Three universities in Latvia plan to start a joint school

The first consortium of universities in Latvia is working on a new concept. Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Liepāja University and Daugavpils University will join in. The main objective is to use resources more effectively, Latvian Radio reported August 26.

The new university reform requires at least 4,000 students to be registered at a university. Therefore, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Liepāja University and Daugavpils University will form a consortium or association. For now, a consortium supervisory and management board has been set up, which has carried out study program and infrastructure research. The concept of the association is also being developed.

“Then we would understand how it realistically could happen, how we could work together. Because where is the problem? The regulatory framework currently in the country does not regulate the setting-up of a consortium, so we go blind. And we hope that the Ministry of Education and Science will develop the regulatory framework, because it would probably be easier for us,” said Irina Pilvere, rector of the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies.

Universities plan to form a joint doctoral school. There will also be optimization of study programs: the programs that have already been accredited will remain, but new ones will be shared by all three universities.  The main idea is more efficient use of resources.

“The best professors from universities will join. Each has its own strengths. (..) Each has something that someone else doesn't have. And why not use it and offer it to the others too? Yes, it may not be an immediate joint program, but it may be an offer of individual courses,” said Liepāja University Rector Dace Markus.

There is also a brand to be considered. The Liepāja University hopes that it will also preserve the identity of each university.

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