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Latvia:Higher Education

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Overview Latvia

Contents

Latvia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Latvia:Historical Development

Latvia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Latvia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Latvia:Political and Economic Situation

Latvia:Organisation and Governance

Latvia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Latvia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Latvia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Latvia:Organisation of Private Education

Latvia:National Qualifications Framework

Latvia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Latvia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Latvia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Latvia:Funding in Education

Latvia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Latvia:Higher Education Funding

Latvia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Latvia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:Organisation of Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Latvia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Higher Education

Latvia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Latvia:First Cycle Programmes

Latvia:Bachelor

Latvia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Latvia:Second Cycle Programmes

Latvia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Latvia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Latvia:Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Latvia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Latvia:Main Providers

Latvia:Main Types of Provision

Latvia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Latvia:Teachers and Education Staff

Latvia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Latvia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Management and Other Education Staff

Latvia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Latvia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Quality Assurance

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Educational Support and Guidance

Latvia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Latvia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Latvia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Latvia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Mobility in Higher Education

Latvia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Latvia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Latvia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:National Reforms in School Education

Latvia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Latvia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Latvia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Latvia:European Perspective

Latvia:Legislation

Latvia:Glossary

Latvia’s higher education system has successfully embraced the three cycle system – Bachelor (undergraduate), Master (graduate) and Doctoral studies - in accordance with the Bologna process. However, in some study fields such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and veterinary medicine, long studies involving qualification or residency periods are still provided.

Higher education is provided as academic and professional programmes in two types of institutions: non-university (up to Masters's degree) and university (up to Doctoral degree) augstskola. Most higher education institutions run both academic and professional programmes. Short-cycle professional higher education programmes are offered also by koledža. The qualification obtained after completing any of the long study programmes (e.g. medicine) is equated to Master's degree, according to Latvian legislation.

The strategic objective of academic higher education is to provide acquirement of theoretical knowledge and research skills, preparing for independent scientific research activities in the chosen field of science. The main aim of Bachelor study programmes is to provide students with scientific background for professional activities. Studies should favour the development of scientific analysis capacity and skills to solve problems independently.

The aim of Master study programmes is to prepare students for activities of independent scientific research; the main task – to promote the use of theoretical knowledge and research skills.

The strategic objectives of first-level professional higher education are:

  • to prepare a person for work in a certain profession promoting one’s development as an open, responsible and creative personality;
  • to advance the acquirement of skills and knowledge for gaining the fourth-level  professional qualification;
  • to motivate one for further education and provide the possibility to prepare for continuation of education in the second-level of professional higher education.

The strategic objectives of second-level professional higher education are to provide professional studies corresponding to economic, cultural and social needs of the state. The main aims are:

  • to educate specialists of fifth-level professional qualification in the fields necessary to national economy and state security, favour competitiveness in the changing social-economic conditions and in international labour market;
  • to implement acquirement of knowledge characteristic to each field enabling to develop new or improve existing systems, products and technologies and prepare for research, pedagogical and creative work.

Satversme (the Constitution) of Latvia declares the right to education for every resident of Latvia. International agreements and the Law on Institutions of Higher Education determine persons who have the right to study in a higher education institution augstskola.

The Law on Institutions of Higher Education sets the relations between state and higher education institutions as well as regulations for opening, closing and reorganization of institution, institutional governance and staff selection. The Law establishes academic freedom, rights and duties of academic personnel and students, determines the procedure of obtaining academic degrees and professional qualifications, the basic requirements for the study programmes, financing of studies, assessment and accreditation of study programmes and institutions. Other regulatory enactments apply to costs of one person in higher education per year, grants and loans offered to students and system of loan clearance.

The Constitution (Satversme) of a higher education institution (developed and approved by Constituent Assembly (Satversmes sapulce) - representatives of academic staff, students and other groups of employees) is the main legal act regulating its activities. The Satversme establishes the name of the institution, address, legal status, the name of the founder and its address, objectives and spheres of activities, procedure of acceptance of the Satversme and its amendments, rights, duties and tasks of representative, management and decision maker institutions, composition and establishment, return or appointment of these institutions, term of office, displacement procedure, establishment, reorganization, closing of institutions’ subdivisions, branches and enterprises. The procedure of acceptance of internal rules, reorganization and liquidation procedure of the higher education institution should be also determined in the Satversme of each institution. 

In general, the Saeima (the Parliament) approves constitutions of state-founded higher education institutions, while the Cabinet of Ministers approves those of other institutions as well as bylaws of koledža.

Although the organization of academic year depends on each institution, it is usually divided in two semesters altogether comprising ten months (40 weeks) of lectures, seminars, and practical work, starting in the beginning of September and ending at the end of June. January and June are devoted to taking semesters’ examinations. Recently, another system of examination has been introduced by some institutions that when a course (subject) does not last till the end of semester the examination is held shortly after the course is completed, even in the middle of a semester. There are Christmas and Easter national holidays for students during the year. The summer break lasts at least 8 weeks. In some universities students also have to undergo practical training in the form of an internship during the summer.