RIGA - There are too many institutions of higher education in Latvia and their supervision is too fragmented, University of Latvia rector Indrikis Muiznieks said in an interview with LNT commercial TV channel this morning.
Asked if the University of Latvia would like to take over not only the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy (RPIVA) but also other higher education institutions, Muiznieks said that regional higher education institutions are not exactly in the University of Latvia’s focus of attention, but that all agree that there are too many higher education institutions in Latvia.
Another problem, in Muiznieks’ words, is the fragmented supervision of the higher education institutions, and that a political decision on consolidation in this field could help solve the problem.
Asked how the University of Latvia would benefit from taking over Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, the rector said that the merger would only mean more work as the university takes over about 30 study programs and it has no experience with affiliate branches. The university, however, will see many high-class lecturers join its academic staff.
The University of Latvia has promised not to raise tuition fees for RPIVA students who are already paying relatively low tuition fees. Similar study programs will be merged as the reorganization is the right moment to deal with the “extremely high fragmentation” of Latvia’s teacher training system.
In Muiznieks’ words, the University of Latvia’s financial situation is very stable, although revenues from tuition fees have dropped. The university’s annual budget is worth around EUR 80 million, with tuition fees providing EUR 10-12 million of that amount. The University of Latvia is already feeling the effects of the contraction of Latvia’s youth population.