University boasts two in ten foreign students

The Riga Stradiņš University (RSU) has just finished a major €1.5 million overhaul of its main building and reached its enrollment goal of a 20% foreign student body, rector Jānis Gardovskis told Latvian Public Radio (LR) in an interview Tuesday morning.

RSU opened its newly completed capital renovations and modernization work at its main building, to the satisfaction of students, faculty and staff. Gardovskis said the final phase of reconstruction left over from the 1980’s has provided the higher education institution with well-heated, well-ventilated and well-equipped facilities for long-term learning in a conducive environment.

“We are one of the few universities in Latvia that retains a growing number of students,” Gardovskis told LR. “We offer new and modern as well as traditional study programs that clearly outline a career path,” he said.

“Young people are being pragmatic about their higher education needs and what they’re aiming for in the job market,” the rector continued.

He pointed out that RSU has reached its strategic goal of a 20% foreign student body, “an important development for our international learning environment. We have Germans, Brits, Italians, Spaniards, Swedes – about 95% of our foreign students come from EU states,” Gardovskis cited. He added that RSU can now assemble mixed study groups to help in language learning and promoting better contacts and networking amongst students.

As for cooperation with other universities in Latvia, Gardovskis acknowledged useful ties with Riga Technical University (RTU), where medical physicists and medical engineers are in great demand by medical and nursing students wishing for a better grounding in the new medical technologies being developed in these fields.

In conclusion, Gardovskis stressed the need for better cooperation with the Stradiņš University Hospital and Children’s Clinical University Hospital for coordinating learning residencies for medical and nursing students, as well as developing improved research programs. He said it was a public misconception that RSU was seeking to combine the school with the medical care establishments under state oversight.

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