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. Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Professor Guntis Bahs received the Certificate of Recognition of the Ministry of Health for successful management of the study programme “Medicine”, improving of the curriculum and promoting the quality of medical education.
Which are the most important accomplishments in your position so far, raising the visibility and achievements of RSU?
The Faculty of Medicine is the largest academic structural unit of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) with the longest history compared to other university’s faculties, impressive number of students and graduates, many outstanding personalities, very wide recognisability in Latvia and deeply rooted traditions. Traditions and academic conservativism stabilise the work of the faculty and enables us to overcome various difficulties with less damage, such as economic difficulties, impact caused by demographic situation and other processes and situations.
At the same time, the modern pace of life and operation of the Faculty of Medicine of RSU in a single and international higher education space dictate their own requirements. I have considered complementary combining of these two different approaches – the academic profoundness and fast modernization – in a single system as one of my main tasks in the operation of the faculty. I think that my colleagues at the faculty have adopted and supported this aim as their own, that’s why the study programmes implemented at the Faculty of Medicine within a few years’ time have undergone transformation from the programmes approved in the territory of the former USSR and implemented in Rīga Medical Institute (present RSU) into medical education programmes acknowledged in Europe and in the world. And now these programmes are highly demanded by the applicants from the Western European countries.
I will emphasize that this achievement of the faculty has become possible due to the clear and persistent development policy implemented by RSU management, and as the result of common effort driving the development of the faculty students and academic staff.
What are your plans for the nearest future in order to foster the development of RSU?
There is a saying that Riga is not ready yet. I hold a view that study programmes implemented by RSU Faculty of Medicine are as much in the development process as our city, country and the field of education in the world. Our faculty can and will continue its development. We aim to become the pillar of medical education in Latvia with our strengths being respect towards academic, proven values, as well as dynamic, contemporary and rational solutions for using these values in practice – in classes, lectures, clinics and auditoriums. In the nearest future, we have to develop mutual substantive harmonization of separate courses within the programme, which will be promoted through support provided by IT solutions and will allow showing the monolithic structure of the entire programme better. We have started and will continue standardization of knowledge tests and objectively structured implementation of the approach in all courses within the programme. We will also promote collaboration with students who are not and cannot be “clients” of our university, but still are and will be our colleagues.
The faculty’s to-do list includes many other measures, the implementation of which will be possible only through collaboration of the entire family of RSU Faculty of Medicine.
In your opinion, why is Rīga Stradiņš University the best university Latvia?
The objective of RSU is a better environment for all its people and finding pleasure in improving through development. This formula strengthens the feeling of belonging to RSU and the joy to be among friends, peers and colleagues.