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Sustainable development goals prioritised by Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU)

Develop and build up research to facilitate health promotion, contribute to healthcare organisations and welfare

RSU is the only university in Latvia that has traditionally been closely integrated into the healthcare system. This creates preconditions for Latvian medical institutions to perform successfully. The most prominent research platforms at RSU are medicine, public health and social sciences. The medicine platform concentrates RSU resources on an interdisciplinary level in order for world-class research to be conducted and to develop methods for diagnosing and treating the diseases most common in the EU. The public health platform combines RSU resources at an interdisciplinary level to conduct high-quality research to facilitate health promotion, contribute to healthcare organisations and improve the work environment in Latvia.

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Provide research-based, high-quality and exportable higher education in Europe and the world

The RSU vision, and one of its main goals, is to provide research-based, high-quality and exportable higher education in Europe and in the world. RSU provides a solid foundation for academic and professional education and research, as well as offers and ensures lifelong learning for all. Everyone, from a secondary school student to a holder of a Doctoral degree, has the possibility to obtain new qualifications, extend their education and contribute to the creation of new knowledge and technologies. The high-quality of education at RSU is gaining popularity among international students.

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Ensure equal opportunities for all and stand up for gender equality

The principal value of RSU is the individual. Gender equality is an integral value for the university and one of the key elements for successful work: gender equality = sustainable development. RSU is focused on its people and providing them with support. An example of this is the creche available to university staff and students free of charge.

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Ensure access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy at affordable price for all

With regard to the use of renewable energy sources and aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions RSU, as the first university in Latvia, purchased three Volkswagen e-up! electric vehicles in 2014. The purchase of the vehicles was made as part of the project to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Transport Sector at Rīga Stradiņš University, administered by the Environmental Investment Fund Ltd and co-financed by the Climate Change Financial Instrument (CCFI) (Agreement No. KPFI-16/66).

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The Institute for Occupational Safety and Environmental Health participates in National Energy and Climate Council meetings on behalf of RSU. These meetings are organised by the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia and a draft of “National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030” is currently under review. This is a policy planning document that sets out goals and objectives for Latvia in the following sectors or activities: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon dioxide sequestration, increasing the share of renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, ensuring energy security and maintaining and improving the infrastructure of energy markets.

In 2017 RSU introduced and certified an energy management system in accordance with international standard ISO 50001. By introducing this energy management system RSU has established the energy management policy, aims and energy targets, and regularly evaluates RSU energy performance.


Promote consistent, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and respectful work for all

Since 2010, RSU has been cooperating with the human resource management and research company Fontes by regularly participating in salary studies. These allow RSU to follow up and assess changes in the Latvian and Baltic labour markets, to identify trends and projections in salary developments in these regions and to work together to improve reward principles and salary systems.

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The cooperation also analyses aspects of equity and equality - whether women and men are paid equally for the same work and whether there are senior executives of both genders. Since 2013, RSU has been conducting employee satisfaction and engagement surveys on a regular basis to understand key aspects of employee motivation and engagement and to identify work factors that need improvement.


Build a stable infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and facilitate innovations

The RSU Business Incubator has been operating since autumn 2019 to help students implement and develop their own pre-formulated business ideas, create new and unique ideas, or join in and improve on other students' ideas, including those focused on developing sustainable and stable infrastructure and the promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.

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The planning document for the draft of the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, which also involves RSU Institute of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, covers activities for improving innovation, research and competitiveness.

Research conducted by RSU is linked to innovation and new technologies in health care, pharmacy, health sports, dentistry and social work.


Make cities and populated areas inclusive, safe, adaptable and sustainable

RSU pays great attention to accessibility of its facilities, and to the improvement of and accessibility to green, recreational areas. The newly renovated park in Dārza Iela that was opened in 2019 is for example accessible not only to the university's staff and students, but also to residents and visitors. The university's infrastructure, including the gym, museum and library, is also open to the general public.

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RSU pays particular attention to strengthening and preserving cultural values. The university's mixed choir Rīga and the folk-dance group Ačkups are an integral part of cultural life at RSU. Both the choir and the dance group were founded almost at the same time as the University, in 1951. There are plans to open the contemporary RSU Anatomy Museum. Reconstruction of the historic building, where it is planned that the historical anatomical preparations will be located, is currently underway.


Ensure sustainable consumer habits and production patterns

Current research topics at RSU are coordinated with national guidelines and research is carried out in sectors defined as priorities.

The RSU environmental policy is being developed in cooperation with the Student Union and measures have been taken to reduce plastic waste (e. g. by providing free access to water at the university and by offering alternatives to plastic containers in the canteen). The university also provides for waste sorting including the identification and appropriate collection of hazardous waste.

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As part of the energy management system, employees are informed about the energy-efficient guidelines at RSU thereby facilitating employee engagement in responsible and rational use of energy.


Promote a peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development, ensure fair access to justice for all and create effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

RSU governing bodies are designed to include representation of all university staff and students. Academic and administrative staff as well as representatives from the Student Union are involved in the university's decision-making bodies (the Constitutional Assembly and the Senate).

The RSU Convent of Councillors, whose main task is to advise the RSU Senate and the Rector on the university's development strategy, is composed mainly of experts and representatives of employers. The composition of the RSU Convent of Councillors is decided by the RSU Senate.

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The governing bodies at RSU are designed to provide flexible, transparent and inclusive decision-making at all levels, ensuring responsible involvement of the staff and students in the processes.


Strengthen the means for implementing the Global Partnership and renew the Global Partnership for sustainable development

It is the mission of RSU to be a modern, prestigious, renowned university in Europe and worldwide, to put people at the center, and provide research-based, high-quality and exportable higher education. One of the university's strategic goals is internationalisation and international mobility, which transverse study and research processes. Within the framework of international and local cooperation, RSU has been implementing a number of projects to meet the above-listed sustainable development aims.

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