On the Approval of the Lithuanian Higher Education System Development Plan for 2006-2010


Published: 2006-05-04

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Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
RESOLUTION
No 335
 
ON THE APPROVAL OF THE LITHUANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 2006–2010
 
of 5 April 2006
 
Vilnius
 
 
Acting pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Article 20 of the Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 27-715, 2000) and for the purpose of implementing Paragraph 580 of the Implementing Measures of the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for 2004–2008, approved by Resolution No 315 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 24 March 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 40-1290, 2005), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:
1. To approve the Lithuanian Higher Education System Development Plan for 2006–2010 (as appended).
2. To charge the Ministry of Education and Science with the task of  preparing and providing the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with the following:  
2.1. draft measures for the first stage (2006–2007) of the implementation of the Lithuanian Higher Education System Development Plan for 2006–2010 within two months from the date of this resolution coming into force;
2.2. draft measures for the second stage (2008–2010) of the implementation of the Lithuanian Higher Education System Development Plan for 2006–2010 before 1 June 2007.
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                 Algirdas Brazauskas
 
 
Minister of Education and Science                                                 Remigijus Motuzas
 
 
 
 
APPROVED
by Resolution No 335 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of
5 April 2006
 
LITHUANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 2006–2010
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The Lithuanian Higher Education System Development Plan (hereinafter referred to as “the Plan”) includes a review and assessment of the state of the Lithuanian higher education system, defines the public goal and the tasks in the sphere of higher education, the areas of the reorganization of the higher education system, the stages of the implementation of the plan and the expected results.
2. The Plan was drafted with respect to the Long-term Development Strategy of the State, approved by Resolution IX-1187 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 12 November 2002 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 113-5029, 2002), the provisions of the State Education Strategy for 2003–2012, approved by Resolution No IX-1700 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 4 July 2003 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 71-3216, 2003), the Long-term Strategy of the Economic Development of Lithuania by 2015, approved by Resolution No 853 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 12 June 2002 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 60-2424, 2002), the Programme of the Implementation of the Provisions of the State Education Strategy for 2003–2012, approved by Resolution No 82 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 24 January 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 12-391, 2005), the Strategy of Ensuring Life-long Learning, approved by Order No ISAK-433/A1-83 of the Minister of Education and Science and the Minister of Social Security and Labour of 26 March 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 56-1957, 2004), the Lisbon Strategy, adopted by the European Council in 2000, as well as the National Programme of the Implementation of the Lisbon Strategy, approved by Resolution No 1270 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 22 November 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 139-5019, 2005), other strategic documents of the European Union, publications and documents of international organizations providing an  analysis of the Lithuanian higher education system and proposing the main provisions of the system’s reform, as well as the experience of other countries, whose higher education systems are recognized as the most effective internationally.
 
