5. Arts and cultural education
Last update: February, 2020
The state institution responsible for education at all levels is the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. The Ministry develops one-year and long-term educational investment programmes; approves requirements for the regulations of state-run and municipal schools; approves the general curriculum content of formal education, and achievement levels; organises and coordinates the accreditation of the secondary education programme; approves the procedure of consecutive learning under general education programmes and the procedure for organisation and implementation of Matura exams; establishes, liquidates, and reorganises vocational schools; and approves general vocational education plans.
The principles of education in Lithuania are stated in the Law on Education (1991). According to the Law, the education system of Lithuania comprises the following: 1) formal education (primary, basic, secondary education, formal vocational education and training and higher education studies); 2) non-formal education (pre-school, pre-primary, other non-formal education of children (as well as the teaching supplementing the formal education) and of adults); 3) informal education; 4) educational assistance (vocational guidance, informational, psychological, socio-pedagogical, special pedagogical and special assistance of education, healthcare at school, consultation, in-service training of teachers and other assistance).
In Lithuania, school education is compulsory for pupils until they reach the age of sixteen. Compulsory education is usually provided up to the 10th form (2nd form of the gymnasium). After completion of the 10th form, pupils must take the basic education achievement test in the Lithuanian Language, Mathematics, and an elective basic education achievement test in Mother Tongue (Belarusian, Polish, Russian or German). After acquiring basic education and obtaining the basic education certificate, they may continue learning under the programmes for secondary education or vocational education and training or under the combined programme for secondary education and vocational education and training in order to acquire their first qualification.
Pre-primary education is compulsory from age 6 to 7. Its purpose is to help a child prepare for learning according to the primary education curriculum. Pre-primary education is carried out according to a one-year general pre-primary education curriculum approved by the Minister of Education and Science. Its content is focused on the development of the child’s general competences – social and health care, knowledge and understanding of the world, communication and artistic expression – through integrated development activities. Private, state or municipal kindergartens, school-kindergartens, schools or other institutions, as well as freelance educators or other education providers can provide pre-primary education.
According to the Law on Education, children who have reached the age of seven must attend the first form. The duration of the primary education programme is four years. Compulsory primary education can be obtained in kindergarten-schools, in primary schools and, less commonly, in basic or secondary schools. After completion of their primary education, pupils begin the 6-year basic education. The purpose of basic education is to provide an individual with the basics of moral, sociocultural and civic maturity, general literacy, the basics of technological literacy, to cultivate national consciousness, to foster an intent and ability to make decisions and choices and to continue learning. Basic education is acquired upon completion of the basic education curriculum and testing the pupils’ learning achievements.
Secondary education is not compulsory and usually lasts two years (11th-12th forms of the secondary school (3rd-4th forms of the gymnasium). The purpose of secondary education is to assist a person in the acquisition of general academic, sociocultural and technological literacy, moral, national and civic maturity, and the basics of vocational competence. Secondary education is acquired upon completion of the secondary education curriculum and the passing of Matura examinations.
Vocational schools provide both basic and secondary education training leading to a qualification. The duration of the programmes can be either two or three years depending on whether it is intended to provide basic or secondary education or whether it is adapted to persons with special needs. The duration of studies for students who have already acquired secondary education is one to two years. Requirements for vocational education programmes are set out by the General Requirements and Vocational Education and Training Standards of the Ministry of Education and Science. Vocational education programmes are developed by vocational education providers in cooperation with employers.
According to Law on Education, the higher education studies is provided to everyone who has acquired at least secondary education, has enrolled in a higher education institution and is capable to study independently. Foundations of activities of higher education institutions and studies therein are set out by the Law on Higher Education and Research (2009).
All levels of formal education are partly funded in Lithuania on the principal of pupil’s or student’s “voucher”, i.e. pupils and students can choose a school and the school receives funding depending on the number of students. The student’s voucher is a fixed subsidy of the state that is distributed through municipalities to schools and non-formal education institutions and through the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport to high schools. The size of the pupil’s and student’s voucher is set by the government. This model of funding was launched in 2002 and gradually introduced to all stages of education. The pupil’s or student’s voucher is provided to both state and private educational institutions. In state schools, the founder provides the remaining funds needed, and private schools can raise the money by charging tuition fees, receiving it through private sponsorship, etc. The money of the pupil’s or student’s voucher cannot be allocated to needs other than education.
