As of the end of January the total number of international students at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) reached 1475 constituting 21 % of the total number of RSU students. For several consecutive years RSU has been at the top of all higher education institutions in the Baltics in this respect.
Currently 44 % of RSU international students represent Germany, 19 % – Sweden, 11 % – Norway, 6 % – Finland, 4 % – UK, 3 % – Portugal, 2 % – Spain, and 11 % – other countries. In total, 95 % of RSU international students are from the EU countries with strict requirements concerning the quality of higher education.
According to RSU’s calculations, apart from tuition fee, international students have brought investments amounting in over 330 million euros to the national economy. Contribution made by international students to Latvia’s national economy grows year by year, therefore, government has to foster the development of export-capable fields with long-term support oriented activities.
RSU’s achievements are grounded in a good reputation in the European Union developed within the past 25 years. RSU students share their positive experience in social networks. Thus, RSU student recruitment process is grounded on students’ own experience and strict admission requirements with competition at least three applicants per study place to select highly motivated and gifted students.
As RSU Rector Professor Jānis Gardovskis claims, “Currently higher education in Latvia is still more oriented towards internal market rather than international market. Besides, still strong support from the side of government to education export cannot be felt. Ministries have to foster the development of internationally competitive higher education services in Latvia. We have managed to successfully introduce various change management tools, among them up-to-date technologies and international student groups by purposefully creating internationally oriented environment.”
In 2014 RSU received annual export award granted by the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for outstanding achievements in higher education export.