6. Education and Training
Lithuania is among the leading OECD countries by share of population that has attained at least upper secondary education (2nd place) (OECD 2021). Young people in Lithuania are also among the most active in entrepreneurship: 7.8 per cent of young people in Lithuania (first place in the EU). As of 2018, government expenditure on education (as a percentage of GDP) was 5.2 per cent in Estonia, 4.2 per cent in Latvia and 3.9 per cent in Lithuania (World Bank 2021).
According to the Law on Education education is an activity intended to provide an individual with a basis for a worthy independent life and to assist the individual in the continuous cultivation of abilities. Every person has an inherent right to learn. Education is a means of shaping the future of an individual, the society and the state, based on the acknowledgement of the indisputable value of the individual, his right of free choice and moral responsibility, as well as on democratic relationships and the country's cultural traditions. Education protects and creates national identity, guarantees continuity of the values that make a person's life meaningful, grant social life coherence and solidarity, and promote development and security of the State. Education serves its purpose best when its advancement leads the overall development of society. Education is a priority area of societal development that receives state support. The long-term objectives of education and financing priorities are set out in the National Education Strategy 2013–2022. The Law on Education sets up the aims of the Lithuanian education, principles of the education system, the basics of the education system structure, education activities, and education relations, state’s commitments in the education policy. Lithuanian education system is decentralized and universally accessible. Primary, basic and secondary education is compulsory for children between 7 and 17 years of age. Lithuania has a binary system of higher education with university institutions (akademija, seminarija and aukstoji mokykla) and professionally oriented institutions (colleges). University institutions primarily provide academic education, while the colleges focus on non-academic education. The language of instruction is primarily Lithuanian. Nevertheless, measures have also been taken to protect minority languages (Russian and Polish) and in some cases education can also provided in Russian and Polish. There are both state institutions and private institutions. Private institutions must have a government license to operate. The programmes offered by all education institutions are listed in the Register of the Ministry of Education and Science AIKOS.