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Latvia:Political and Economic Situation

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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 is a small, open economy with exports contributing significantly to gross domestic product (GDP). Due to geographical location, transit services are highly-developed, along with timber and wood-processing, agriculture and food products, and manufacturing of machinery and electronic devices. Latvia's low birth rate and decreasing population are major challenges to long-term economic vitality and has notable influence on the education system – creating the necessity to reduce the number of educational institutions by optimising their network and raising overall competitiveness.

The past decade has been a turbulent period for the Latvian economy. From acquiring double digit growth figures before 2008, the country has first experienced a double digit drop in GDP before rebounding to a healthier economy and more focus on socioeconomic challenges.

Economic Crisis and Its Aftermath

From 2008 to 2010 the Latvian economy took one of the sharpest downturns in the world, when the fall of GDP reached 21%. The financial assistance of the European Union, the IMF, and the World Bank supported the economic recovery program. Latvia returned to growth in the latter half of 2010 as a result of economic stabilization measures.

At present, Latvia continues to show rapid and sustainable growth. Latvia still continues structural reforms towards improving competitiveness and productivity.

Current Economic Situation and Near-future Forecast

The overall economic situation over the past years has been exceptional and much better than forecasted. Latvia's GDP in 2014 was 2.3%

Unemployment has been gradually declining from the peak in the 2010. Registered unemployment fell from 17.3% in March 2010 to 8.2% in September 2014. Further gradual decrease is expected to continue over the coming years.

With the 2014 Latvia has joined the Eurozone and the Euro has become the official currency of the country.

Most recent information on the country’s economic situation available at Bank of Latvia Macroeconomic Developments Report.

Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Latvia holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015. The Presidency of Latvia will hold the Eastern Partnership Summit, the Fifth Meeting of the Ministers of Education of the ASEM countries and the Conference of European standardization.

The Influence of Political and Social Situation on Education

Due to notable cut in the education budget during the crisis and taking into account the decrease of the number pupils and students due to socioeconomic and demographic factors significant structural reforms have been performed in the whole education system:

  • In vocational education reduction of the number of institutions and development of vocational training competence centres in regions was started by allocating EU Social and Regional Development Funds for development and adjustment of curriculum and vocational training standards according to labour market needs and modernisation of the teaching supply and infrastructure.
  • And in the field of higher education – both a commitment by the government was made to draft and prepare a new performance-based funding model and EU Social and Regional Development Funds were allocated for improvement and development of study programmes and modernisation of the infrastructure of the higher education.

Due to economic crisis substantial structural reforms were carried out in the organisation and governance of education.

State expenditure on education as % of gross domestic product (GDP)

Year

2000 5.64
2005 5.09
2007 5.02
2008 5.75
2009 5.64
2010 5.01

Source: Eurostat


Proportion of population (aged 25-64 years) participating in education process

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2020
6,8 5,3 5,0 5,1 7,0 15,0

Source: Progress Report on the Implementation of the National Reform Programme of Latvia within the “Europe 2020” Strategy, 2013