Studying in Lithuania
Higher education in Lithuania takes two main forms:
- university-based, academic programmes
- vocationally-orientated professional programmes, based either at a college or university of applied sciences.
There are three levels of degree studies: undergraduate (bachelor's), graduate (masters) and postgraduate (doctoral and residency). Undergraduate and graduate studies can be combined in integrated studies, for example medicine.
A mix of privately and publicly funded higher education establishments exist in Lithuania.
In order to pursue postgraduate study, you must have an undergraduate bachelor's degree. You also need to be proficient in the language of instruction.
What courses can you study?
The main types of postgraduate courses are:
- masters studies
- specialised professional studies
- doctoral studies
- residency studies.
Masters programmes are available in a wide range of academic subjects. Specialised professional studies are more vocationally orientated, focusing on acquiring practical skills for specific jobs. As in the UK, doctoral programmes generally take four years to complete and cover a wide range of research areas. Residency studies are aimed at graduates of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine and focus on practical training.
Although many courses are in Lithuanian, more than 200 are available in foreign languages, including English and Russian. Masters taught in English are available in areas such as IT, management, economics and civil engineering. The Study in Lithuania website has a list of these courses.
See the AIKOS website for a searchable database of all courses and a full list of universities and colleges.
How do you apply for postgraduate study?
The academic year runs from September to July and you should apply well in advance. Visit individual websites for details of entry requirements and closing dates, and speak to admissions departments for more advice.
You will need to submit proof that your qualifications are recognised in Lithuania. This is done via the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, which provides an assessment and academic recognition of qualifications.
You need to make your application to your chosen institution. Contact course providers direct.
If your course is in Lithuanian you will also need to pass a competency test. For courses in other languages you will need to provide a certificate proving your language level.
Fees and scholarships
EU citizens can compete for a state-funded study place by completing an application form of general admission via the Association of Lithuanian Higher Education Institutions.
EU citizens are charged the home rate for tuition fees. Fees vary, depending on the institution and course studied. Check with individual institutions for details of fees, the availability of scholarships and eligibility criteria.
In general, living costs are substantially lower than in the UK, and many students will be housed in university accommodation meaning their costs are lower still. Vilnius University estimates that students need around €489 a month to cover all expenses (including accommodation).
Are there any exchange programmes?
UK students on both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes may be interested in studying in Lithuania through Erasmus+. This programme is open to all subject areas, but check with your institution's study abroad/exchange coordinator to see which countries they have links with and in what subject areas.
Will your qualifications be recognised in the UK?
Following the Bologna Process and the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), a postgraduate course from Lithuania is directly comparable to the UK equivalent.
Do you need a visa to study in Lithuania?
EU nationals do not need a visa but citizens of non-EU countries may be required to have these documents.
All EU nationals coming to study for longer than one semester need to register with the Lithuanian Migration Department. After registration you must declare your place of residence at a local district authority (Seniūnija). This must be done within seven days of registering at the Migration Department or you may be fined.
In order to register you will need a valid passport (or ID card), a completed application, proof you have sufficient means to support yourself (at least €175 per month), an EU medical insurance card, a reference, payment and proof that you have been accepted as a student. All the documents have to be in Lithuanian.
If you are not a UK national, contact the Lithuanian embassy in the country where you are currently residing about how to obtain visas. If you are living in the UK, go to the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in London.
Written by AGCAS editors, July 2016