1Ĺ to 2 years are spent on doctoral courses. The volume of the doctoral courses is no less than 5 subjects with final examinations, each subject taking no less than 45 hours. Upon completion of the doctoral courses, a doctoral thesis must be prepared and publicly defended in order for the candidate to qualify for the doctorate. Doctoral studies may be jointly organised by higher education and research institutions.
The highest academic degree in Lithuania is the habilitated doctor (habilituotas daktaras). This degree is awarded to holders of a doctorate who have published significant scientific results in relevant Lithuanian or international journals as well as in monograph or habilitation thesis.
ABOUT ENIC HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM SYSTEM OF NATIONAL EDUCATION ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK CREDENTIAL EVALUATION
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