Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe


Stakeholder Survey Overview

As part of our research we carried out a survey of Education & Training stakeholders. Find the results of this survey below or download it..

Legislation & Policy Overview

The following section gives an overview of the national PHE environment within Lithuania. The profile was completed by Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa w Tarnowie.

Section A: General Profile of PHE

1. How is PHE defined in your country?

In Lithuania we usually use the definition College higher education or College studies instead of Professional higher education, but all terms are used and possible then speaking about different types of higher education. College higher education means education attained in higher education institutions of Lithuania after completion of programmes of college studies pursuant to which a higher education qualification is awarded, or education attained in foreign higher education and research institutions, and recognised as being of an equivalent level in accordance with the procedure laid down by legal acts.

Commentary: College studies are conducted by colleges (state or private).

1.1 What is your nationally recognised definition of a PHE Institution?

The college shall carry out college studies, develop applied research and/or professional art. The name of a higher education institution which carries out such activities must contain a word ‘’college’’ or ‘’higher education institution’’.

1.2 Are there any specific requirements towards PHE Curriculum/Course?

Higher education studies in Colleges are oriented towards training for professional activities. Colleges may provide only first cycle professional bachelor study programmes. The duration of full-time studies is usually three years and the duration of part-time studies is four years (180-210 ECTS). Practical training covers at least one third of the study programme.  More specific requirements towards College studies’ curriculum can be found in the legal act:  21. The scope of college study programmes leading to a professional bachelor’s degree in a study field shall be no less than 180 (until 1 September 2011, 120) and no more than 210 (until 1 September 2011, 140) credit points, of which: 21.1. 135 (until 1 September 2011, 90) credits shall be carried by the subjects in the study field; 21.2. at least 15 (until 1 September 2011, 10) credits shall be carried by general college study subjects;. 21.3. from 30 (until 1 September 2011, 20) to 60 (until 1 September 2011, 40) credit points may be for elective subjects chosen by the student from among the alternatives determined by the college intended for specialisation in the same field (area) or for a module(s) or a subject(s) in another study field (area) or for general college study subjects, practice, also for the student’s free electives. 22. Where this is stipulated in legislation, the scope of a study programme may be 240 (until 1 September 2011, 160) credit points. 23. The scope of a college study programme leading to a professional bachelor’s degree in major and minor study fields (areas) must be 210 (until 1 September 2011, 140) credit points, of which: 23.1. 135 (until 1 September 2011, 90) credits must be for the subjects in the major study field; 23.2. 60 (until 1 September 2011, 40) credits must be for the subjects in the minor study field; 23.3. 15 (until 1 September 2011, 10) credits must be for the general college study subjects. 24. The minor study field under a study programme leading to a double professional bachelor’s degree may be management (one of its areas) if the college provides an accredited study programme in management, or another study area in the same study field as the major. This rule shall not apply to teacher training study programmes. In case the college does not provide an accredited study programme in the study field of minor studies, minor study programmes shall be provided according to the procedure established by the Minister for Education and Science. Where a college provides minor studies in a study field (area), the Register of Academic Studies, Study Programmes and Qualifications shall register the minor study programme against the entry of the corresponding major study programme. As amended: Official Gazette, 2011, No  9-399 (23.01.2011) 25. The description of a study programme leading to a double professional bachelor degree shall contain a description of the procedure for selecting study opportunities: procedure and principles of selecting minor studies or a precise list of minor study fields (areas) or a specific minor study field (area). The requirements for the provision of minor study programmes shall be approved by the academic council of the college. 27. The study programme shall be completed by the assessment of the student’s achievements at the examination on the final thesis (projects) or final examinations (where they are required by legal acts), which carry at least 9 (until 1 September 2011, 6) credits. If the study programme leads to a double professional bachelor’s degree, the requirements shall include final theses in the major and minor study fields (areas) and final examinations (where they are required by legal acts), which should carry at least 12 (until 1 September 2011, 8) credits.

2. Which EQF Levels does PHE cover?

EQF Level 5 –
EQF Level 6 – Yes
EQF Level 7 –
EQF Level 8 –

3. Which governmental bodies are responsible for governance of the PHE sector? Do these differ from the governance of AHE? Is there any engagement of any other public authorities and which, if so?

Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for governance of the PHE sector. There is a division called College studies department. Ministry of Education and Science is also responsible for the governance of AHE, there is only different division.

4. Quality assurance: Please provide information on quality-related legislation (national QA/accreditation system, regulations concerning QA at institutional level etc.). Are there any specific QA criteria for PHE? If so, which (if necessary, refer to specific EQF levels or institutions)?

There are no specific regulations concerning QA criteria for PHE. The same legislations are used for AHE and PHE. More information on accreditation of study programmes can be found on the legislation.

5. Are there any specific funding mechanisms/principles/criteria for PHE, different from general HE principles?

There are no specific funding mechanisms/principles/criteria for PHE. The governmental bodies decide on the allocation of funding. More information about financing of HE can be found on Law on Higher Education and Research (30 April 2009 No XI-242), 7 chapter.

