Nestled between Eurozone bigwigs such as Germany, France and Russia, is the lesser known Latvia, which although a newbie in the European Union, is giving established countries a tough competition with its low cost education model.
The country which has in total about 6 universities, recently opened its first ever ‘Latvia Study Centre’ in India in Chennai. According to Leonïds Ribickis, the rector of Riga Technical University, the study centre will pave the way for innumerous collaborations and cooperation efforts between the two countries’ education systems. He expressed that “The reason why we have chosen Chennai to open the first study centre is because the expat Indian student population is largely composed of South Indians and mainly students from Tamil Nadu.” He further added, “Currently Latvia houses over 200 Indian students studying in various programmes who make up the second largest expat community in the country.”
According to Zana Paulaura of Riga Technical University, the USP of education in Riga is the very low cost of living and education expense in the country compared to other eurozone countries. She said “The tuition fee for a master’s programme in the country would probably cost around 2000- 3000 USD which is not even half the cost in other countries. This figure works out to about Rs 1,40,000 per year, which is lower than most Indian Universities.”
What’s exciting about education in Latvia, according to the vice rector of Turiba University of Tourism, Imants Bergs, is variety. “Students can study a variety of topics and there are also several avenues for internships and student exchange across the global, especially in the Mediterranian ring, which is a tourism hotspot.”
With several partnerships and especially with VIT University already in place, the Latvian Study Centre in Chennai will help forge several more collaborative relationships in the years to come, feel the Latvian educational convoys.