More students started higher education this academic year in Latvia

Data published January 25 by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that, in the academic year 2021/2022, 77.4 thousand students are enrolled in higher education, which is 1.5 % less than a year ago.

However, the number of entrant students and students obtaining a degree or qualification has increased compared to the previous year.

In the academic year 2021/2022, 29 thousand students were entering Latvian higher education institutions, 1.2 % more than a year earlier. Half of the entrant students (52.2 %) started their studies at Bachelor's level, 24 % at Master's level, 21.8 % at the college level, and 2 % at Doctoral level.

 More than half of the entrant students (57 %) have started their studies with their personal funds, while 43 % have started their studies with state budget funds. \

In 2021, 14.7 thousand students obtained a degree or qualification; that is an increase of 1.3 % compared to the previous period. More than a third (35.9 %), or 5.3 thousand, obtained degrees in Social sciences, business and law and 18.5 %, or 2.7 thousand, in Health and social welfare. 1.7 thousand or 11.3 % of the total number of graduates studied Engineering, manufacturing and construction. Since 2010, the number of graduates in Latvian higher education institutions has almost halved.

As in previous years, more than a third or the 10.5 thousand entrants chose to study Social sciences, business and law. The number of entrants in Engineering, manufacturing and construction programmes remained almost constant (4.2 thousand or 14.5 % of the total number of entrants). Entrant number in Health and social welfare programmes increased;  4.8 thousand students (16.4 %) chose these programmes, which is 239 more than in the previous year. Meanwhile, the most significant decline was observed in service-related programmes, with 2 thousand entrants, which is 261 fewer than a year earlier. 

This academic year, 3.8 thousand mobile students have enrolled, which is 64 more than the previous year, but a quarter less than at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year. However, for the second consecutive year, the total number of mobile students, which had been on a significant upward trend before the Covid-19 pandemic, has slightly decreased. There are currently 9.8 thousand mobile students studying in Latvia, which is 2.1 % fewer than last year, however almost double the number in 2014, when statistics on mobile students started to be compiled.

The majority of mobile students (70.4 %) have their previous education outside the European Union (EU), and almost two thirds of mobile students are males. Most of mobile students have acquired their previous education in India, Uzbekistan and Germany (41.8 % of the total number). More than half (58.2 %) of the students studying in Latvian higher education institutions who have completed their studies in Germany are females, while the majority of students from India and Uzbekistan who have come to study in Latvia are males (82.7 % and 81 % respectively).

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