II. RevieW and ASSESSMENT of the State of the LITHUANIAN Higher EDUCATION system
 
3. After the reestablishment of Lithuanian independence, schools of higher education began to independently reorganize of the study and science system, the basic principles of which were established by the Law on Science and Studies of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 7-191, 1991). Adopted in 1992, the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania established the autonomy of schools of higher education and guaranteed free higher education at state schools of higher education to students with good academic standing. Prior to 1995, schools of higher education restructured the majority of their study programmes into university type programmes, revised study content, introduced compulsory modules in the humanities and social sciences, and created a three-tier university studies system. More significant changes in the higher education system took place in 2000 after the adoption of the Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 27-715, 2000). A binary higher education system, consisting of universities and colleges, was created, councils of schools of higher education were established, and the right of a deciding vote of the students representation in all self-government and governing bodies of schools of higher education was defined. From 2002, the admission of students financing their own studies to the first-stage and integrated full-time studies at state schools of higher education was abolished and the system of student tuition fees was introduced.
4. Seven Lithuanian universities and the Lithuanian Universities Rectors’ Conference, as a corporate member, have joined the European University Association (EUA), which unites over 750 members. The Directors' Conference of Lithuanian Colleges, as a corporate member, participates in the activities of the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), while the Lithuanian Students Union and the Union of Lithuanian Student Representations are involved in the activities of the National Union of Students in Europe (ESIB).
5. Active participation of the academic community in the creation of a European area of higher education was the reason for the changes in the Lithuanian higher education system as well as for the positive evaluation of the results. In May 2005, European ministers responsible for higher education met in Bergen (Norway), signed the Bergen communication, The European Higher Education Area – Achieving the Goals, and assessed the progress of countries in realizing the Bologna process goals. The assessment covered progress in three priority areas: qualification degrees, quality assurance and academic recognition. In all three priority areas, Lithuania received very good evaluations (the highest possible evaluation was excellent). In order to successfully implement the provisions of the strategic documents of the European Union and the Bologna process, and be competitive in the European and global markets of knowledge, it is necessary to clearly understand the problems and the inevitability of changes, to possess insight into the future and a specific strategy, and also make decisions on the levels of both the state and the institution. It is crucial to pay more attention to the analysis of the changes in the higher education system, i.e. to evaluate not only achievements, but also mistakes and consequences thereof.
6. The state of the Lithuanian higher education system was analysed on the basis of the findings of the World Bank, the European Commission, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Republic of Lithuania public authorities and social partners with regard to the following:
6.1. The needs of the knowledge society and knowledge economy and the development of the study system.
The development of the study system is carried out without due regard for the needs of the knowledge society, often as a result of the narrow interests of schools of higher education, especially universities. At schools of higher education, there is too much narrow specialization, duplication of study programmes, content that often does not match the study area, and insufficient attention to practical skills, communication abilities, responsibility, the further development of abilities and active citizenship – all of the afore-mentioned points  interfere with the graduates’ professional career and reduces their ability to adapt to the changing labour market. 
Students are insufficiently oriented towards acquiring the abilities that would enable them to select and evaluate special knowledge and to independently use the acquired knowledge and skills in learning throughout their lives. According to the data of a survey organized by the Ministry of Education and Science, the majority of pupils and students aspire to a career in the public service rather than in business. Students lack motivation in gaining professional knowledge and preparing for competition in the labour market. The qualification structure is beginning to fall behind labour market requirements: there is a shortage of qualified workers and technical personnel, in contrast  to the surplus of specialists holding higher education degrees in some other areas. The study programmes of schools of higher education are insufficiently adapted to the labour market, thus a large number of graduates have jobs that do not correspond to their profession or level of education. Due to weak contacts with social partners, the results of research and development are not sufficiently applied in business. Areas of scientific research are weakly linked with areas of business development and their requirements. As a result, business is slow to invest in science as well as research and development, and is not encouraged to do that. Schools of higher education and scientific research institutions practically do not encourage the establishment of new innovative enterprises.
6.2. Human resources:
6.2.1. According to the data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian schools of higher education receive applications from around 70 per cent of those who acquire secondary education in the same year, and the number of students of the normal average age (19 years old in Lithuania) is obviously growing. Competition for admission to a school of higher education is not big. The 2004 data of the Association of Lithuanian Schools of Higher Education for Joint Admission show that the average competition for a single university vacancy in under the joint admission is only 1.32. The full time studies in the academic year 2004–2005 had 108,500 students (57 per cent the total student number), while the part-time and extramural studies had 82,200 students (43 per cent of all students). Lithuania is complimented on the share of people with higher education degrees in the total population: in 2002, 35 per cent of persons aged 25 to 34 had higher education (seventh place among the members of the European Union). As the number of students is growing, these indicators are bound to continue improving in the near future. Therefore, discussions in the recent period have centred around the improvement of qualitative rather than quantitative indicators.
6.2.2. In 2004, universities employed over 9,000 and colleges around 3,500 teachers. From 1990 to 2004, almost 4,000 doctoral degrees were awarded (the average of doctoral degrees awarded annually in 2000–2004 was 386, while in 1993–1999 it stood at 172). The number of doctoral students has surged over recent years (from 2,100 doctoral students in 2000 to 2,800 in 2004), yet with its number of doctoral degrees awarded per million residents annually, Lithuania lags behind North European countries (based on the data for 2003, 106 in Lithuania, compared to 236 in North European countries). The indicators of doctoral degrees are improving with every year, however schools of higher education are short of young teachers and research workers. In the course of recent years, the number of teachers aged 25–29 and 30–34 has been slightly growing, the number of teachers aged 60–64 has remained the same, while that of teachers aged 65 and above has kept growing. As a result of the relatively low pay of teachers and research workers or due to the unfavourable academic environment, a number of doctoral degree holders as well as teachers and research workers of schools of higher education tend to take up different activities or emigrate.
6.3. Management of the higher education system and institutions of higher education:
