University on the island or bridge from the past to the future
Do you want to be in the past, present and future in the same time? It seems paradoxical and impossible, but there is one special place in Latvia and, possibly, even in the whole Europe where it is possible. It is Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU). Almost every citizen of Latvia knows about the University in Jelgava, which offers studies in various fields related to agriculture and educates new specialists in all major sectors of the economy – wood processing, veterinary medicine, construction, energy, agriculture and food processing. But this is only a partial truth about what the LLU is today and what it offers.
Are there only studies in agriculture?
LLU has been formed as an agricultural academy, which trained specialists to work in the rural areas of Latvia. Because of its historical tradition university had a name related to one industry but already for a long time it is not educating specialists only in agriculture field. Just like the structure of the economy has changed (from agriculture as the main driving force to multidisciplinary production in the 21st century), the essence of the university has also changed. Latvia is no longer an agrarian country, just like the agricultural sector is not the only one in which young people can gain knowledge during their studies at LLU.
The University offers more than 60 study programs in one of three directions – bio sciences, engineering or social sciences. The University's greatest strength and potential lies in the coexistence of all these directions.
From shovel to hi technologies
A lot of new “stars” of information technologies, the largest Latvian farmers and energy engineers, top managers, sociologists and landscape architects have got their education and started their career at LLU. Jelgava is the place where successful careers start. In addition, the time has elapsed since the emerging agronomists were digging the ground with a shovel or the young engineers were learning to drive the tractor. Today engineer invents new machine mechanisms, builds pneumatic cars and thinks of more environmentally friendly mechanized transports.
An island that reveals past, present and future
The location of LLU is controversial and unique. The University's main building – Jelgava palace – is located on the island between two rivers Lielupe and Driksa. The major part of an island is nature reserve where humans and nature coexist harmoniously. The nature reserve contains specific plant and bird species and there live around 40 wild horses. Isn’t it surprising that information technology students during their lectures can see wild horses running behind the window? And it really happens during the spring floods because then the horses come closer to the Jelgava palace.
In its turn, Jelgava palace itself is a witness of many historical events. It was a home for dukes, princes and princesses, and it still has not lost its aristocratic aura. Although its visual form has been damaged by the time-tooth, students call it home. And here, in one place, one can feel the past, the present and the future, because the ancient corridors and vaults hide modern laboratories in which skills are developed by young people in order to form their own career and create innovations in the field – from information technology to food processing.
With roots in Jelgava, the future - all over the world!