On 18 September, at the ceremonial Senate meeting of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) dedicated to its 65th anniversary, Certificates of Recognition and Gratitude of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health were presented to RSU academic staff and administration representatives. Long-standing head of RSU Department of Academic and Foreign Affairs Professor Juta Kroiča received the Certificate of Recognition of the Ministry of Education and Science for significant achievements in attracting international students.
Which are the most important accomplishments in your position so far, raising the visibility and achievements of RSU?
I received the Certificate of Recognition of the Ministry of Education and Science for the period during which I was in the position of a head of the Department of Academic and Foreign Affairs. I had been engaged in work related to attracting international students for 23 years.
During that period RSU has become the leading institution in terms of attracting international students. Notably, over 95 % of students represent countries of the EU. RSU stands out due to international study environment that is an essential aspect also for local students when choosing their place of studies.
Work related to selection of international partners and establishment of cooperation to ensure student mobility is another significant direction. Among our first international partners were Medical School – Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Debrecen in Hungary, Semmelweis University, Budapest and Kaunas Medical Academy.
I have put much effort in drafting documents to demonstrate our partners that Rīga Stradiņš University is capable of ensuring competitive study environment and study programmes of high quality, and our students are competent enough to fit in the study process in foreign universities. Charite Medical School trusted us. The first year went smooth and we received positive feedback. It served as a signal for other foreign universities that RSU is a trustworthy partner, and mobility within the framework of ERASMUS programme started to expand.
RSU commenced hosting Summer Schools several years ago and it contributed to popularization of RSU and Latvia. Programmes offered by us aroused interest amongst many foreign universities. We received positive feedback and it served as a precondition for keeping on the track.
In your opinion, why is Rīga Stradiņš University the best university Latvia?
Academic work at Rīga Stradiņš University is very exciting due to multicultural and friendly environment, and local students are also welcome to interact with international students by becoming a buddy for an international student, as well as by applying for studies in a mixed group together with international students. All in all, the work can be characterised as multidimensional and there are plenty of opportunities for development. I wish my successor success in making the most of these opportunities.