The results of the secondary school certificates are already known. In 2017 the state exam of Lithuanian language and literature passed 89.04% of this year’s high school graduates. In schools with Lithuanian as a teaching language the probability of passing the exam was 89.5%, and in schools of national minorities – 80.74%. The difference between the results of Lithuanian launguage exams between the pupils from lithuanian schools and the pupils from national minorities was not so great over the two years, as can be seen in the table below. In 2017, only 0.7% of Lithuanian high school graduates and 0.2% of Polish and Russian schools achieved the highest score – 100 points.

Percentage of high school graduates who passed the Lithuanian high school diploma:

Year 2015 2016 2017
Schools with Lithuanian as a teaching language 90,11% 89,9% 89,5%
Schools of national minorities 83,95% 87,1% 80,74%


This is a huge and important difference, especially that this exam is compulsory for those who want to apply for a degree at a Lithuanian-funded level. It means that almost 20% of high school graduates of national minorities won’t get into the university studies.

There are, however, the positive information. As usual, high school graduates from the Gymnasium of Adam Mickiewicz and the Gymnasium of John Paul II had better results than the national average, it means oscillating above 90%.

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is watching the situation with unconcealed dissatisfaction and it is calling for change to improve the situation of national minorities. EFHR has been active working in Lithuanian secondary school certificates for a long time, not only on theoretical grounds, but it also provides free help in challenging unjustified results of the Lithuanian language. Lithuania should promote the positive discrimination, in which the procedure of favoring of one group, eg national minorities is aimed to provide its members with equal opportunities. One of the examples can be the reductions on the national language exams for students from the national minority schools. Facilities, such as shorter essays, more authors to choose from or the oppportunity of larger numbers of mistakes for the secondary students which had been learning the national language in a less time can give them more chances to continue the education on the university studies.

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) will be happy to provide legal aid to those who feel discriminated against in the Lithuanian matura. Working hours: from Monday to Friday at ul. J. Dobkevičiaus 6 (2nd floor) in Vilnius. From Monday to Thursday: 8:30 to 17:00, and from Friday: 8:30 – 16:00 a qualified lawyer will be waiting for you. If you can’t come – email us by or give a call – +37069150822.