Education System in Latvia
The Latvian education system take following routes
- Pre-school education
- Basic education
- Secondary education
- Higher education
Pre-school education at age of 5-6 is compulsory in Latvia. General education in Latvia lasts 12 years consisting of compulsory 9-years basic education and 3-years of secondary education.
Basic education period comprises general basic education (grades 1-9) and vocational basic education. Secondary education stage comprises general secondary education, vocational secondary education and vocational education. Higher education in Latvia comprises both academic and professional study programmes including engineering, medicine, business etc.
'According to 2010 data from UNESCO, 4,720 students from Latvia were enrolled in tertiary education abroad (mostly in the UK, Russia and Germany); 1,760 students from other countries were enrolled in tertiary education in Latvia (mostly from Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania).'
Latvia gives strong emphasis on STEM and IT subjects. Most of Latvia’s best schools are technical ones. Some top technical institutes in Latvia are: Latvia University of Agriculture, the Riga Technical University, the Ventspils University of Applied Sciences and the Transport and Telecommunication Institute. The University of Latvia offers a broad spectrum of programs.
The Latvian education system was on the lines of Russian Education System but changed thoroughly since the country joined the EU in 2004. Latvian schools are part of the Bologna Process.
The Latvian higher education system is split into three cycles:
- First Cycle - undergraduate degrees that take three or four years to complete
- Second Cycle - postgraduate qualifications that take one to three years to complete
- Third Cycle - PhD studies that take at least three years to complete
Like in the US, undergraduate students in Latvia can either take a set program leading to a degree or take standalone courses in a certain subject area that add up to a degree.
Vocational education in Latvia
Vocational education studies in Latvia are provided at three levels:
- Basic education (integrated primary and lower secondary);
- Secondary education (upper secondary);
- Higher education.
Because Latvia is both in the EU and part of the Bologna Process students can take advantage of the Erasmus program. This scheme allows those at any school in any participating country to take a semester or a year abroad. For exclusive details see Study in Latvia