Foreign dentistry students won't have to know Latvian to get license

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Foreign dentistry students will no longer have to prove their Latvian skills to receive a medical license, the government ruled September 12. 

"Changes in the law are needed to improve the method of certification for dentistry students from abroad. Up until now foreign students studying in English and not planning to work in Latvia could not receive a medical license if they had no proof of Latvian language knowledge at least on a C1 level," reads a press release on Latvia's national bulletin. 

This created a situation in which students would receive a diploma upon graduation, but not a license that would allow them to practice dentistry across the EU, the release reads. In some cases, students have claimed they were not even aware of the language requirement until graduation time, when it came as a nasty surprise.

The new rules earlier drew objections from the State Language Center, the Justice Ministry and several doctoral organizations, reported Latvian Radio on August 29.

On the other hand, the Health Ministry argued changes are needed for Latvia to remain competitive in education exports. 

The changes apply to about 250 foreign students at Riga Stradins University and the University of Latvia. 

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