But what about those young people who were due to finish high school in Ukraine this year? All these students will be exempted from examinations, and the Cabinet of Ministers will soon advance regulations that would provide Ukrainian citizens with a specia admission procedure to Latvian higher education institutions, Latvian Television reported March 30.
Timur and his mother Natalia arrived in Latvia less than a week ago from Rubizhnya, a city in eastern Ukraine. LTV met with both at the Ukrainian Citizens' Support Center in Old Riga, where mother and son applied for benefits, visas and a place where Timur could finish high school.
"This is my last year in high school, I'm going to go to university. But the war started and we had to leave our city and country. It's not clear where I can study now. How do I get a high school diploma now to be admitted somewhere?" Timur asked.
Several schools have given positive feedback on the good preparation and motivation of Ukrainian students, and Timur has been preparing for his dream studies in law for the last four years. He won first place at the Law Olympiad in Rubižné and third place in the whole region and Natalia has further invested in her son's education by paying for private lessons.
"The most important thing is to get a high school diploma, proof that he has obtained it. At the moment, we don't even have a first semester certificate. The city was bombed, the school did not have an electronic record system. And he actually has no proof of his success, of his knowledge this year. As the support center explained to us today - in the certificate he will receive credits for the remaining two months," said Natalia.
However, there are still many unclear questions regarding the qualifications and future funding for Ukrainian students.
"Thinking about the autumn, the uncertainty is quite great at the moment, because there are no clear support mechanisms. The university itself, of course, has some capacity," said Jānis Saulītis, Director of Student Services at the University of Latvia (LU).
Both LU and Riga Stradiņš University (RSU) already have students from Ukraine, who are currently studying as visiting students and are addressing the issue of continuing their studies in September. But the Ministry of Education and Science which need to get new rules in place for the new academic year to deal with the unexpected influx of students.
"It is a joint effort of this transition, which will lead to a high school diploma and the like. But it is still in the process of working with the Ministry of Education and other involved institutions to know exactly how to ensure a first-year offer," said RSU Foreign Clinical head of studies Ieva Lejniece.
Latest data show that currently 50 students from Ukraine are in the 12th grade in Latvia. All these students will be exempted from examinations, and the Cabinet of Ministers will soon advance regulations that would provide Ukrainian citizens with a different admission procedure in Latvian higher education institutions.
"All of these students are exempt from the state final examinations, which means that they will receive subject grades, and in this case, an approach has already been developed on how to admit such students or prospective students to universities," explained Dmitry Stepanov, Director of the Higher Education, Science and Innovation Department of the Ministry of Education and Science.
So Ukrainian school leavers will get a certificate. In the near future, the Ministry will also inform Latvian higher education institutions about the special admission procedure and opportunities to financially support these students.