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Opinion
For graduates
For students

Why would it be important for a graduate who gained their Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree ten years ago for their university to still be powerful, with an excellent reputation and standard of education?  A long time has passed, you have many achievements, established a career, your children are already at school and are now considering continuing their education. Why should you care about your former university? For nostalgia's sake?

Memories of your youth are important, of course, yet the reputation of the university you graduated from is also important for practical reasons, for when you will have the desire and opportunity to climb the corporate ladder or simply change your job, your prospective employer will want to find out about the candidate's education. Moreover, the university will be judged based on the quality of its education today, not 10 or 20 years ago, when the job applicant was a student. 

How can alumni influence the development of their Alma mater, express an opinion or help? Some former students continue working here as teaching staff, others are involved in research, but not many graduates stay on. The majority finish their studies and start their working life, develop their careers in their chosen profession and workplace. The uniting force is the RSU Alumni Association, uniting graduates of the Rīga Medical Institute, Medical Academy of Latvia and the university that is the successor of these institutions – Rīga Stradiņš University.

The Alumni Association initiates and implements various cooperation projects, for instance, we support the development of the new musuem in the Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology, we are involved as intermediaries in the financing of residency placements, and help to provide scholarships and internships. Our view is: if the student has received support during their studies then they are more open to helping others – the current students – after graduating. 

An important task is to maintain contact with international students who graduate from RSU and return to their homeland. One of the challenges that RSU faces is initiating and providing opportunities for internships and residency placements in clinics located abroad. Contacting the head of a department or a specialist who once studied at RSU and is currently working, for instance, in a large network of clinics in Germany, could only facilitate this type of cooperation. Cultivating the reputation of RSU is just as important – not only in Latvia, but also in the countries that international students reside, and maintaining regular contact with graduates is an effective instrument. 

RSU has been recognised as the university with the best reputation in Latvia,  achieving the highest ranking among the ten largest universities in Latvia, and I hope that the Alumni Association has also contributed to achieving this high ranking. Society as a whole is interested in an exceptional quality of education as it is of utmost importance to have more bright people among us – both students, for whom it is important that their education can give them a competitive advantage in the labour market, as well as graduates, as their CV is influenced by the reputation of their university. 

During this graduation period, on behalf of the Alumni Association I invite each one of you who has just completed your studies to get involved in the activities of the Alumni Association, so that graduates who will complete their studies decades from now will be able to take pride in saying: "I graduated from Rīga Stradiņš University!"