In 2018, the 17th Lithuanian Government (counting from 1990 when Lithuanian regained independence) adopted the structural reform of the whole system of education. The reform addresses challenges of all levels of education; it encompasses measures and sets goals to be achieved till 2021. According to the concept of the reform, the main challenges in the field of general school education are an ineffective network of schools and the low prestige of the teaching profession. In Lithuania, the teaching profession is considered as unattractive due to the relatively low salaries for high qualifications, low workload for many teachers, which forces them look for additional sources of income, thus leaving little room for full focus on pedagogical activities. School network reform lags behind the declining number of pupils, one fifth of schools are very small, therefore the principle of a pupil’s voucher does not give equal possibilities for all pupils to have access to the same quality of education. In order to meet these challenges, the Government seeks to introduce the class voucher, promote school mergers and create an optimum number of full-time teacher jobs.
The issue of an ineffective network of schools exist in higher education as well. Over the last 15 years, the number of graduates and entrants to universities decreased (-25 % over 4 years), the number of universities and study programmes, however, remains relatively stable. Because of that, university admissions demonstrate ever-lower competition score; many programmes make no students selection whatsoever. In addition to that, similar study programmes are offered across many universities and colleges, and the scattering of scientific resources does not guarantee the quality of competencies and training. In order to meet these challenges, the Government seeks to optimise the network of universities and vocational education establishments.
Last update: February, 2020
In Lithuania, the curricula of all three stages of state school education (primary, basic and secondary) are shaped by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports. According to the general descriptions of primary, basic and secondary education, the curricula of these stages have to encompass 6, 8 and 7 study fields. The primary education comprises 6 study fields: moral education (religion or ethics), languages (mother tongue and first foreign language), mathematics, natural and social sciences, arts and technologies, physical and health education. The curriculum of basic education comprises the following study fields: moral education (religion or ethics), languages (mother tongue and literature, first and second foreign languages), mathematics (mathematics and informatics), natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, etc.), social sciences (history, geography, civil education, economics, entrepreneurship, citizenship), arts (fine arts, music, dance, theatre, and modern arts), technologies (nutrition, textiles, construction materials, electronics, product design and technology, etc.), physical education. Some subjects could be studied at an intensified level. The third stage of education comprises the same study fields as basic education except technologies.
Subjects of arts, i.e. fine arts, music, dance, theatre, and modern arts are the compulsory part of education at all three stages. The aim of this part of curriculum is the development of general artistic competencies of pupils and their ability to express oneself creatively by means of art, to understand and value artistic creation. The developed artistic competencies should help pupils to make informed and independent decisions about further learning and participation in artistic creation and culture. However, according to the curriculum plans approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, compulsory subjects in the primary and basic stages of education are only fine arts and music. The schools may offer subjects of dance and theatre depending on their possibilities and the preferences of pupils.
Pupils with artistic abilities can choose to enrol in special arts or music schools that combine general education with specialised artistic education. There are 9 specialised art schools in Lithuania, funded by the state and municipalities: 4 schools specialising in music, 1 specialising in fine arts, 3 schools combining fine arts and music, 1 school combining fine arts, music and ballet.
In 2018, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, launched a cultural education measure for schoolchildren called Cultural Pass (Kultūros pasas). The aim of the measure is to improve access to cultural and educational projects and events, develop cultural awareness and experience of schoolchildren by providing appropriate cultural and artistic services (see chapter 6.1 for more about the measure).
Last update: February, 2020
Higher education in Lithuania is regulated by the Law on Higher Education and Research (2009). According to Law, there are two types of higher education institutions in Lithuania: universities (Lith. universitetas) and colleges (Lith. kolegija). The university is an institution that carries out university studies, conducts research, experimental (social, cultural) development and/or develops high-level professional art. The name of a higher education institution of this type must contain a word ‘’university’’ or ‘’academy’’, or ‘’seminary’’. The college carries out college studies, develop applied research and/or professional art. The name of a higher education institution that carries out such activities must contain a word ‘’college’’ or ‘’higher education institution’’. Universities and colleges have autonomy, which covers academic, administrative, economic and financial management activities, and is based on the principle of self-governance and academic freedom.
The degree structure of higher education in Lithuania follows a three-cycle structure: the first cycle – professional bachelor’s, bachelor’s degree studies; the second cycle – master’s degree studies; the third cycle – doctoral studies. Professional bachelor’s study programmes of the first cycle may be carried out by colleges and bachelor’s study programmes of the first cycle by universities. Study programmes awarding a degree of the second cycle may be carried out by universities. Doctoral studies may be carried out by universities or universities together with research institutes. The first cycle of studies (bachelor’s) usually lasts 4 academic years, the second cycle (master’s) 2 years and the third cycle (doctoral) 4 years.
