20% of courses should be in a foreign European language, says minister

Education Minister Kārlis Šadurskis will propose that a minimum 20% of university courses should be taught in an EU language.

"The current law says that no more than one fifth, or 20% of the course credits can be taught in official EU languages," said Šadurskis appearing on Latvian Radio's show Krustpunktā on Monday.

"I would like to propose setting not only the maximum to be taught in European languages but also the minimum that would be strictly needed to be taught in European languages," said Šadurskis. 

He argued that, for example, biology students not studying courses taught in English, would not be able to read periodicals or use databases in the future.

"A foreign language shouldn't be just a subject that's being taught but also an instrument in which important subjects of the respective area are studied," said Šadurskis.

He also said that the law amendments could contain a provision that would allow electing professors, not only guest lecturers as is the case currently, to six-year terms at universities. 

As concerns the recent question marks around the re-appointment of SSE Riga rector Anders Paalzow, Šadurskis said different regulations could apply to this learning institution and the Riga Graduate School of Law, up to to-level administrative staff. 

Šadurskis confirmed he'll ask for approving Paalzow for another term.

"If the [SSE Riga] University proposes Paalzow for another term, the Education Ministry will forward the matter to the Cabinet of Ministers. I do not know what decision the cabinet will make, but I will ask for approving him [in office]," said Šadurskis. 

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