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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.5 Cross-border learning mobility

Last update: 23 November 2020
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  1. Policy framework
  2. Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education
  3. Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work
  4. Quality assurance

Policy framework

The Law on Education states that parties of the education system have the right to participate in the international dimension of education, international programmes or otherwise collaborate with the counterparts of education systems of foreign countries.

The special attention is given to increase internationalization of higher education in Lithuania. One of the indicators of National Education Strategy for 2013-2022 is the ratio of arriving students from Bologna region and departing students to Bologna region for temporary studies. In 2014 it was approved the Programme for Promotion of the Internationalisation of Higher Education for 2013-2016. The key aim of the Programme is to identify the main directions of high education internationalisation’s stimulations in order to increase the quality of higher education, the competitiveness of higher education institutions, supporting the development of Lithuanian (Baltic) studies abroad, and consolidation with Lithuanian emigrants and Lithuanian foreign origin diaspora.

The key institutions engaged in the coordination of pupil, student, teacher and academic staff mobility, cooperation of education and research institutions and creation of partnerships and networks are the Education Exchanges Support Foundation. Many of the programmes realized by Lithuania are the promotion of the European Union (EU) and the Nordic countries mobility programmes. 

The Startup Visa is a talent attraction scheme that provides a streamlined entry process to the Lithuanian startup ecosystem for innovative non-EU entrepreneurs to build, grow and compete in our booming international community. Designed for innovative startup founders who wish to establish a startup in Lithuania. They no longer need to fulfill certain capital or employment requirements to obtain a residence permit. If a business idea is deemed suitable by a panel of experts, persons will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit on such basis. The Startup Visa will allow to live in Lithuania for one year, with the possibility to extend for an additional year, after which general immigration requirements must be met.


Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education

Since 2014 the EU programme ‘Lifelong Learning’ and the parts of the programmes have changed to new ‘Erasmus+’ programme with three parts: mobility for purposes of learning; cooperation for purposes of and exchange of innovation and the best practice; the support for policy reforms. These programmes are administered by the Education Exchanges Support Foundation which is a national agency entrusted with the administration of Erasmus+ and Lifelong Learning programmes and other initiatives funded by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in the field of education and vocational training, which has been successfully operating since 2007. 

Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work

Agency of International Youth Cooperation is a public non-profit institution established in February 1999 by The State Council for Youth Affairs (currently Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour) and Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT). The main aim of the agency is to ensure the development of international youth cooperation and successful participation of Lithuanian youth in European Union programmes for young people.

As part of the European Commission's Training Strategy, SALTO-YOUTH provides non-formal learning resources for youth workers and youth leaders and organises training and contact-making activities to support organisations and National Agencies (NAs) within the frame of the European Commission's Erasmus+ Youth programme and beyond.

Since 1992, while encouraging bilateral cooperation with the neighbouring countries and more remote countries in Western and Central Europe, Asia and other continents, the Ministry of Education and Science has been developing cultural cooperation agreements and participating in their preparation for execution.

Cooperation agreements and contracts are signed with the following countries:

  Bulgaria, in the field of education, science, studies and culture (effective from 1997);

  Spain (1997), Greece (1998), Israel (1998), United Kingdom (1998), Finland (1999), Hungary (1999), Poland (2000), Holy See (2000) and Slovenia (2002) in the field of culture, education and science;

  Italy (1998), in the field of culture, education, studies, science and technologies;

  USA (1994), in the field of science and technologies;

  China (1992), in the field of science and technologies;

  China (1993), Venezuela (1993), Romania (1997) and Columbia (2001), in the field of culture;

  Turkey (1999) and Mexico (2003), in the field of education, culture, arts and sport;

  Ukraine (1993), in the field of education, science and culture;

  Uzbekistan (1995), in the field of culture and arts;

  Uzbekistan (1995), in the field of education, science and technologies;

  France (2003), in the field of culture, education, science, technologies and engineering.

