Support for innovation in education
56 representatives from higher education institutions as well as businesses, and government officials are approved to participate in the Leadership Programme, which consists of two sub-programmes aimed at education innovations. Also, six education innovation projects for further development, led by 18 representatives from Latvian universities, are approved for further implementation.
Both the Leadership Programme and the Education Innovation Projects Support Programme are aimed at creating contemporary education processes, governance, and effective changes in Latvia, with solutions developed in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is among the world’s top universities.
Initiatives are administered by the Education Innovation Laboratory, established earlier by Riga Business School as a structural unit of Riga Technical University in collaboration with MIT J-WEL laboratory. The Ministry of Education and Science is the financier of this project.
The Leader Programme provides an opportunity for education leaders to learn about effective innovation structuring, governance, financing, and stakeholder interaction. As part of the program, participants will take online courses on EdX, participate in online seminars and workshops organized by MIT J-WEL on building innovation ecosystems and educational leadership, engage in internal discussions and forums of the program, exchange experiences, and visit MIT in Boston, USA. Before the visit, participants will set their work objectives and attend preparation sessions to make the most effective use of consultations with specifically selected MIT experts and get the most out of on-site workshops.
The leadership programme is divided into two separate sub-programmes. Participants of the Ecosystem Innovation Project Management Group will implement specific projects, while the Strategic Ecosystem Management Group will focus on the overall education ecosystem and strategy formation.
The Strategic Education Innovation Project Support Program is designed to support the implementation of large, ambitious education innovation projects in Latvian higher education institutions in one of three thematic areas: systematic improvements in student experience, improvements in collaboration between universities and organizations, and/or initiatives that promote the achievement of strategic goals of the university. As a part of the program, participants will receive consultations from MIT experts, mentoring support for innovation and change implementation, support in project planning, and content development according to the project plan. They will also participate in workshops as well as networking and experience exchange events. Team members will have the opportunity to go to individually tailored experience exchange and learning visit to MIT in Boston, USA.
The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the project No. 126.96.36.199/18/I/008 “Support for Riga Technical University International Cooperation Projects in Research and Innovation”.
The leadership programme for higher education and Latvia's education system
To strengthen digitisation, innovation, and internal governance processes in education system of Latvia, 17 education leaders and representatives from companies related to promoting education will participate in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) international training programme with the financial support of the European Regional Development Fund.
The plan is to implement the programme in several phases, to train up to 66 higher education experts, and business and public administration managers over three years, and to establish a higher education competence centre with the aim of promoting innovation in education and transfer of international experience.
The training programme in Latvia is delivered and coordinated by Riga Business School and Latvia is MIT’s first national cooperation partner in Europe. The training project is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the funding for the training is EUR 700,000 (ERDF project No. 188.8.131.52/18/I/008 Support for RTU International Cooperation Projects in Research and Innovation).
Students from large families have access to social stipend
In June, the Parliament approved amendment to the Law on Higher Education Institutions. The amendment (in Latvian language) offer students from large families the option to receive support – social stipend – paid from the state budget.
The social stipend is intended as support for youngsters from large families. This is a historic event, as for the first time since the restoration of the country's independence, a new scholarship fund based on social criteria will be introduced. Previously stipends were paid only based on academic accomplishments. Young people from large families up to the age of 25 will be eligible for a social scholarship - students in public, private universities and colleges in both state-subsidized and study fee-paying study places.
The Cabinet of Ministers set student categories that will be eligible for the social stipend, stipend allocation conditions, as well as the size of the stipend based on the student’s academic accomplishments and income, the amendments state.
The stipend is being paid to students from 1 September 2021 onward.