Recommendation 2: Continue improving the quality of tertiary education and science

The review team agrees with the government that establishing an external quality assurance system that meets international standards must be one of the highest priorities for Latvia. The planned established of the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency (the transformed AIC) and its scheduled entrance to the European Quality Assurance Register no later than 2018 are essential steps towards promoting tertiary education quality, visibility and international recognition. With EU funding guaranteed to support this process, success will depend on the leadership of the government and within the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency to drive through the necessary reform measures.

The parallel introduction of the new tertiary education financing model will act as a powerful instrument that the government should use to offer incentives for the desired improvements in the quality, labour market relevance and internationalisation of education.

We further fully support the recent measures to concentrate government funding for research on those institutes or departments that have been assessed as strong local players, strong international players or excellent international players. The decision to stop funding satisfactory or weak local players will help consolidate the fragmented science network, while aiming to further promote excellence in science. In addition Latvia should move ahead with the implementation of the “Monitoring System for Smart

Specialisation” which includes important measures for consolidating and further concentrating Latvia’s fragmented research system and ultimately contributing to improving the competitiveness of its economy.

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