Latvia:Overview

From Eurydice

Jump to: navigation, search

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

Key Features of the Education System

Main aim of education policy in Latvia is qualitative and inclusive education for personal development, human welfare and sustainable development of the country.

According international student assessment data, there are significant improvements in average students’ (15-years-olds) performance in last decades – it reached OECD average in science, and slightly below the average in reading and mathematics. Latvia has a smaller proportion of students who lack basic skills, but the share of top-performing students is also smaller than the average in OECD countries.

Public investment in pre-primary education (for children 3 years and older) as a percentage of gross domestic product is one of the highest among European countries, however public expenditure on education in total is relatively low. Having low teachers' salaries - compared to national and international standards -the government has started in 2016 to implement teachers' salaries reform raising teacher salaries to nationally competitive levels.

Comprehensive reforms are initiated in general and vocational education, too. In general education a new competence-based education content will be fully introduced in 2018-2021. As a result of modernization of vocational education and training proportion of upper-secondary students in general education and VET should reach 50/50% in 2020. It was 61/39% in 2012/13 respectively. Entry rates to tertiary education in Latvia are among the highest in Europe, but adults' participation in lifelong learning is below the EU average.

Latvia has a long and successful tradition of extra-curricular education, called interest-related or hobby education. It is provided in broad areas: arts, sports, technical education etc., and more than 70% of learners between the ages of 3 and 25 and participate in these activities. The Council of Europe International Review Team concluded that the Latvian model of hobby education certainly is a best practice example of extra-curricular education.

Latvia has long tradition of ethnic minority education – the first law on education institutions of independent Latvia in 1919 ensured autonomy of education for German, Russian, Jewish, Polish and Byelorussian schools. Now, the state continues to develop and finance its ethnic minority (bilingual) education model providing publicly-funded education in five ethnic minority languages:

  • Estonian
  • Polish
  • Ukrainian
  • Byelorussian
  • Russian.

In the school year 2014/2015, 71% of all pupils were enrolled in education programmes with Latvian language of instruction and 29% were enrolled in ethnic minority education programmes. Ethnic minority education programme schools’ are entitled to determine by themselves which subjects are taught in Latvian, but the total should be 60% of all subjects.

Another specific feature of education system in Latvia is vocationally oriented education in sports, art and music provided in music, art and sports schools (mūzikas skola, mākslas skola, sporta skola). It is the acquisition of systematised knowledge and skills, as well as the formation of values orientation in art, culture or sport concurrently with the basic (integrated primary and lower-secondary) education and upper-secondary education level. Vocationally oriented music and art education together with vocational education and higher education in music and arts compose Latvia’s culture education system.

Stages of the Education System

Latvia provides a legal entitlement to early childhood education and care (ECEC, pirmsskolas izglītība) for all children from 1.5 years of age. Municipalities are obliged to ensure that children whose residence is declared in the administrative territory of the municipality are able to access ECEC the institution (pirmsskolas izglītības iestāde) closes to their home. ECEC for five- and six-year-old children is compulsory.

Primary and lower secondary education is organised as a single structure system (pamatizglītība or basic education), beginning at the age of 7 and consisting of nine years of compulsory schooling. Basic education ends after grade 9 with final examinations in student’s first language, the Latvian language for students in ethnic minority programmes, mathematics, history of Latvia and a foreign language, leading to the award of a certificate which is needed to entry into upper-secondary education.

Upper secondary education (vidējā izglītība) is provided in general and vocational pathways by vidusskola, ģimnāzija and profesionālās izglītības iestāde. Although upper-secondary education is not compulsory, the proportion of population with completed upper secondary education is still high and above the OECD average.

Various vocational upper-secondary education programmes take between two to four years to complete and led to different qualification levels. Most of vocational programmes start at upper-secondary level and only a few schools offer lower-secondary vocational education.

Higher education is provided by rather autonomous public and private higher education institutions (augstskola): these are universities (universitāte), offering both academic and professional tertiary programmes; other augstskola, akadēmija or koledža offer professional tertiary programmes. The degree structure follows the three-cycle structure: bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level studies.

There is a spectrum of formal and non-formal education programmes and courses for the adult learners. Within formal education system, adult education extends over general education provided in pamatskola and vidusskola, vocational and further-vocational training offered by profesionālās izglītības iestāde, and higher education in augstskola. There are also various non-formal adult education opportunities provided by public and private education institutions and organizations. Informal learning acquired through working and personal life can be validated as professional competences acquired outside formal education.

Useful links

While the Eurydice Description of National Education Systems provides comprehensive and comparable information, further information may also be found on the websites of Ministry of Education and Science, Academic Information Centre, the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia as well as the Euroguidance Latvia, and in OECD’s Review of National Policies for Education in Latvia, and Education GPS.

Structure of the national education system

2016 diagram LV.pngsource: Eurydice 2016

Common European Reference Tools Provided by the Eurydice Network