The Study Accreditation Committee of the Academic Information Centre (AIC) has awarded accreditation to RSU largest study direction, Health Care, for the next six years. The Health Care direction implements 30 study programmes in the area of medicine, pharmacy, public health, rehabilitation and dentistry. Accreditation is a safety and stability guarantee for existing and prospective students that the acquired diploma will be recognized at national and international level.
In order to qualify for accreditation, a study programme has to satisfy eligibility requirements and accreditation standards which speak for the quality of the provided study process and involve comprehensive paper work. The accreditation process lasted for over six months, involved 90 volumes of self-assessment documents in Latvian and English that were presented to the AIC and a site visit of national and international experts who met with RSU management, representatives of study programmes, teaching staff, students, graduates, employers and representatives of professional associations. Following inspection of the universities premises, including visits to RSU Liepāja Branch and RSU study and scientific clinical basis at Daugavpils Regional Hospital and comprehensive analysis of the presented documents, the experts representing higher education establishments and health care institutions of the United Kingdom, Finland, Romania and Latvia submitted to the AIC and RSU the final assessment report on 400 pages.
The experts have given a positive assessment of numerous aspects of the study direction, including application of medical simulations in student and resident training and also for lifelong learning. As noted by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine professor Guntis Bahs, “Medical simulations have numerous advantages – it is a safety guarantee for patients as many manipulations, specifically invasive ones are initially acquired and trained on simulators. They also serve the purpose of filling in the gap in case of insufficiency of patients and allow for improvement of team-building skills when modelling complex cases".
According to RSU development plan, in the years to come RSU has committed to introduce new, interdisciplinary healthcare study programmes, including postgraduate doctoral level study programmes, increase participation in national and international programmes, develop infrastructure, expand mobility and increase placement possibilities in Latvia and abroad. It is also planned to improve professional orientation and career counselling activities. Meanwhile RSU is also actively working on the dentistry student certification issue.
Study programme accreditation is carried out within the framework of ESF co-financed project “Support for Meeting the Requirements Set for EQAR Agency” implemented by AIC in cooperation with 12 higher education establishments of Latvia. In case of successful project implementation the quality assurance system of higher education in Latvia will correspond to ESG (European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance) requirements and AIC will become a member of EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) what will enhance the reputation of higher education acquired and diplomas awarded by higher education establishments in Latvia.
Presently, all 66 study programmes of 10 study directions offered by RSU have been accredited. In terms of attraction of international students, RSU is retaining the leading position in the Baltics for years. An academic reputation survey conducted earlier this year by the market research company Kantar TNS Latvia reveals that Riga Stradins University (RSU) has been recognized a top quality university with outstanding reputation being ranked the highest among the ten largest universities of Latvia. The recenty accreddited health care study direction will increase competitiveness and strengthen RSU positions within a single European educational space.