6.3.1. The reestablishment of Lithuania’s independence created the opportunities to change the higher education system, however the Lithuanian public authorities forming and implementing the national science and studies policy were either established and frequently reorganized or not granted sufficient powers to carry out such activities. Founded in 1990, the Department of Science and Studies under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania was closed in 1991. The same year, the Division of Information, Science and Studies was established within the structure of the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, but it lacked the powers necessary to perform the functions of public administration and could not assume the responsibility for the development of the science and studies system. In 1992, the State Science, Studies and Technology Council was established with the main purpose to form and implement the state policy of science and studies, yet in 1994 it was abolished and its functions transferred to the established Ministry of Education and Science. Established in 1998, the Department of Science and Studies under the Ministry of Education of Science was reorganized into a structural division of the Ministry of Education of Science in 2002. The formation and implementation of the science and study policy involves active participation of expert and advisory institutions (the Science Council of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, the Council of Higher Education, the Lithuanian Universities Rectors’ Conference, the Directors’ Conference of Lithuanian Colleges, and the Conference of the Directors of Lithuanian Scientific Institutes) as well as social partners. The Republic of Lithuania Law on Higher Education and the Republic of Lithuania Law on Science and Studies provide that the Ministry of Education and Science must take the opinion of the said institutions into account when making essential decisions in the areas of science and studies. The legislation lacks balance between the competencies of expert and advisory institutions, while the inadequacy of their roles as well as responsibilities in regulating the higher education system on the state level hinders the efforts to establish and implement an active policy in the said areas that would meet the needs of the state and the society.
6.3.2. Published by the Ministry of Education and Science in 1999, the White Paper entitled Lietuvos Aukštasis Mokslas (Higher Education in Lithuania) draws attention to the diversity of interpretation of the university autonomy principles, set out in the Magna Charta Universitatum, published in 1998 in Bologna. In pursuing its mission, a university must follow the main principle, i.e. to be an autonomous institution with close links to  society. Meanwhile, Lithuanian universities usually associate their autonomy with self-government that involves only university members. The public is unable to influence the decisions of the highest institutions with  such  self-government, namely those of the senate formed from university teachers and research workers and those of the rector, who is  elected by them. Drawing on the experience of other European countries, the authors of the White Paper, proposed the establishment of two joint management institutions at  Lithuanian state schools of higher education, namely the council, formed not only from the employees, students and graduates of a school of higher education but also from the representatives of other organizations concerned with the development and quality of higher education (the council would draft and adopt decisions on the strategic issues in the activities of the school of higher education, define the principles of the use of state property and funds handed over to the school of higher education, consider and approve the school’s development and structural reorganization plans and assess the activities of the rector), and the senate, made up of university teachers, research workers and student representatives (the senate would be entrusted with dealing with all the issues of the organization of academic activities and scientific research, the improvement of study programmes and processes, and quality assurance). Such a system of internal management of a school of higher education has been tested in a number of countries and is credited as an optimal model of internal management. Science and education leaders, such as Great Britain, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Denmark and Japan have already implemented or are implementing such a management reform. The Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Lithuania, adopted in 2000, provides for two jointly working self-government and public regulation institutions of a state university, namely the university council and senate. However, contrary to the recommendations of the White Paper, the university council’s functions are limited to public supervision and sponsorship of the university. Public supervision is restricted to the right to evaluate (draft findings, make proposals, etc.) some of the projects and documents presented by the rector, while the power of decision remains with the senate, consisting of scientists, recognized artists, and students of that university (as well as other science and study institutions). The university’s rector is accountable to the senate, which elects the rector. In the absence of real accountability to the public and real connection with social partners, it is impossible to unite the most important innovation partners, i.e. economic operators, schools of higher education and scientific research institutions. Instead of accountability to the public, state regulation of schools of higher education is applied.
6.4. The network of Lithuanian schools of higher education.
The network of Lithuanian schools of higher education is very developed. It includes 15 state and 6 non-state universities (in 2004–2005 they had around 139,000 students, including 4,300 studying at non-state universities), 16 state and 12 non-state colleges (in 2004–2005 they had 52,000 students, including 10,000 studying at non-state colleges). The ratio of specialists educated at university schools of higher education to those educated at non-university schools of higher education (29 per cent of all students studied at colleges in 2004–2005) does not meet the related labour market requirements and does not correspond to the specialist training tendencies in European Union states (as reported by Eurostat, 52 per cent of Belgian students, 39 per cent of Estonian students, 37 per cent of Irish students and 19 per cent of Latvian students were enrolled in non-university studies in 2002–2003). Some schools of higher education have branches in other cities or organize studies at the facilities of other cities’ educational establishments. The findings of an assessment carried out by local and foreign experts have revealed that the scientific and teaching facilities (especially in the fields of physical and technological studies) of the majority of schools of higher education are outdated and there is a shortage of scientific and pedagogical personnel with adequate qualifications.
6.5. Funding of the higher education system.
Over the past several years, the spending on higher education has continued growing and reached 1.3 percent of the GDP (which according to Eurostat’s data for 2001 is more than in the neighbouring states: 0.9 per cent in Latvia and 1.07 per cent in both Estonia and Poland). The main source of funding for the studies at state schools of higher education is the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania. Although the higher education spending from the Republic of Lithuanian state budget has been growing, it is insufficient as the number of students whose tuition is paid for from the state budget is rapidly rising (from 66,400 in 2000 to 79,100 in university studies in 2004; and from 2,000 to 26,2000 in non-university studies at state colleges). According to data for the first half of 2001, the studies of one student whose studies are funded from the Republic of Lithuania state budget cost EUR 3,100 based on the purchasing power standard (calculated according to the standard in 2001, i.e. 1 euro equals 1.6662 litas), compared to the EU average of EUR 8,600 in 2001 according to the same standard (thus, Lithuania’s indicator is one of the lowest in the European Union). The contribution of employers is insufficient. In 2003 for instance, the share of private funding constituted only a third of all funds (38.5 per cent for universities and 29.4 per cent for colleges) and most of it came from tuition fees paid by the students themselves.
 
