The University of Latvia has been founded in 1919 and currently, with its more than 15 000 students, 13 faculties and over 20 research institutes and independent study centers, is one of the largest comprehensive and leading research universities in the Baltics. The University offers more than 130 state-accredited academic and professional study programs.
At the University of Latvia, research is conducted in over 50 research fields which represent four main areas of inquiry: the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences. The University of Latvia pays great attention to the development of international collaboration.
The University of Latvia devotes great attention to the development of international collaboration to promote its identity internationally and to strengthen the reputation of the University worldwide. To date, the University of Latvia has signed 136 bilateral agreements worldwide and more than 700 agreements with 368 institutions in 32 European countries within the ERASMUS+ program. Both incoming and outgoing exchange students use one of the available student mobility agreements: ERASMUS+, ERASMUS MUNDUS (Aurora, AESOP, LEADER), CAMPUS EUROPAE, ISEP, bilateral agreements, and agreements between countries.
QS World University Ranking
This year, University of Latvia (UL) has been ranked among 4% Top Universities in the world within QS World University Rankings, and now occupies 801st–850th place. Within QS WUR Ranking By Subject ranked 401st-450th place.
Quality management at the University of Latvia
Due to the fact, that everyone has a different understanding of the quality subject, various definitions of this term have arisen over time. These definitions cover different fields – from the quality of products to organization management. Within the framework of the EU Phare Multi-Country Program’s in Higher Education project “Quality Assurance in Higher Education”, the Quality Assurance Manual for Higher Education was published. Authors of the Manual offer few conceptions of quality, which are most relevant to higher education, namely:
1) Quality as excellence – conception’s goal is to strive to be the best.
2) Quality as “fitness to purpose” – quality of something for a specific purpose.
3) Quality as transformation – while students’ goals and views are changing, the university is able to vary with them and achieve their needs, i.e. adapt.
4) Quality as a threshold - the university sets certain norms and criteria. Any unit that reaches or surpasses these norms and criteria is deemed of quality.
5) Quality as minimum standards - a broad definition of desired knowledge, skills and attitudes of graduates.
6) Quality as enhancement – the university should improve continuously.
To ensure quality at every level of the organization, the university should establish appropriate quality management system.
The priority of quality assurance in higher education is stated both by European legislation and practices (Bergen communiqué - Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area) and by Latvian state legislation. These documents emphasize the necessity of implementation of internal quality assurance system in the universities.
Quality management and audit department are responsible for development and implementation of quality assurance system in the UL.