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The number of newly enrolled students at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) has increased this year. On Monday 31 August, 2,754 new students began studying at RSU, including 401 international students, compared with 2,627 students last autumn.

‘The increase in the number of newly enrolled students testifies to the high quality of studies at RSU, the international study environment and ability of our teaching staff to adapt to the conditions caused by the pandemic. It is an especially great pleasure to observe the new students’ interest in social science programmes, where applications exceeded last year’s by 25%,’ says RSU Rector, Prof. Aigars Pētersons.

All 734 state-funded scholarship places were already filled within the first days of admission; moreover, in certain study programmes more than 10 entrants were competing for one scholarship place.

Traditionally, applicants express most interest in the Medicine study programme, which this summer received over 1,100 applications. Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Midwifery, Orthotics and Prosthetics, Audiologopaedics and Occupational Therapy were some of the study programmes most in demand. Meanwhile, the most popular social sciences study programmes this summer were Psychology, Public Relations, International Business and Sustainable Economy, Journalism, and Law.

Regarding international applicants, a total of 401 freshmen from 31 countries will begin their studies at RSU, mostly from Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Italy. Most of the international students will begin studying Medicine, and the second most popular programme is Dentistry. International students have also been admitted to International Governance and Diplomacy, as well as International Business and Start-up Entrepreneurship. In comparison with last year’s admission results for international students, the largest increase can be observed in medical studies with a 34% increase.

In accordance with the precautions for preventing the spread of COVID-19, all international students, both newly enrolled and those already studying, are obliged to arrive in Latvia 14 days prior to beginning their studies. They will have to self-isolate during this period. A total of more than 2,300 international students study at RSU.

For the purposes of the epidemiological safety of students and teaching staff, RSU will begin this academic year online, and will transfer to blended learning from 5 October, when studies will take place both on site and remotely. At the same time the University is also implementing several precautions for the purposes of preventing the spread of COVID-19 based on four principles: awareness, distancing, hygiene, and health monitoring.