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Foreign students feel unloved in Latvia

May 28, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Foreign students feel unloved in Latvia

Almost every fourth (24 percent of all foreign students) foreign student has mentioned, as one of the main reasons for dissatisfaction with higher learning in Latvia, Latvian society's negative attitude and discrimination, head of the project "Latvian Students Unity Promotion and Reduction of Discrimination Against Foreign Students,” Juris Iljins said on May 27, reports LETA.

This pretext is preceded by other reasons, such as insufficient knowledge of the Latvian language and isolation from friends and family. Thus, 30-35 percent of foreign students are not fully satisfied with higher learning in Latvia.

"It is interesting to point out that those students who live in Latvia for a longer time period have faced discrimination more often. Furthermore, there is no essential difference in the results when looking at students' religious faith," Iljins said.

Fifty-nine percent of foreign students said they faced discrimination because of their ethnic background; 45 percent – nationality; 39 percent - cultural differences; 35 percent - social status; 32 – race; 31 – gender; 21 – religion; 16 - age. The most popular forms of discrimination were offensive comments and different academic requirements.

Those students who do not affiliate themselves with any religion, or reside in Latvia for a relatively short period of time, reported no cases of discrimination.

Local students, on the other hand, were dissatisfied with studies in Latvia due to a lack of personal motivation (37 percent), difficulties in acquiring information (15 percent) and poor English (14 percent) or Russian (11 percent) language skills.

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