01 - Latvia - Historical overview

All-embracing school network was formed in the 19th century; and at the same time the first higher educational institutions were established in the territory of the present Latvia. In 1862, Rīga Polytechnic Institute was founded later serving as the basis for the establishment of the University of Latvia in 1919, when also the Latvian State Conservatoire and the Latvian Academy of Arts were established. During the years of occupation higher education institutions and their research centres continued to function, and much attention and resources was devoted to the development of science.

Reforms started in 1991 providing autonomy of higher education institutions. The new Education Law introduced Bachelor and Master degrees as well as professional study programmes instead of the 5-year diploma studies; the new regulation also opened opportunities to establish private higher educational institutions. The Law on Higher Education institutions adopted in 1995 introduced a higher education quality assurance system in Latvia as well as rules for recognition of foreign qualifications.

In Latvia, higher education institutions offer the possibility to master higher academic education (ISCED-97, level 5A) and higher professional education (ISCED-97, level 5B and 5A) as well as postgraduate level studies (ISCED-97, level 6).

Historical Overview. Academic Tertiary Education and Professional Tertiary Education

There is a wide network of higher educational institutions in Latvia. Universities, academies and colleges are located throughout Latvia, but mainly in the capital of Latvia, Rīga .The basic network remains as it was under the Soviet regime. Since 1991, most newly established universities have been private ones located mainly in Rīga although several have been established outside the capital to make higher education more accessible to rural students.

In the recent years Latvia, pursuant to Bologna declaration of 19 June 1999 "The European Higher Education Area", carried out approximation of academic and professional higher education. A uniform system of degrees is being established, thus ensuring the possibility of transfer from higher academic education to higher professional education, and vice versa.

Historical Overview. Postgraduate Level

For a long while, doctoral studies were devised for working out doctor’s dissertation, but today they include advanced studies of the subject and examination. According to the 1998 amendments to the Law on Scientific Activities (null and void since adoption of the new Scientific Activities Law in 2005), the former two-tier doctoral degree system has been changed to a one-tier system. The second-level doctoral degree habilitēts doktorsis not any more awarded since January 1, 2000, and since that date the holders of the degree habilitēts doktorshave the same rights as the holders of the degree doktors.

Eurydice - the information network on education in Europe

Date: 2009
Privacy Policy