III. The GOAL and Tasks
 
7. The goal is quality higher education for as many Lithuanian citizens as possible, thus satisfying the present and future needs of learning people and the society as well as ensuring societal progress.
8. In order to create a system of higher education that would provide quality education, function harmoniously, and be based on responsible management, purposeful financing and rational use of the resources, and also ensure the availability of higher education according to the abilities of every individual, it is necessary to perform the following tasks: 
8.1. to improve the management of the higher education system at  the state level as well as at the science and study institution level;
8.2. to rationalize and increase the funding of the higher education system from new sources of funding;
8.3. to develop the provision of support to students;
8.4. to develop the assessment methods of the performance of the schools of higher education;
8.5. to renew the facilities of scientific research and studies;
8.6. to carry out forward studies on labour market demand for specialists and to use the findings as a  basis for the distribution of the Republic of Lithuania state budget funds to state schools of higher education for the payment of the costs of studies; and to raise the professional motivation of students;
8.7. to ensure that the competence of the graduates of schools of higher education meets the needs of society and the labour market with regard to the education and qualification structure now and in the future;
8.8. to ensure the possibility of life-long learning.
 
IV. AREAS OF HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT
 
Development of the Management of the Higher Education System
 
9. Optimisation of the higher education system should go hand in hand with the reorganization of the management of the science, technology and innovation system:
9.1. the procedure of preparing questions to be submitted to the Commission of Science, Technology and Innovation Development has been established, and an opportunity to participate in the preparation of questions for all the institutions concerned has been provided;
9.2. following the reorganization of the Science Council of Lithuania and state institutions providing support to research and development, the system of programme and competitive funding and administration of scientific research has been established.
10. To achieve a harmonious formation and implementation of the higher education policy, it is necessary:
10.1. to define the respective areas of the activities of experts (representing the Science Council of Lithuania, reorganized into the Lithuanian Scientific Research Council, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the Lithuanian Universities Rectors’ Conference, the Conference of the Directors of Lithuanian Scientific Institutes, the Directors’ Conference of Lithuanian Colleges, and the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education) in a way that excludes their duplication;
10.2. to establish the principle that employer organizations as well as other non-governmental organizations have equal rights to offer their opinions and to present recommendatory proposals on the issues of science and study policy formation and implementation to the Ministry of Education and Science.
 
