Vilnius Academy of Arts is the largest and oldest art university in the Baltic States, established in 1793 as an Architecture department at the Chief school of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vilnius. At the end of the 19th century it was closed together with Vilnius University by the tsarist government, and then reopened in 1919. After the World War II Academy was merged with Kaunas Art Institute and since then was called The State Art Institute of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania. In 1990 the Academy regained its name of Vilnius Academy of Arts.
Since 1990, almost 100 alumni of the Academy were awarded National Art Awards. Today Academy has over 1,800 students in four cities – Vilnius, Kaunas, Telšiai and Klaipėda. Each faculty has its own unique study programmes, which offer Lithuanian students a possibility to find a specific art specialisation in different cities. Vilnius faculty has a wide collection of most popular art study programmes varying from Painting to Culture Management and Culture Politics. Kaunas faculty offers Glass Art study programme that is unique throughout the Baltic region. Telšiai faculty is based on a solid craft competences and the newly established Klaipėda faculty offers programmes related to the most current art tendencies.
The VAA study programmes essentially meet the needs of the national cultural, social and economic development, since graduates of the school are employed in different areas of cultural, social and economic development, public administration and educational institutions. Having regard to the needs of cultural and social development, as well as the national economy, and considering the number of students entering into different study programmes the appropriateness of admission of students into different study programmes is discussed in the Senate every year.
Faculty of Postgraduate studies administers Master's and Doctoral programs in Vilnius. The main goal of the Faculty is to strengthen artistic and scientific research role in the educational process.
Academy is a member of international networks and associations of European higher education institutions of art and design. The diversity is brought in by international exchange programmes, such as LLP/Erasmus or Nordplus, produces a positive effect upon the entire range of activities.
Today the Academy has more than 100 Erasmus partners within the EU, with 70 outgoing and 40-50 incoming students each academic year. Around 40 visiting professors ensure the development of international expertise and exchange of new ideas of students and staff.
A prime example of international collaboration at the Academy is Nida Art Colony. Open all year round, it hosts workshops, intensive courses, seminars, artist talks and screenings as well as the artist-in-residence programme for experienced and emerging artists, designers, architects, curators, art critics and researchers from around the world.
Networks and associations
Vilnius Academy of Arts is a member in following associations and networks: