RIGA - The number of higher education institutions in Latvia is not optimal, Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party, JKP) said on Latvian Radio today, adding that while the existing infrastructure is large enough for 160,000 students, there are only 80,00 people studying in Latvia.
The minister agreed with the opinion that there are too many higher education institutions in Latvia and said that the situation in the sector is being analyzed and changes considered in the regulation and typology of higher education institutions.
Suplinska said that the plan is to base the assessment of higher education institutions on their academic achievements, which means that if a higher education institution with weak academic performance will lose government funding. The higher education institutions will thus be encouraged to demonstrate their ability to grow and achieve international excellence.
The minister added that reforms are needed also because the number of scientists in Latvia is very low, an indication that state investments in research have not been sufficient.
Suplinska would like the assessment process to be completed within the next two years, the minister said.