Improvement of Internal Management at State Universities
 
11. In order to increase state universities’ responsibility and accountability to the public and to protect  the  autonomy and integrity of universities, it is necessary to establish a  rule that the majority of a state university’s council (hereinafter referred to as “the council”), as a supervisory institution, is composed of social partners.
12. To charge the council with the following functions:
12.1. to define the vision and mission of the university as a science and study institution, to adopt the strategic plan of activities and to supervise its implementation;
12.2. to announce a public competition for the post of  university rector, to consider the candidates and present them to the senate;
12.3. to set the procedure of personnel selection and evaluation, following the principle of appointing employees on the basis of their qualifications;
12.4. to establish the principles of effective and rational preservation of the university’s assets and the use of its resources and funds (including the pay of executives and employees).
13. To establish the procedure of forming the council on the basis of the following provisions:
13.1. the procedure of proposing and selecting candidates should be public;
13.2. one half of the candidates shall be selected from social partners by the university senate, including one by the student representation, and the other half shall be selected by the Ministry of Education and Science;
13.3. the President of the Republic, members of the Seimas and of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, members of municipal councils and civil servants of political (personal) confidence cannot serve as members of the council; 
13.4. the membership to the council shall be approved by the Ministry of Education and Science.
14. To establish the following provisions regarding the selection of the university rector:
14.1. the council shall announce a public competition for the post of the university rector, consider the candidates and present them to the senate.
14.2. the university rector shall be elected by the senate from the candidates presented by the council.
 
Reorganization of the Funding of the Higher Education System
 
15. To ensure that the Lithuanian higher education system is competitive in the area of European higher education, it is necessary to make the funding more rational:
15.1. to implement the principle that the state supports a person’s education in  undergraduate, integrated and second-stage studies by financing his/her study expenses in part, i.e. by covering up to 220 credits (with the exceptions provided for by the Lithuanian or international legislation), while the expenses above this limit are paid for by the person in question;
15.2. to prepare the concept of funding third-stage studies that would provide for measures to ensure the quality and development of the studies of this stage;
15.3. to decrease the scope of undergraduate (both non-university and university) and master’s studies to, respectively, 120, 140 and 60 credits where appropriate, and the duration of integrated studies to 200 credits (5 years in the full-time programme), with the exceptions provided for by the Lithuanian or international legislation;
15.4. to carry out second-stage and third-stage study programmes only at those schools of higher education that have sufficient scientific and pedagogical competence and a justified public need.
16. With the aim to rationalize the use of funds allocated for higher education and to attract new funding sources, it is necessary:
16.1. to develop and establish a new funding model for the studies of students in all study forms whose studies at state schools of higher education are funded from the state budget, on the basis of which the study expenses shall consist of two parts:  tuition; and the part of the study area cost that is not covered by  tuition;
16.2. in the process of planning and allocating the Republic of Lithuania budget funds, to follow the forward studies on the demand for specialists as well as the agreement concluded by a school of higher education with the Government of the Republic of Lithuania or a government-authorized institution stipulating the long-term commitments by both the state and the school of higher education;
16.3. to provide all the students of state schools of higher education with an opportunity to receive loans sufficient to pay the tuition and to consider the possibilities of compensating  them;
16.4. to draft a  programme of the renewal of the teaching and scientific facilities of state schools of higher education; and to use the financial resources of the European Union structural funds to implement it;
16.5. to lay down the scientific research funding mechanisms in the programmes implementing the Long-term Research and Development Strategy, approved by Resolution No 1646 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 22 December 2003 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 121-5489, 2003).
17. In order to develop student support and ensure the accessibility of higher education, it is necessary to orient the current system of subsistence allowances and loans more towards social assistance for students:
17.1. to use a larger part of the Republic of Lithuania budget funds allocated for financial and social assistance to support the students of schools of higher education coming from poor families and to establish a new support (loans) foundation (every student of a school of higher education would be eligible for a loan on preferential terms; the state would stand surety for them);
17.2. to use part of the Republic of Lithuania budget funds allocated for social assistance to subsidize state higher education schools’ establishments serving meals to students, to cover the accommodation expenses of students from poor families living at student dormitories, and to provide other advantages;
17.3. to use part of the Republic of Lithuania budgetary funds allocated for allowances to students of state schools of higher education to establish individual allowances to students with an excellent academic record.
 
