|Country name||Republic of Lithuania – (Lith.): Lietuvos Respublika|
|Location||Easternmost country bordering the Baltic Sea|
|Neighbouring countries||Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast)|
|Area||25,174 square miles, biggest of the three Baltic States|
|Capital||Vilnius – (Lith.): Vilnius (Inhabitants: approx. 553,000)|
|Population||3.24 million inhabitants, from which: 83.9 percent Lithuanian, besides Polish (6.6 percent), Russian (5.4 percent), Belarusian (1.3 percent), Ucrainian (0.6 percent), German (0.1 percent) and other nationalities (census of 2011); life expectancy: 68 years (men), 78.8 years (women)|
|Religions||Predominantly Catholic, besides Russian Orthodox, Protestants and Jews|
The culture policy in Lithuania aims to take active part in the cultural life in Western and Central Europe. After overcoming the decade-long isolation from the West and after joining NATO and the EU, culture policy in Lithuania is also considered an important means of constructing and developing international contacts, particularly with important partners in European politics, for example, the Nordic countries, the neighboring Poland and the great EU Member States France, Great Britain, Germany and Italy. At the same time, the foreign culture policy in Lithuania also serves the Lithuanian groups, who have been living abroad for decades in order to maintain links to their home country’s culture and language.
Important fields of promotion in the artistic sector and the representation of the Lithuanian culture abroad are music (classics, jazz, folk music), theater, film and literature. Lithuanian ensembles take part in the cultural activity and festivals abroad, and the invitation of international guests to Lithuania helps to create an exchange network in the culture scene with other countries, particularly European countries. This network is parallel to the institutional relations of cultural institutions such as museums, art, colleges of higher education in music, and administration of culture.
Lithuania has reformed and modernized its education system since the beginning of the 1990s. The education modernization program has been completed to a great extent. The greatest challenges is the creation of the same education conditions in the rural and urabn areas, as well as the decreasing number of pupils. The school system was restructured by introducing primary and secondary schools (from year 2 to year 5, and from year 6 to year 11) as well as higher education schools (years 12 and 13). Parallel to these reforms, a three-level system was introduced in the Lithuanian universities with the degrees of Bachelor (Baccalaureat), Master (Magister) und PhD, as well as the European Credit System.
The Higher Education Law, amended in 2005, distinguishes between the newly created colleges and the universities. At the beginning of the academic year 2011/2012, there have been 23 universities in Lithuania (14 state universities and 9 private universities) and 24 colleges (13 state colleges and 11 private ones).