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Through the collaboration between Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) professors, visiting professors, entrepreneurs, and industry organisations, the university has developed a new highly competitive Bachelor’s study programme in English—International Business and Start-up Entrepreneurship. The programme will welcome its first students in the autumn of 2020. With this programme, RSU will offer full time and part-time studies that will take place in a distinctly international environment, with international students, professors and travel abroad. The programme is set to be licensed in the near future.

The director of the new programme, D.Sc. Romāns Putāns, points out that the labour market is filled with an increasing number of start-ups looking for employees.

‘Start-up business skills and competences are in high demand in our rapidly progressing, saturated and fast-paced environment – among new and experienced entrepreneurs alike. By developing this programme, we have not only reacted to current market demands, but also taken the growing interest of Latvian youth to acquire practical knowledge in an innovative, international environment into consideration,’ elaborates Putāns.

The presentation of the contents of the new programme took place on 25 October and was attended by university management—Professor Tatjana Koķe, the Vice-Rector for Studies, and Professor Andris Sprūds, Dean of the RSU Faculty of European Studies—as well as lecturers, visiting professors, entrepreneurs, and representatives from the organisations that have participated in the creation and evaluation of the programme.

At the event, Madara Ambrēna, Vice Director at the Department of Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness of the Ministry of Economics, emphasised that the start-up ecosystem in Latvia is developing rapidly. There are currently more than 350 start-ups and over 300 million euros in attracted investment. ‘The development of the start-up ecosystem is one of the ministry’s main priorities. Universities play a key role regarding the sustainability of this field. They must serve as the central element in supporting the continuity of start-up development and creating successful synergy,’ explains Ambrēna. Analysing current entrepreneurship trends in Latvia Katrīna Zariņa, a representative of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, pointed to the latest research that finds a lack of a highly qualified workforce. Meanwhile, visiting professor Antje Leukens from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland emphasised that the new study programme has been successfully organised and will be internationally competitive.

This programme is one of six new internationally competitive study programmes that RSU is planning to develop until 2021 with co-funding from the European Social Fund and the state budget, within the framework of the project Studiju programmu fragmentācijas mazināšana un studiju internacionalizācijas veicināšana Rīgas Stradiņa universitātē (Decreasing Study Programme Fragmentation and Advancing Study Internationalisation at Rīga Stradiņš University) (project No.