Higher education institutions are financed in Lithuania from the state budget, funds of state investment programmes, income received as payment for studies, as well as income received from economic, research activities and rendered services, funds appropriated by international and foreign foundations and organizations, funds received as charity under the Law on Charity and Sponsorship and other funds received in legal ways.
Studies at universities and colleges are partly funded by the state. The Government establishes the distribution of funds for study areas according to the needs of the national economic, social and cultural development and financial possibilities of the State. State-funded student places are allocated to higher education institutions in accordance with the choice among higher education institutions made by enrolling persons who have completed the secondary education programme with the best results (student’s voucher principle), without exceeding state funding established for each study area. Persons who do not get the state-funded student place have to pay a tuition fee. This fee may be reimbursed if a student has finished with the best results the first two academic years and the remaining academic years.
In 2019, there were in Lithuania 19 universities and 22 colleges. Universities conducted 85 study programmes in arts registered in the open vocational information system AIKOS, and colleges conducted 23.
Table 28: Study programmes in arts at universities in 2019
|Field of studies||Number of programmes||Titles of the first cycle study programmes (Bachelor) 49||Titles of the second cycle study programmes (Master) 36|
|Architecture||7||Architecture (3 programmes)||Architecture (3 programmes), Building architecture|
|Artworks restoration||2||Art works restoration||The restoration of art and interior heritage|
|Dance||3||Dance, Subcultures of Dance||Choreography|
|Design||14||Visual Design and Media, Design, Graphic design, Interior design, Costume design, Fashion Design, Environmental Objects Design, Visual Design||Design, Graphic design, Costume design, Visual design, Visual Communication Design, Visual Plastic Art|
|Film||4||Film Art, Screenwriting, Cinematography||Film Art|
|Fine Art||25||Graphic Art, Ceramics, Metal Art and Jewellery, Monumental arts, Scenography, Sculpture, 4D Objects of Art, Applied graphics, Applied ceramics, Textile Art Media, Painting, Textile Art and Design, Fine Art||Graphic Art, Monumental arts, Scenography, Sculpture, Glass Art and Design, Applied graphics, Applied ceramics, Textile Art Media, Painting, Textile Art and Design, Fine arts, Applied Arts|
|Landscape architecture||1||Landscape architecture|
|Media Art||4||Animation, Photography and media arts, New Media Art||Photography and media arts|
|Music||16||Composition, Music Studies, Musical Folklore, Music Performance, Music technologies, Performance Art, Music Production, Performance Art, Sound Directing||Composition, Music Performance, Electronic composition and performance, Performance Art, Performance Art, Sound Directing Musical Folklore|
|Theatre||9||Theatre Art, History and Criticism of Performing and Film Arts, Acting Puppet and Object Theatre Directing, Directing, Acting (2 programmes)||Theatre Art, Drama directing|
Several universities and colleges also conduct programmes in the field of communication closely related to arts and culture, e.g. Media and Communication, Creative communication, Creative Industries, Creative and Culture Industries, Fashion Industry, Political Communication and Journalism, Entertainment and Tourism Industries, Entertainment industries, Integrated Creative Communication, Communication of Creative Society, and Communication and Creative Technologies.
There are also programmes in management and public administration, related to arts and culture, e.g. Art Management, Cultural and Creative Industries Management, Sports and Tourism Management, Culture and Tourism Management, and Culture Management and Culture Policy.
The main high schools of arts education in Lithuania are the Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA) and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA). VDA has four faculties that are located in different cities of Lithuania – Vilnius, Kaunas, Telšiai and Klaipėda. Each faculty has its own undergraduate and graduate study programmes. According to the data of VDA, in 2019, 1540 students were studying at the Academy in 45 study programmes. The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre has three faculties; two of them (Faculty of Music and Faculty of Theatre and Film) are located in Vilnius and one in Klaipėda. According to the data of LMTA, its three faculties currently host about 1,000 students in three study cycles – bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral.
