The Lithuanian Study Abroad Market

In this market report on Lithuania we will cover socio-economic, educational and mobility trends. Lithuania is a the 3rd Baltic country, situated to the south of Latvia, bordering Poland and Belarus. Lithuania has a high-income advanced economy with a very high Human Development Index. Lithuania has the largest economy of the Baltics. Lithuania is a modern economy with a global mindset, and a lot of international companies have offices in the country.

Figures from UNESCO show that nearly 11,000 Lithuanian students are studying overseas for a tertiary degree. UK, Denmark and the Netherlands are the most popular study destinations. Lithuanian students are highly mobile. 8% of all university students decide to study abroad at some point. Many of these students decide to prolong their stay abroad and are pursuing a career overseas. This brain drain is a major challenge for the Lithuanian economy.

With nearly 130,000 students, Lithuania moved to a mass higher education system over the last 15 years and now has one of the highest participation and graduation rates in Europe. But Lithuania’s business community has publicly expressed its concerns about the mismatch between the quality of the skills provided by universities and the requirements of a highly competitive economy. Today almost 47 percent of Lithuanian students study social science, business and law – compared to the EU average of 34 percent – and math and computing only attract 5 percent and 10 percent respectively (source: All this and more in the Market Report on Lithuania.

Quick facts

  • Population: 2,8 million (2020)

  • Education: 9 years compulsory

  • Academic year: September – June

Secondary education

  • Starting age: 10 – 11

  • Duration: 8 years (6 years lower secondary, 2 years upper secondary education)

  • Enrollment numbers: 242,640 (2019 data)
    Enrollment rate: 108%

Higher education

  • Duration: 4 – 6 years (bachelor 3 – 4 years, Master 2 years, PhD 3- 4 years)

  • Enrollment numbers: 125,863 (2019)

  • Tertiary enrollment rate: 72%

  • Universities / Higher Education Institutions: 22 (14 public, 8 private)

Lithuanian Education System

The education system of Lithuania is state run. The education system comprises of formal and non-formal education. Formal education encompasses primary, basic/lower secondary and upper secondary education, formal vocational education and training, and tertiary education. Non-formal education encompasses pre-school education, pre-primary education, and other non-formal education for adults.

Secondary education

Secondary school system covers eight years, divided into 6 years’ lower secondary education, followed by 2 years upper secondary school.

Lower Secondary education
This educational level lasts for 6 years and is for children aged 10 to 17. This educational level is compulsory and comprises of 2 parts:

  • Part 1: a 4-year program carried out in the 5th to 8th forms
  • Part 2: a 2-year program executed in the 9th-10th forms or 1st-2nd forms of the gymnasium.

Upper Secondary Education
This stage prepares students for higher education. Upper secondary education in Lithuania is not mandatory. It covers 11th-12th forms of the secondary education or forms 3 and 4 of the gymnasium. This educational level is offered in secondary schools, gymnasiums, and vocational education and training schools.

Admission Higher Education

Admission to higher education is decentralized, and organized at institutional level. The results of the national final examination for secondary education is basis for admission. An upper secondary diploma is required to be admitted to higher education.

Higher Education

In Lithuania, higher education is provided by state-run and private, university and non-university, higher education establishments.

There two types of higher education institutions:

  • universities (called universitetas (university), akademija (academy), or seminarija (seminary)) representing university sector of higher edcuation;
  • colleges of higher education (called kolegija (higher education college) or aukštoji mokykla (higher education institution)) representing non-university higher education sector.

Following are the degrees offered by the higher education institutions in Lithuania:

  • Bachelor’s degree: This degree lasts for 3-4 years
  • Master’s degree: This qualification lasts for 1-2 years
  • Doctorate degree: The duration of this qualification varies depending upon the study area.

(source: center for quality assessment in higher education)

Visual depicting the Lithuanian Educational System

Latest Lithuanian Higher Education study abroad stats

At this point a total number of 10,463 Lithuanian students are studying abroad (source: UNESCO). These are the most popular study abroad destinations among students from Lithuania:

Lithuanian students studying abroad
UNESCO study abroad data

IB schools in Lithuania

Best performing Lithuanian Universities

Looking to partner with Universities from Lithuania? These are the best performing universities.

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences

THE Rank: 601 – 800

Vilnius University 

THE Rank: 801 – 1000

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

THE Rank: 1001 – 1200

Upcoming Education Fairs in Lithuania

Scholarships for Lithuanian students

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