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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.7Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation

Last update: 6 January 2024

Bilateral Agreements

Bilateral treaties have been signed with almost 40 countries, and most of them provide for supporting the exchange of the pupils, students and teaching staff, implementation of further education programmes as well as cooperation in order to facilitate recognition of foreign diplomas and qualifications. The following are examples on existing agreements with a third countries:

  • Azerbaijan (04.10.2006.) An agreement on co-operation in education foreseeing exchange of pupils, students, professors and scientists.
  • Canada (25.09.2009.) An intergovernmental agreement on new citizen exchange.
  • China (07.06.1996.) An Agreement between the governments of Latvia and Peoples Republic of China on co-operation in Science and Technologies; (02.09.1996.) an agreement between the governments of Latvia and Peoples Republic of China on co-operation in Culture and Education; (22.10.2010.) an agreement between the MoES of Latvia and the Ministry of Education of the Peoples’ Republic of China on diploma and higher education qualifications’ recognition.
  • Croatia (23.02.2001). Agreement on Co-operation in the Fields of Science, Technology and Higher Education. The exchange of students, professors, scientists and experts is supported.
  • Egypt (01.03.2009.) An intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in education and science.
  • India (01.09.1995.) Bilateral memorandum of understanding with India on co-operation in fields of culture, art, education, science, media and sport.
  • Israel (27.02.1994.) An Agreement between the governments of Latvia and Israel on co-operation in fields of education, culture and science.
  • Mexico (15.04.2005) An intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in education, culture and sport.
  • Moldova (07.09.2006) An intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in education, culture, youth and sport.
  • Mongolia (01.07.2003.) An Agreement on Co-operation in Culture, Education and Science, providing exchange of students, teaching staff and experts.
  • Turkey (19.04.2005) An intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in education, science, culture and sport supports exchange of students, professors, scientists and athletes.
  • Ukraine (21.11.1995.) Agreement on Co-operation in Education, Science and Culture promotes exchange of students, doctoral students, scientists, teaching staff and educational specialists.
  • USA (12.03.2003.) on private education institution "The International School of Latvia"; (January, 2010) bilateral memorandum of understanding on the Fulbright academic exchange programme

Regional co-operation in the field of education among the Baltic countries and Nordic countries

Co-operation among the Baltic countries is orientated towards harmonization of education systems. Agreements signed among the three states – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - include the establishment of a Tripartite Commission on Education Matters and Co-operation in the Matters of General Secondary Education, Vocational Education and Special Education. All sides have also agreed to recognise qualifications of higher education as well as to provide the same rules for tuition fees and support for studies in higher education institutions. 

In the beginning of 2007, Ministry of Education and Science signed mutual co-operation agreement with the respective ministries of Estonia and Lithuania. It will help to facilitate mobility between the Baltic States in the field of higher education and mutual  cooperation in the area of the evaluation of the quality of higher education. It is foreseen to develop joint programmes in higher education involving academic staff from the Baltic States. Further, in 2008 an agreement on a common doctoral programme was signed between three Baltic universities, namely, University of Latvia, Univeristy of Tallinn and  Vytautas Magnus University. 

The Baltic Education and Eurointegration Co-operation Group is the annual meeting of the ministers of Education and specialists of three Baltic States in order to discuss actual issues, projects or problems in the field of education.

Since the beginning of the 1990s a good co-operation has evolved with the Nordic Council. With support of Nordic Council of Ministers, Latvian students, representatives of teaching staff, scientists and officials exchange and gain experience, establish contacts with education institutions in Nordic Countries and develop new projects. Since 2008 Latvia participates on equal footing with Nordic Countries in Nordplus programme, which offers financial support to a variety of educational cooperation between partners in the area of lifelong learning. 

Latvia is also a member of the Council of Baltic Sea States - an overall political forum for regional inter-governmental cooperation. The Members of the Council are the eleven states of the Baltic Sea Region as well as the European Commission.

Cooperation and participation in worldwide programmes and organisations 

More than 50 schools in Latvia are participating in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) since 1993. Schools from all regions of Latvia take part in the project by developing pilot projects within innovative solutions to one of the ASPnet priority thematic fields of activity – multicultural and civic education or cooperation in environmental education in the Baltic Sea region among flagship projects.

Participation in International Education Surveys and Large-Scale Assessments 

In 2016 the Ministry of Education and Science has started the European Social Fund project Participation in International Education Surveys with the objective to introduce in Latvia internationally comparable education quality monitoring system. To carry out regular monitoring of the quality of education, Latvia's participation in international comparative education surveys and large-scale assessment programmes continues in 2022-2028 with the support of European Union funds in the amount of 6.8 million euros.

Special attention is paid not only to collecting Latvian data and recording initial results in international large-scale assessments (primary analysis), but also to in-depth data research (secondary analysis), which offers data-based scenarios in the policy decision-making process, thus increasing the return on investment in research implementation.

The large-scale assessments and surveys cover different age stages of learners - primary school, the end of compulsory education, adults - will focus on the measurement of both basic skills (reading, mathematics, natural sciences) and skills that are important in the context of policy, also looking at the environment of the educational institution and the performance of the staff.

In the international education surveys’ project, Latvia will continue to participate in such important programmes measuring the quality of the education system and the progress of students' performance as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study of fourth graders PIRLS 2026 and Programme for International Student Assessment of 15-year-olds PISA 2025. Also, the funding will allow obtaining data and results on the computer skills and information literacy of eighth-grade students by participating in the international study ICILS 2023. The new project ensures participation in the TIMSS 2023 assessment of mathematics and science competences of fourth-grade students and will allow the processing of data from the PIAAC study of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies  and the publication of the first results at the end of 2024. Participation is also planned in the study of the learning environment and the survey of teachers in TALIS 2024 and in the study of civic education competencies for eighth-grade students ICCS 2027

Funding will also be provided for Latvia's participation in the OECD Indicators of Education Systems Programme INES, in cooperation with the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia ensuring the inclusion of Latvian data in the annual OECD report Education at a Glance. Latvia's participation in the work programme of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation CERI is also significant - this OECD think tank, identifying current education development issues and offering solutions to them, also forecasts education development trends in OECD countries.

Participation in International Skills Competitions

Being a part of WorldSkills Europe and a participant of Euroskills competition, in 2011 Latvia has become an associated member of WorldSkills International. The participation of Latvia provides means to evaluate the competitiveness of the vocational education system on the global scale and provides impulses for improving the curriculum and delivery methods of vocational training.

Successful participation of young Latvians in EuroSkills and WorldSkills competitions makes vocational training more attractive and increases the motivation of VET students. Education policy makers are getting a realistic impression of the quality of vocational training and ideas for improvement VET system in Latvia, but labour sector experts can learn about global development trends in their respective industries.