Vaccination percentage among university students high in Latvia

Universities are planning how to continue working with unvaccinated students. The vast majority, though, do have a Covid certificate, according to university representatives, Latvian Radio reported November 8. 

A total of 92% of students at the University of Latvia are vaccinated. The trend is still upward, so it cannot yet be predicted how many students will remain unvaccinated. Although there is no government decision yet, it is likely that only students with certificates will be learning in person after November 15.

The University of Latvia said that unvaccinated students would be allowed to continue studying remotely, but if the course cannot be completed remotely, they will be asked to consider the possibilities of the academic leave. How big the drop-out rate will be is too early to predict.

It is more difficult to organize remote learning at Riga Technical University (RTU), where nearly 90% of students are vaccinated. The university's administrative director Juris Iljins said: “Here we can look – something can be rescheduled or postponed, or they can take academic leave [..]. But in the long term, in these circumstances, normal studies at a university where more students are required to have interactive activities with one another, work in groups – it is today an integral part of higher education.” The rate continues to go up also at RTU.

At Vidzeme University college, 94% of students have been vaccinated. Rector Gatis Krūmiņš said one needs a different approach with students than, for example, with seniors who can be motivated by health reasons.

“We about understand that a student doesn't care so much about health, but much more important is the lifestyle in which he lives. They were also our main messages. The other thing we did: we did all this, with a great deal of involvement of the student board, the student self-government. So they spoke to their own. It was very important that the rector did not come [to speak].”

Currently, Vidzeme university does not predict how many students are likely to leave due to vaccination. However, it has so far been avoided in the particular establishment. As reported earlier, there are so far rather few students who have dropped out for this reason in other universities.

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