A new record number of international students at Rīga Stradiņš University has been reached: this academic year 251 international students were enrolled at the university that is a 27 % increase compared to 2013. Among them 207 medical students, 40 dentistry students, and 4 students of master’s programme “Health Management”.
The total number of international students as of September 2014 rises to 1270 that is an increase of almost 200 students or 20 % over the total from a year ago. Currently the number of international students constitutes 18 % of the total number of RSU students (7120).
This academic year RSU Admissions Office received 587 applications from prospective international students, 251 of which were enrolled (2.3 applications per study place). Competition among international students at RSU has taken place for many years to select highly motivated and gifted applicants.
As RSU Rector Professor Jānis Gardovskis claims, “Due to carefully considered investment strategy we managed to restore study premises and introduce up-to-date technologies in the study process – 3D simulators and phantoms at Medical Education Technology Centre and dental preclinics.” He adds that “orientation of the university towards the introduction of study process and technologies of the European level in the long term contributed to fostering students’ trust in the university, 95 % of which are citizens of the European Union. Thus, we managed to leave behind other universities of the Eastern Europe, e.g., in Prague, Warsaw and Bucharest.”
The number of international students has increased by strengthening education exports within the existing markets and attracting students from other countries – this year students from Peru, Egypt, Bulgaria, Hungary and Uzbekistan were enrolled. Still, the majority of international students – nearly 50 % – are from Germany, followed by students from Scandinavian countries – around 40 %.
For over three years, RSU is a leader in the Baltic States with regard to the number of international students. It should be noted that exchange students (such as Erasmus programme students) are not included in the list of international students, as they study at the university for solely several months.
English is a language of instructions for RSU international students. Study programmes “Medicine” and “Dentistry” are the most popular among international students.
RSU has been recruiting international students for already 25 years, during which the university has developed alongside with world tendencies with regard to the development of study methodology and materials. Still, we managed to preserve Anatomical theatre – a unique study base, where students have an opportunity to carry out dissection of human tissues. RSU’s advantage is early clinical training, thus ensuring the strengthening of the acquired knowledge during close interaction with patients.