Cooperation of education institutions of Latvia with institutions of other countries and international organisations in the field of education are determined by international agreements. Educational institutions – schools and pre-school education institutions – are entitled to cooperate with foreign educational institutions and international organizations.
Pupil and student mobility
Mobility of pupils and secondary education level students are ensured through the European Community action programme Erasmus+ mainly, and Nordic Council of Ministers' Nordplus Junior programme. Since 1990, international youth exchange programme for 14-18 years olds – Youth for Understanding – is also operating in Latvia.
The initiative of exchange of teachers lies more upon themselves, their schools and local governments, and their ability to participate in exchange projects and effectively apply for exchange programmes. Those are promoted by European actions/programmes and other initiatives coming from other countries or international organizations.
Both Erasmus+ programme and Nordplus Junior programme ensure mobility of teaching staff.
Information on pupils and teaching and management staff exchange in various cooperation programmes can be found on the website of State Education Development Agency.
According to Eurydice report The Teaching Profession in Europe: Practices, Perceptions, and Policies (published in June, 2015), in Europe the proportion of mobile teachers is highest in the Nordic and Baltic countries. TALIS 2013 survey shows that 27.4 % of teachers within the EU have been abroad at least once for professional purposes, but in Island there have been 71%, in Norway 53.5%, in Finland 42.9% and in Latvia 41.2% of teachers in lower secondary education level.
Proportion of teachers in lower secondary education (ISCED 2) who have been abroad for professional purposes, 2013
Source: Eurydice, on the basis of TALIS 2013
In cooperation with the Holocaust research and education centre Yad Vashem (Israel) and the Embassy of Israel in Latvia, teachers of Latvia have the opportunity to participate in professional development courses in Israel about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and discrimination issues. Mostly they are history and social science teachers from different schools who are participating in professional development programmes organised by Yad Vashem.
According to the Agreement on Cultural and Educational Co-operation between Poland and Latvia and in cooperation with the Embassy of Poland, cooperation in education is supported, including the exchange of pupils and students. Visiting teachers from Poland are teaching Polish language, literature and history in schools where ethnic minority education programmes are provided and Polish language is compulsory subject for all students in these schools. In these schools part of curriculum is acquired bilingually in Polish and Latvian, but Polish culture, traditions, art and music are provided in extra-curricular lessons according to the interest of students and their parents.