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International Cooperation

Since 1 September 2022, when a memorandum of understanding was signed to establish a clinical centre for Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) in Elbe Kliniken Stade (EKS), Germany, three student groups have already travelled there to acquire new knowledge and skills. The first pilot group of ten German-speaking RSU students spent eight weeks in Stade at the end of August 2022. The students learned neurology, neurosurgery, anaesthesiology, intensive care, and toxicology. According to International Medical Training Manager at RSU Ieva Lejniece, the students appreciated the extensive opportunities for practical work and experience that their German peers and lecturers could offer.

A second group consisting of ten students travelled to Germany in early November. They spent six weeks at the German clinic and studied orthopaedics, traumatology, and psychiatry. Lejniece notes that the German academic staff acknowledged the students' knowledge and performance. The knowledge that the students acquired in Germany was also appreciated by their departments back at RSU. For example, eight students received a 9 grade, and two students received an 8 in their final exam in traumatology and orthopaedics.

A third group is currently studying traumatology, orthopaedics, and psychiatry, as well as obstetrics and gynaecology at Elbe Clinic in Stade.

These students will stay in Germany for a total of eight weeks. After Easter, a fourth group of students will go to Stade for a longer period of 9.5 weeks to study an even broader range of subjects - neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology, toxicology, and intensive care.


RSU students at the Elbe Clinic in Stade, Germany

Lejniece emphasises that the memorandum that RSU and EKS signed, marked the beginning of an active and mutually significant cooperation. This is evidenced not only by the plans that have been made, but also by what has been achieved so far. The curriculum for the student groups in Germany is developed based on the requirements and curriculum approved at RSU to ensure that the quality of studies in Germany is the same as at RSU in Riga. The study cycles that were successfully completed in the autumn are now being supplemented with new cycles, gradually expanding the cooperation with EKS and providing more learning opportunities.

RSU students have been undergoing their sixth-year placements in Stade and at other clinics in Western Europe for many years, but the status of RSU clinical centre will mean that in the future, students at this German clinic will complete their clinical study cycles in practical training in their fourth and fifth years. This gives them the opportunity to study in Germany and return home after their third year. 

RSU has signed agreements with several visiting professors from the clinic in Stade to conduct practical classes on site.

The German clinic has suitable learning facilities, but as the number of students grows, the clinic is planning to build a special building adapted to learning. Lejniece considers the student groups that have gone to Stade so far to be pilot groups, as these student groups are the first to try out the planned long-term cooperation in practice.

Instagram video about the RSU students' experience in Stade