The Bologna Declaration, which Lithuania signed in 1999, became an important document for Lithuanian higher education. Until 2019, Lithuanian implemented or created conditions for the implementation of several measures of Bologna Declaration. In 2000, the Minister of Education and Science approved rules of the evaluation of higher education and research institutions. In 2002, the first evaluation of study programmes by international experts was carried out. In 2005, the Law on Higher Education and Research (2009) was amended to provide for joint study programmes. According to it, higher education institutions may implement joint study programmes on completion of which a joint qualification degree is awarded, as well as programmes on completion of which a double qualification degree is awarded. A joint qualification degree is awarded when a study programme is implemented by at least two higher education institutions, usually from different countries. However, till 2019, only one joint study programme in arts was launched, i.e. the joint programme of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre ECMAster (European Chamber Music Master). In 2011, ECTS credits are approved as Lithuanian national learning credits system. From 2012, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture funds teaching visits of lecturers and professors from foreign universities to Lithuanian higher education institutions. The grant competition is organised, and the payment administered by Education Exchanges Support Foundation. The foundation also administers other international exchange programmes and initiatives in the field of higher education and vocational training.
Last update: February, 2020
According to the data of the open vocational information system AIKOS, in 2019, there were in Lithuania 220 municipal and 155 private institutions that provided the out-of-school education for schoolchildren. There were also 98 private, 3 state and 4 municipal institutions of non-formal education for adults. However, many non-formal education activities are not registered, they are provided by individual persons, public or private organisations. There is also lack of data how many adults and children take part in non-formal education.
In 2005, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania passed the Concept of Non-formal Education for Children. The Concept laid the basis for the policy of the non-formal children’s education, defined the principles of its organising and financing through the model of non-formal education voucher. The model foresaw that the state and municipalities would allocate a certain amount of money for each pupil of primary, basic and secondary school for non-formal education activities.
In order to encourage cultural institutions and creators of culture and evaluate their activities in the field of cultural education for children and youth, the Ministry of Culture has, since 2007, been awarding four prizes per year for the best education projects that were prepared and implemented for children and youth.
In 2012, the Concept of Non-formal Education of Children was revised in order to improve the system of non-formal education, create a new funding model and promote the development of this type of education. The analysis of the situation revealed the insufficient participation of children in this kind of education as only 20 per cent of schoolchildren took part in the activities of non-formal education in 2011. In addition to that, as the non-formal education of children was an autonomous function of municipalities, the network of providers of non-formal education and its financing was very uneven in individual municipalities. That determined unequal possibilities of children to participate in non-formal education programmes.
A plan for improving the funding of non-formal education of children was adopted in 2013. It encompassed three goals: to elaborate the financing model of non-formal children’s education, to improve the infrastructure and environment of non-formal children’s education, and to create the financing system of national projects of non-formal education.
According to the elaborated financing model of non-formal education that was introduced in 2015, the recommended amount of funding for non-formal education is 15 EUR per month for each pupil. Municipalities can change this amount according to their priorities, but it may not be less than 10 EUR and more than 20 EUR per month for each pupil. The funding can be allocated only to accredited programmes of non-formal education that were registered in a special register and evaluated by the commissions of municipalities. Accredited programmes are announced on the website of municipalities along with invitation for children and parents to register for programmes. The announcements of programmes are also available in AIKOS.
According to the data of AIKOS, since 2015, the number of children who participated in non-formal education programmes has constantly increased. In 2018, a total of 324 295 children learned in Lithuanian primary, basic and secondary education schools and 60 per cent of them attended non-formal education classes at various non-formal education institutions. However, the data covers only registered non-formal education providers and their programmes.
Table 29: The part of schoolchildren participating in non-formal education in 2016 – 2019
|Number of schoolchildren in primary, basic and secondary schools||330 870||327 783||324 295|
|Number of schoolchildren participating in non-formal education activities||163 035||178 599||195 370|
|Per cent of schoolchildren participating in non-formal education activities||49.27||54.49||60.24|
According to AIKOS, in 2018 there were in Lithuania 6 145 programmes of non-formal education for children. The 6 145 registered programmes are divided in 16 groups. 7 groups of them are related to arts and culture (music, fine arts, choreography and dance, theatre and drama, tourism and regional studies, media, and ethno culture). The greatest number of programmes is in the group of music and they are attended by the 6.23 per cent of schoolboys and 12.11 per cent of schoolgirls. The sport programmes are in the second place and the fine arts programmes take the third place. However, the statistics covers only registered programmes and their participants, not all non-formal education programmes operating in Lithuania.
