RIGA - Higher education reform is of strategic importance, President Egils Levits said today while meeting with members of the Saeima Education, Culture and Science Committee.
As LETA was told at the president's office, Levits met with the members of the parliamentary committee in order to discuss the implementation of higher education reform and identify the next steps in the reform process.
The president's discussion with the lawmakers focused on current reform priorities: better typology (universities, applied science universities, art and culture academies) and more transparent, modern and efficient university governance models.
The president pointed out that the reform is currently moving forward in the right direction, but it is important to keep focusing on its strategic role. Higher international competitiveness of Latvia depends on successful integration of higher education and science.
"It is the responsibility of the committee to start laying the basis for Latvia’s development into a modern European country by the end of the next decade. Higher education reform cannot be dogmatic and it should reduce bureaucracy," the president said.
While discussing the progress of the reform and next steps, President Levits underlined two major issues that will need to be addressed through the reform. These issues have already caught the public eye. One of them is the role of Latvian language in higher education and science, and the other one is election of associated professors, a procedure requiring major overhaul.
The president also expects the Saeima committee to complete the reform by the end of 2022 when work on a new higher education and science law is due to begin. Levits also promised to follow the implementation of reform and actively participate in discussions about the strategic importance of higher education reform.
The MPs participating in the meeting with the president included Arvils Aaeradens, Chair of the Committe, Raivis Dzintars, Deputy Chair of the Committee, Evija Papule, Secretary of the Committee, as well as Anita Muizniece, Inguna Ribena, Janis Vucans, Edgars Kucins, Reinis Znotins and Ivars Puga.