Education in Lithuania

image of Education in Lithuania

Lithuania has achieved steady expansion of participation in education, substantially widening access to early childhood education and care and tertiary education, coupling this with nearly universal participation in secondary education. However, if Lithuania’s education system is to help the nation respond effectively to economic opportunities and demographic challenges, improvements in the performance of its schools and its higher education institutions are needed. Improved performance requires that Lithuania clarify and raise expectations of performance, align resources in support of raised performance expectations, strengthen performance monitoring and the assurance of quality, and build institutional capacity to achieve high performance. This orientation to improvement should be carried across each sector of its education system.

This report assesses Lithuania’s policies and practices against best practice in education from across the OECD and other countries in the region. It analyses its education system’s major strengths and the challenges it faces, from early childhood education and care to tertiary education. It offers recommendations on how Lithuania can improve quality and equity to support strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. This report will be of interest in Lithuania and other countries looking to raise the quality, equity and efficiency of their education systems.

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Tertiary education in Lithuania

Lithuania has achieved an especially high level of participation in tertiary education, and its graduates, on average, experience labour market outcomes typical of OECD member countries. This is accomplished with modest levels of per pupil spending, by institutions that operate with substantial autonomy, and within a system of transparent funding driven by student demand. However, the tertiary sector now faces serious challenges. Lithuania’s tertiary institutions are too numerous and small to achieve the levels of efficiency and quality that the nation needs. The university system has not reached a level of satisfactory performance in research and development, and the wider tertiary system has not substantially benefitted from international mobility among students and researchers. This chapter examines these challenges, and provides policy options with respect to urgent questions of system scale and organisation – and longer term challenges of internationalisation and equity facing the tertiary system.


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