A number of other agreements and contracts were signed, including those on exchange of study visits with the Czech Republic (2000) and Sweden (1994); on co-operation between young people and exchanges with Poland (1997); on cultural exchanges and cooperation with Venezuela (1993); on provision of employment for people on study visits to upgrade their professional qualifications and command of the language with Germany (1993).Cooperation with the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) is developed on the basis of both bilateral agreements and multilateral programmes.Together with Sweden, Lithuania is responsible for implementation of the Baltic Region Education Agenda 21 in that region.The Ministry of Education and Science is engaged in bilateral and multilateral cooperation ensuring effective involvement in education programmes and projects of international organisations. Various activities in education, including mobility and placements of specialists, study visits and exchanges are organised.Lithuania and the Swedish Institute for Special Education Development are carrying out a project ’The Development of the Special Teaching Materials Procurement System’.In 2002, five cooperation agreements (with Belarus, Flanders, France, Mexico, Ukraine and the Walloon Region in Belgium) followed by two others (with Serbia and Montenegro) in 2003 were concluded and measures provided for in the bilateral cooperation programmes were implemented. Meetings of the joint advisory commission made up from representatives of the Lithuanian and Belarusian Ministries of Education and Science and of the Lithuanian-Polish bilateral commission concerning textbooks were held.In 2004, the Lithuanian members of the Joint Committee for cooperation between the Governments Lithuania and Italy in the fields of culture, education, studies, research and technologies were appointed.In 2004, a programme for cooperation with Spain in the fields of education and culture for 2004-2008 was approved.In 2005, an agreement regarding mutual recognition of documents granting a right to higher education and also of partial studies, higher education qualifications and degrees in science and arts was concluded between the Governments of Lithuania and Poland.Subject to agreement between the Ministries of Education and Science of Lithuania and the Belarus on cooperation in the field of education, a cooperation programme for 2005-2009 was concluded.A cooperation agreement in the field of education, higher education and scientific research for a period of 2006-2008 was concluded between the Ministries of Education and Science of Lithuania and the Hungary.In 2005, the process of implementation of international agreements and arrangements in the field of research was organised: support was provided to the bilateral cooperation in the field of research and technological development between Lithuania and the Ukraine; financing was granted to the second stage (2005-2006) of Gilliber, the Lithuanian-French integrated action programme in the field of research and experimental activities; funds were allocated for the development of further cooperation (in the field of high energy physics) between the Government of Lithuania and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).In 2006, the national project ’Time for Leaders‘ was developed in consultation with experts from the Leadership Centre at the University of Manchester.In 2008, a bilateral international agreement on a cooperation programme in the field of education was concluded with Slovakia. Cooperation under the DUO-Korea sub-programme in support of exchanges between students, lecturers and researchers of institutions of science and studies for the period 2008-2009 was established with Korea.In 2009, an updated Programme for Cooperation between the Lithuanian and Flemish Governments for 2009–2012 was signed pursuant to the Agreement between the Governments of Lithuania and Flanders. Implementation of the Programme provides a framework for the countries to support the mutual exchange of students and researchers and promote a closer collaboration between institutions of research and higher education.In 2009, the Governments of Lithuania and t Germany signed an agreement on the equivalence recognition of higher education qualifications and degrees.In 2009, the Government of t Lithuania and the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers signed the agreement on the mutual recognition of qualifications granting access to higher education and also higher education qualifications and degrees.

Lithuanian Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid was adopted on the 16th May 2013. This law determined the goals of the Lithuanian development cooperation policy, formation, implementation, coordination and financing of the Lithuanian development cooperation, and ways of providing humanitarian aid. On the 3rd November 2016, the new edition of the law was adopted. This edition introduced important changes: strengthening the role of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs in coordination of the Lithuania development cooperation, expanding the number of institutions participating in the development cooperation, gathering the administration of development cooperation projects in a single agency, etc.

This Plan lays down development cooperation policy guidelines for 2017-2019 and sets out concrete measures in order to contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda within the aid recipient countries. The Plan is based on the Lithuanian Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities, taking into account relevant strategic documents of the UN and EU, and international commitments. The Plan will help to ensure continuous and efficient implementation and coordination of the development cooperation activities and to enhance Lithuania’s role as a reliable and responsible donor country in the international community. Information on the submission of applications for development cooperation projects, selection procedures, implementation and information for providers as well as any other project-related information is available in:

1) Description of Procedure for the Implementation of Development Cooperation Activities and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance by State and Municipal Institutions and Agencies, approved by Lithuanian Government Resolution No 129 of the 22nd February 2017;

2) Description of Procedure of the Implementation of the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme, established by Order No. V-63 of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania on 21st March 2017.

The purpose of the Inter-institutional Action Plan on Development Cooperation is to set development cooperation policy guidelines for 2017-2019 of Lithuania as well as implementation measures, to ensure continuous and efficient development cooperation activities of Lithuania and to coordinate them, to enhance the role of Lithuania as a reliable and responsible donor country in the region, the European Union, the United Nations, and other international organisations, the international community, and aid recipient countries.  The Inter-institutional Action Plan on Development Cooperation  is also aimed at supporting studies of foreign nationals in Lithuania.

Work & Travel USA is the longest-running program of its kind in Lithuania in the comntext of non-formal education and yout work. Work & Travel USA matches U.S. host employers with international students for short-term, seasonal jobs or work practices and apprenticenships across the United States. Students work for up to four months and use their earnings to travel around the U.S. for up to one month after they finish their commitments. Host employers add new cultures, diversity, and an exciting exchange element to their businesses.


Quality assurance

There are no official regulations on standards of quality of cross-border moblility. Some youth organizations have their own standards of quality and quality regulations (e.g. Agency of International Youth Cooperation guidelines on volunteer services).