Revising the Content of Studies and Assessment of Higher Education Quality
 
18. To ensure the quality of higher education that meets the requirements of a knowledge society and a knowledge-based economy, it is necessary:
18.1. to conduct forward studies on the demand for specialists, the findings of which would serve as a basis for planning the development of the network of state schools of higher education, with funds allocated from the budget of the Republic of Lithuania for studies and student support;
18.2. to regularly assess the state of the higher education system and the activities of schools of higher education, to analyse the assessment results and to prepare a forecast;
18.3. to give more weight to the quality of training of the graduates, their ability to find a place in the labour market, and their career indicators in the assessment of the performance of schools of higher education;
18.4. to carry out institutional assessment of all currently operating colleges as well as the work of the first cycle of external assessment of the study programmes based on study areas; to use foreign experts in the assessment of study programmes and institutions; and to publicise the assessment findings;
18.5. to adapt the system of qualifications in Lithuania’s higher education to the qualifications framework covering the European higher education area;
18.6. to draft guidelines for all study areas, thus creating the conditions necessary for interdisciplinary studies;
18.7. to introduce the common European quality assurance standards into the national quality assurance system, improve the mechanisms of recognizing partial studies and degrees, and promote the mobility of students and teachers;
18.8. to improve the procedure of preparation, assessment and registration of study programmes offered jointly by Lithuanian schools of higher education and foreign schools of higher education;
18.9. to involve employers and other social partners in the assessment of the quality of studies.
 
V. STAGES OF IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN
 
19. The Plan shall be implemented in two stages. During the first stage (2006–2007), the legislation required for the implementation of the Plan as well for the establishment of an effective and harmonious high-quality higher education system based on responsible management, purposeful financing and rational use of resources shall be drafted and adopted. During the second stage (2008–2010), the provisions of the Plan shall be implemented in accordance with the changed legislation:
20. The first stage (2006–2007) shall include:
20.1. drafting and adoption of the legislation necessary to implement the provisions of the Plan; 
20.2. examination and evaluation of:
20.2.1. the possibility of all state schools of higher education to participate in a joint admission of students to undergraduate and integrated studies;
20.2.2. measures strengthening the binary character of the higher education system;
20.2.3. measures stimulating the improvement of the quality of third-stage studies and the concept of funding the studies of this stage;
20.2.4. the possibilities of granting all schools of higher education the right to use the immovable property in its possession with the right of ownership;
20.2.5. the possibilities of reorganizing state schools of higher education from budgetary establishments to public establishments;
20.2.6. the possibilities of establishing tax advantages and other financial stimuli for the employers offering traineeships for students or hiring young specialists;
20.3. the preparation of measures on the national level to encourage highly qualified specialists to return to Lithuania;
20.4. the preparation and implementation of a competence improvement programme for the council members of state schools of higher education that would lay down  measures assisting council members in sharing experience and getting acquainted with the management practice at schools of higher education of other countries.
21. The second stage (2008–2010) shall include:
21.1. implementation of the provisions of the Plan;
21.2. consideration of the possible areas of development of the higher education system for the next period:
21.2.1. the possibilities of adopting a more flexible planning of the admission of students to state schools of higher education by competition and using the public procurement mechanism for the training of specialists;
21.2.2. the possibility of establishing the principle that universities shall not carry out non-university study programmes and colleges shall not carry out university study programmes;
21.2.3. the possibility of transferring the administration and property of dormitories, food serving establishments as well as sports and culture centres at states schools of higher education to public establishments or non-governmental organizations.
 
VI. THE EXPECTED RESULT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN
 
22. If accomplished successfully, the reorganization will stimulate the improvement of study quality. Following the implementation of the Plan, the meticulous regulation of state schools of higher education will be gradually given up.  Schools of higher education will deal with a number of issues in their activities more properly by themselves; and they will be attractive and capable of competing with schools of higher education of other European Union states.
 
VII. IMPLEMENTING MEASURES AND FUNDING OF THE PLAN
 
23. The implementing measures for the first stage (2006–2007) and the second stage (2008–2010) of the Plan shall be adopted by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
24. The monitoring of the Plan’s implementation shall be done by the Ministry of Education and Science in accordance with the state education monitoring indicators it has adopted.
25. The implementation of the Plan shall be financed from the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania and from the European Union structural funds. The amounts of funding needed shall be defined in the implementing measures of the Plan.
 
 
 
 
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