“The number of students is falling, whether we want it or not, and it will continue declining all the way until 2015,” the minister told the opposition Liberal Movement group on Tuesday in her presentation of the guidelines of the reform.
At the same time, she noted that doing nothing and waiting for some universities to vanish themselves, would be too expensive for the state.
Under the restructuring proposed by Petrauskienė, Lithuania should have up to five state universities instead of the existing 14 state universities and a few dozen colleges.
The Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Center (MOSTA) has developed a study on optimization of the network of higher schools in Lithuania to leave 3-5 universities by 2025, as well as one or two arts academies and the Military Academy.
Vilnius would be home to two of the universities, one or two academies and the War Academy, while Kaunas should have one or two universities, Klaipėda should have a university or a branch and Šiauliai should have a university branch or a college.