6. Are there any formal requirements for stakeholders, in particular from the part of the professional sphere/employers’ representatives concerning their engagement in PHE steering and provisions? If so, in which areas (governance, quality assurance, curriculum development, students’ placement etc.)?

There are no formal requirements of stakeholders as far as legislation is concerned.  When PHE study programmes are assessed and accredited, special attention is paid to stakeholders’ involvement in curriculum development, students’ placement, final thesis evaluation, involvement  of representatives of business world in teaching, etc. The same criteria are used for institutional external evaluation. The link between PHE institution with employers is one of the main strategic goals, as these institutions are practice-oriented.

7. Are there any other legislative differences between PHE and other HE institutions (e.g. partnership with enterprises, regional involvement etc.)?

As far as I know, there are no other legislative differences between PHE and other HE institutions. HE institutions should be requested information about it.  Regional involvement and partnership with enterprises are the distinctive features of PHE institutions.

8. Is PHE limited to some specific branches and/or fields of study? If yes: Which ones?

In principle, colleges offer study programs from a wide variety of subject areas (but only at Level 6 EQF).

Section B: Teaching & Staffing

1. Are there any formally set requirements for academic staff teaching at different levels in PHE (e.g their qualification, expertise, selection & appointment)? Are they different from AHE?

There are specific requirements for academic staff in PHE: “No less than 10 per cent of the subjects in the study field should be taught by scientists or scholars and recognised artists (art subjects). Over half of the teaching staff of the study programme should have at least 3 years of practical experience in the subject field they teach.”  The requirements for academic staff in PHE are different from the requirements in AHE. More information can be found on the legislation below.

2. Are there any specific requirements for PHE staff work (teaching/research) arrangements and workload? If so, which? How do they differ from AHE?

These requirements are not specified legislatively, but institutions themselves have their own arrangements concerning academic staff workload. Normally, according to the  Law of Labor, teacher’s workload (1 tenure) is 1440 hours. The distribution of hours (contact hours, research, project activity, etc.) depends upon teacher’s qualification category (docent, lecture, assistant).

3. Are there requirements to include non-academia (professionals) to teach in PHE institutions? What qualifications must they have if any?

It is an advantage to attract professionals to pedagogical work, and every PHE institution is trying to build relationship with enterprises to engage their leaders and best staff in teaching, supervision of practice, common research projects. The minimum requirement id master’s degree in the field of study. Pedagogical knowledge and skills might be achieved through non-formal education.

Section C: Curriculum

1. Are there any specific requirements as regards contents/structure (e.g. percentage of practically oriented modules) as regards PHE? If so, which? What are the differences with respect to AHE?

As above.

2. Are there any specific requirements as regards practical elements of PHE study programmes (e.g. work experience/Practical placements/Internships)? If so, which? What are the differences with respect to AHE?

Practices and any other kind of practical training must account for at least a third of the study programme’s scope. The value of practices (training practice, induction practice, practice placement, etc.) should be no less than 30 (until 1 September 2011, 20) credit points. The total scope of professional practices for artistic studies should be no less than 18 (until 1 September 2011, 12) credits, for other studies – no less than 24 (until 1 September 2011, 16) credits. The final practice placement should be in line with the subject of the final thesis and similar to jobs the students is trained for.

3. Are there any other legal requirements specific for PHE programs?

As far as I know, there are no other legal requirements specific for PHE programs.

Section D: Research & Technology Transfer

1. What is the involvement of PHE in R&D&I&TT activities? Are there any formal differences at different levels/institutions of PHE?

PHE are normally involved in applied research. The scope and quality depends upon each PHE institution. Applied research activity is one of the indicators PHE institutions are ranked.

2. Are public research programs restricted to some types of HEIs (e.g. academic sector)? If so, what are the criteria?

There are no restrictions. Institutions themselves set up strategic applied research guidelines depending on the national and regional needs.

Section E: Recognition & Credit Transfer

1. Are there formal differences in the enrolment process into PHE and AHE?

Persons having at least the secondary education shall be admitted by way of competition to a study programme of the first cycle and integrated study programmes of a higher education institution, taking account of persons’ learning results, entrance examinations or other criteria laid down by the higher education institution. A list of competition subjects according to study fields and principles of composition of the competition score, the lowest passing entrance score and other criteria shall, upon evaluation by a students’ representation, be set by higher education institutions and announced by them not later than two years prior to the beginning of the respective academic year.

2. Are there formal paths for transfer from PHE into other HE programmes (for graduates, during the study)? Are there automatic transfers for students between PHE and AHE? Do students need bridging programmes or other means of transition?

Persons having a Professional Bachelor’s qualification shall have the right to enter study programmes of the second cycle, if they meet the minimum requirements approved by the Ministry of Education and Science. More information about entry requirements for second cycle studies can be found on the General requirements for Master Degree Study Programmes.

3. Are there any specific regulations concerning employment of PHE graduates? Do you need to justify delivery of certain PHE studies? e.g provide evidence of labour market needs or collect data on employability of graduates).

Analysis of labour market needs and employability of graduates are the main criteria new study programmes are accredited, so PHE institutions pay great attention to them. They are also the main indicators showing whether study programme is relevant and marketable.

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