RIGA - Representatives of the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy have decided not to attend the planned meeting with the Education and Science Ministry’s specialists today to discuss the reorganization of the academy.
The academy’s rector Daina Voita said in a press conference that, under the current legislation, a decision on the reorganization of a higher educational establishment is made by the Cabinet of Ministers. The rector believes that this has not been done, therefore representatives of the academy will not meet with representatives of the ministry today.
Inga Vanaga, the chairwoman of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Workers (LIZDA), and Ilze Kalnina, the president of the Latvian Association of Education Managers (LIVA), voiced surprise over the ministry’s plans to reorganize the institution in such a way. They said that these plans have not been even discussed with the professionals of the sector.
As reported, the Education and Science Ministry has decided to reorganize the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy by merging it with the University of Latvia by the end of August. This is necessary to concentrate resources and ensure more effective utilization of budget funds, the ministry said.
Consolidation of higher education institutions is taking place in many countries in Europe at the moment. The goal is to make more efficient use of limited resources, improve a quality of studies and research, and increase higher education institutions' competitiveness.
At the moment, teacher training is fragmented in Latvia, furthermore, a comparatively large number of teachers graduate each year (more than a thousand), while only a small part of them go on to work as teachers - 200 to 400 annually.
Therefore, the Education and Science Ministry believes, teacher training should be concentrated at such universities and colleges that can provide quality infrastructure and research opportunities and academic personnel.
The consolidation will cause no financial losses for the academy's students, and their rights to education will not be infringed upon as they will be able to continue their studies at other universities and colleges without having to pay anything on top of what they currently pay for their studies. They will be offered to continue their education at the University of Latvia, Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, BA School of Business and Finance, Riga Technical University, or some of the regional universities and colleges.
The Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy was established in 1994. It has 3,514 students at the moment.