Lithuania: Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is located about 1035 km away from Berlin and has 580,000 inhabitants. Vilnius University was founded in 1579 and is one of the oldest universities in Eastern and Northern Europe.
In 1989 two lecturers of the Vilnius Pedagogical University and about 10 parents and teachers travelled to Tallinn and Moscow to study Waldorf education. Then trips followed to Germany and soon lecturers from Germany and Denmark visited Vilnius. Out of this initiative the Vilnius Waldorf School developed and was opened in September 1995 with a first class. In each of the following years another grade was added.
On the initiative of all parents and teachers it was decided in 2004 to change the Lithuanian Law on Education. This change ensured that parents were free to choose the form of education for their children. The decision resulted in a diversity of schools and their inclusion in the Lithuanian education system. The Vilnius Waldorf School then set of on its way to independence - as an independent school, which is not part of the public system. In 2006 then, the school was officially recognized as a self-governing Waldorf School independent of the state curriculum.
In recent years, growth continued to be strong, and today the school has 12 classes with about 200 students. When they graduate their final exam results entitle them to access higher education. And the school is just in the process of restructuring its building and received EU funding for that purpose.