More choose to study natural sciences in 2016

Computer science, medicine, law, and construction are the most popular study programs in Latvia this year. Interestingly, the study program choices of aspiring students fall in line with their prospective employers' recommendations.

The number of high school graduates has dropped 8% on year, and accordingly the number of potential students applying to universities has shrunk as well.

Most students chose to apply for studies at the University of Latvia. Applications at this university's natural sciences programs have grown 5%.

"The most popular five programs are mainly the same throughout the years. The tendency within the last few years is that medicine and computer science, which is currently the most popular, are getting better ranks," said university representative Jānis Saulītis.

Veterinary studies, agriculture and economics are the most popular study programs at the University of Agriculture. However, computer science seems to be lagging behind.

While the number of prospective students has grown at Rīga Technical University.

"The greatest interest was recorded for IT study programs, followed by architecture and construction," said Uģis Citskovskis, a representative of the university.

"There's also great interest in social sciences–not only economics and business, but also the customs and tax administration programs," he said.

Rīga Stradiņš University traditionally sees many apply to its health care programs. About 300 foreign students have been admitted this summer.

Competition is quite fierce with about three people vying for a single spot at the university, said Edijs Šauers of the Rīga Stradiņš University.

"Health care programs with budget funding are still hugely popular. Physiotherapy, diet, medicine, dental care, pharmacy, as well as for-pay studies - multimedia communication, law, journalism, public relations and psychology all are popular in the last few years," said Šauers.

Together with the career portal Prakse.lv, Latvia's Employers Confederation singled out the study programs that employers would like students to study in.

According to Prakse.lv representative Megija Krieviņa, the programs chosen by aspiring students are mostly consistent with the employers' demands.

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