Table 30: Statistics of non-formal education for children in 2018
|Group of programmes||Number of non-formal education programmes||Boys participating in non-formal education programmes||Girls participating in non-formal education programmes||Boys: per cent of schoolchildren participating in non-formal education programmes||Girls: per cent of schoolchildren participating in non-formal education programmes|
|Music||2 422||10 333||19 275||6.26||12.11|
|Fine art||413||3 340||10 365||2.02||6.51|
|Choreography and dance||300||3 255||13 330||1.97||8.38|
|Theatre and drama||124||756||1 816||0.46||1.14|
|Sport||1 494||44 875||19 069||27.17||11.98|
|Technical creation||212||3 994||980||2.42||0.62|
|Tourism and regional studies||25||919||1 114||0.56||0.70|
|Nature, ecology||61||854||1 263||0.52||0.79|
|Road traffic safety||21||1 099||1 371||0.67||0.86|
|Information technology||161||2 529||817||1.53||0.51|
|Languages||197||2 624||3 579||1.59||2.25|
|Citizenship||100||2 864||2 739||1.73||1.72|
|Other||397||4 478||5 675||2.71||3.57|
|Total number and per cent of schoolchildren participating in non-formal activities||83 785||85 035||50.73||53.43|
|Total number of schoolchildren in primary, basic and secondary schools||165 150||159 145|
In general, the financing model based on pupil’s voucher increased the number of schoolchildren participating in non-formal education. The system, however, needs further improvements. The issue of the uneven development of the network of institutions of non-formal education in separate municipalities (especially in smaller towns and rural areas) still remains; thus, children do not have equal opportunities to participate in non-formal education. Furthermore, there is a lack of diversity of programmes since music and sport activities predominate. However, according to the Lithuanian Schoolchildren’s Union, not everyone is able and willing to attend music and sports classes. Thus, it is important to increase the range of activities available. In addition to that, the allocated sum of money for each child only covers a small part of the amount needed to pay for participation in non-formal education and therefore informal learning remains too expensive for families that have more children or a lower income.
Last update: February, 2020
The vocational education system is regulated by the Law on Vocational Education and Training (1997). According to the Law, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is responsible for the vocational education system. The Ministry shapes and implements the vocational education policy, participates in the shaping of human resources development policy and implements it, approves general plans of vocational education, etc.
The Ministry is also the stakeholder of the majority of vocational education establishments. There are in Lithuania 70 state vocational education institutions and 3 private. Most of the state establishments are state budgetary institutions and some (20) are self-governing institutions. The main governing body of public vocational education and training establishments is the general meeting of stakeholders in which each stakeholder has one vote. Municipalities, social partners, and other stakeholders may participate in governing a vocational education establishment on equal terms with the main stakeholder (the Ministry of Education and Science).
Vocational schools provide both training leading to a qualification, and basic or secondary education. The duration of the programmes can be either two or three years depending on whether it is intended to provide basic or secondary education or whether it is adapted to persons with special needs. The duration of studies for students who have already acquired secondary education is 1 to 2 years. Requirements for vocational education programmes are set out by the General Requirements and Vocational Education and Training Standards of the Ministry of Education and Science. Vocational education programmes are developed by vocational education providers in cooperation with employers.
In 2019, according to the open vocational information system AIKOS, there were in Lithuania 944 registered vocational education and training programmes, and 41 of them were in the field of arts.
Table 31: Study programmes in arts at vocational education establishments in 2019
|Field of studies||Number of programmes||Titles of programmes|
|Audio-visual techniques and media production||11||Photographer training programme (4 programmes), Electronic publishing bread boarder’s teaching programme, Audio and video equipment operator training programme (2 programmes), Stage technical service employee (4 programmes)|
|Handicrafts||22||Flower arranger man training programme, Ceramist training programme, Tanner training programme, Fine ceramics manufacturer training programme, Handicraftsman, Wickers artistic handicrafts producer training programme, Decorative handcraft producers training programme Handicraftsman of leather ware training programme, Florists training programme for disabled, Training programme for the florist assistant Training programme for the metal art worker, Florists training programme, Metal artistic handicrafts producer training programme, Fine ceramics manufacturer training programme, Florist modular vocational training programme, Fine textile handicrafts producer modular vocational training programme|
|Fashion, interior and industrial design||3||Interior decorator modular vocational training programme (3 programmes)|
|Music and performing arts||4||Ballet artist modular vocational training programme (2 programmes), Contemporary dancer modular vocational training programme (2 programmes)|