RSU’s moto is excellence and innovation. Although the University has been named after the capital city of Rīga and one of the most prominent figures in Latvian medicine – Professor Pauls Stradiņš, we believe that the abbreviation “RSU” also stands for our values:
Remarkable change and development
|“R” stands for REMARKABLE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT|
One of the main goals of the RSU is to relentlessly offer our students new and improved services. The development of the university is a continuous process that includes modernisation of both our premises (study bases) and our infrastructure (technologies, facilities, training opportunities). However, we do not plan to stop at this. There are several new initiatives and projects that RSU has already partially started to implement.
RSU has opened one of the most modern pre-clinical training centres in Northern Europe (Medical Technology Centre) and a new Dentistry Pre-Clinical Learning Centre.
We also give new life to our historical buildings – RSU Anatomical Theatre has been recently renovated and modernised, for instance, for anatomy studies RSU has acquired new and valuable learning tools, including several digital 3D anatomy visualisation tables.
Moreover, RSU main building has undergone complete renovation within the last couple of years, including all study related and administrative departments of the university. The latest developments in this field that RSU has done is opening of the second floor of the RSU library in 2016 in order to offer students more learning facilities and direct access to RSU library materials.
RSU Great Hall – the most spacious room in the RSU main building – has become a fully functioning ceremony hall for many official events of the RSU. On top of that, the RSU Great Hall has become a concert hall where classical and contemporary music concerts are held on regular basis.
With the aim to become an even more open and welcoming university, RSU opened a Day Nursery in the main building of the university to provide our students and employers with a suitable place where to leave their children while at work/studies.
We have also done a lot to promote scientific and research activities at RSU. Science Centre «Kleisti» was opened in 2015 and RSU Nuclear Medicine Centre was opened in 2016.
RSU has started renovating a new block in the building of RSU Institute of Dentistry which used to be a private dental clinic. Students studying dentistry will soon be able also to use the latest technology and digital equipment for an even more improved dental practice at RSU.
In both 2015 and 2016 RSU acquired two land properties right next to the RSU main building. This is done with an aim to improve and enlarge the RSU existing premises and to create a campus of university buildings. These new properties will soon become the RSU new dormitory building (4 floors, already a construction site) to be opened in late 2017 and RSU new campus building (5 floors) that will consist of both scientific and study bases as well as a full court sports hall. The campus building is to be opened in 2018.
RSU has finished renovating its rural sports base (a property of RSU for many years, 130 km from Riga). This will be a suitable place for outdoor sports activities for RSU’s students.
RSU has started renovating several departments in Riga East University Hospital and Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital (two biggest hospitals in Riga). All of these departments will become RSU study bases in 2017.
|“S” stands for STUDENT-CENTREDNESS
Even though there are only 8000 students studying at RSU, we have worked hard to introduce the university to the world and it has been a success. We see the specialisation in health and human sciences as one of our biggest assets because the specialisation has helped us to maintain a very high standard and quality of teaching. In addition to that, RSU is famous for its student-oriented learning where most of classes in clinical subjects (senior years) are held in 10 to 14 student groups.
Student-oriented learning and personalised approach can also be seen in our teacher/student ratio which currently is 1:13. Most students value the involvement of professors in their studies and the progress they make. When teacher/student ratio is this small, we have the opportunity to address student needs almost on individual basis.
“26” might be a small number in itself but RSU has had an international students studying with us since 1990. Thus, the most experienced study programmes at RSU that are carried out in in English (Medicine and Dentistry) are just as old as the Republic of Latvia after the restoration of Independence! During these 26 years we have seen many things changing and developing at the RSU. There have been in total 47 international student admissions since 1990 and the last three years have been the most successful both in terms of the number of prospective applications received and in terms of international students admitted. There are more than 2000 international students studying at the RSU and we can proudly say that RSU has become the leading medical and healthcare university in the Baltics.
With the current number of international students at RSU, we believe that the academic success of our students is another of our greatest assets. In order to provide that only the best and most talented students join RSU we have introduced the minimum academic requirements for secondary school marks/levels that students must obtain to have realistic chances to receive a study place offer.
After students have started their studies and with the aim to even more promote academic excellence, RSU has introduced tuition fee discounts for the most successful students. Starting from September 2017, “Academic excellence” discount will be available for 30 international students with highest average grades.
Another peculiar aspect of the daily life of RSU students is regular commuting from one study base to another. When the plans for a new central building of the Rīga Medical Institute were made in mid-80s of the 20th century, the land property that used to be a residential area was chosen as the site of the future building. When the RSU main building was opened in 1987, it was literally in the middle of private houses and blocks of flats leaving the university with minimum chances of building a fully functional campus for its students. This has led to a situation that students study at more than 40 study bases including several general/ specialised hospitals. There is good and bad in this fact since, for instance, students have classes as well as practical skills training in hospitals that are specialised in the respective field. Moreover, students get to explore and know Riga, the capital city of Latvia, in so much detail that they can easily find everything they need not only in terms of studies but also their daily life.
On top of all things small, Latvia in general and Riga in particular can also be considered small. Then again, it depends what you compare us to since, for instance the territory of Latvia is bigger than that of Denmark or Switzerland. Rīga is still the largest city in the Baltics with a population of 717,000. It is also the political, economic and cultural centre of the country and a city of dynamic improvement and change.
|“U” stands for UNIQUENESS|
Same as in most universities in the world, the majority of students at RSU are locals. However, over the years the proportion of RSU international students has grown immensely. International students formed only 5 percent of the total student body in 2010, whereas now one of every four RSU students is an international student (25 %).
Even though students from EU countries represent 90 % of RSU international student body, the diversity of cultures and languages at RSU is impressive. Today we are privileged to have international students from 50 different countries at RSU!
The same is true for RSU diplomas that are recognised and accepted in many countries of the world. RSU implements the Bologna process, meaning that our academic standard is equivalent to all other EU universities. The strongest proof of this is our graduates (alumni) who are working, practising, teaching and assisting in many regions and countries of the world. The former president of the Republic of Latvia H.E. Mr Valdis Zatlers is also a graduate and Doctor Honoris Causa of the RSU!
Since the student community at RSU is so rich and diverse, it was only logical and natural that students decided to develop smaller organisations that represent their interests, organize different activities and even create new university traditions such as talent shows, Christmas Ball and even Diwali celebrations!
It all started with RSU Asian Society in 2011. Since then many new organisations have developed strengthening ties between students from different study years and programmes. The most common type of organisations is related to where students come from – their nationality or ethnic background. We have German, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Finnish and other student organisations. Other organisations are based on the professional interests of students, for instance, Cavum Oris – The RSU Dental Students' Fraternity.
Having an extensive experience with students coming from all parts and corners of the world, RSU sees itself as a socially responsible institution that has to reach out to those in need. We have several tuition fee discounts for students that have expressed the need for financial assistance. In addition to that, students having family members studying at RSU can also receive a tuition fee discount.
Starting from September 2017 RSU is introducing yet another tuition fee discount to be available for students coming from any low or lower-middle income country (economy) based on the World Bank data on “Country and Lending Groups”. The new discount will, therefore, be available for the citizens of 83 different countries.