Latvia is a land of lakes, forest, and coast; an unspoiled wilderness in northern Europe nestled among its neighboring Baltic states.
Latvian people feel a strong sense of cultural identity and Latvian festivals and folk tales have been passed down for many hundreds of years. The nation’s capital, Riga, home to one-third of the country’s population, is a modern, culturally diverse European city. Riga is rightly famous for its amazing wooden buildings, concert halls and the winding streets of its Unesco heritage medieval Old Town.
Built on a natural harbor at the mouth of the river Daugava, Riga is an ancient trading hub (Vikings once passed through here to trade with Byzantium) and the city has long been a bridge between east and west. That cultural diversity has continued and is still celebrated there today.
Despite its relatively small population, Riga is home to no less than six universities including The University of Latvia and the Riga Technical University. Latvia welcomes foreign students, and 10 percent of graduates in Latvia are Erasmus students from other European countries.
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF LATVIA
The University of Latvia is one of the largest and most prestigious higher education institutions in the Baltic States.
With 13 faculties and more than 20 research institutes, the university’s academics conduct research in more than 50 fields, across the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and education studies.
Teaching is conducted at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level, with a growing number of programmes offering English-language teaching.
The institution is committed to international partnership, has signed cooperation agreements with around 150 universities in more than 40 countries. Staff and students regularly participate in academic exchanges.
International collaboration extends to the provision of a series of master’s degrees delivered in partnership with other higher education institutions, including a course in Baltic Sea regional studies.
The University of Latvia was founded in 1919, shortly after the country won its independence for the first time, and it was initially known as the Latvian Higher School.
The institution took on its current name in 1923 and expanded significantly in the following decades but was severely affected by the Second World War. After the war, when Latvia was part of the Soviet Union, it was reorganized in line with the state’s other higher education institutions, and academic life was severely constrained, but the university never closed.
Latvia’s regaining of independence in 1991 was the trigger for a fresh period of renewal for the university, focusing on Latvian language, history, and culture.
The University of Latvia is located in Riga, the country’s capital, a city of approximately 700,000 people with a historic center that is protected as a Unesco World Heritage Site.