Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies have plans to develop four new study programmes in sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, bio-engineering and environmental engineering. It is expected that the programmes will be implemented in English, thus foreign students will have an opportunity to obtain the degree in Latvia in the study fields that until now have been implemented only in Latvian at LLU. These activities will be an important step in the development of the university's international study and research environment.
Currently, LLU as one of the leading universities of life sciences and technologies in the Baltic States is implementing 61 programmes, 27 of which are offered also in English. The first foreign students at LLU were admitted in 2015/2016. At the beginning of 2018/2019 academic year 64 foreign students studied at LLU. Most of the students have chosen veterinary medicine, food science, business management and Information Technology.
Although studies in agriculture, forestry and engineering are rich in traditions in Jelgava, they are not offered to foreign students because the existing programmes are closely related to the regional specificity of Latvia and the established occupational standards. However, having evaluated the supply in the higher education market and analysed the demand of foreign students from regions with nature conditions and environment not characteristic of Latvia, the university’s academic staff started working on new study programmes, study plans and courses for academic bachelor’s degree study programmes “Sustainable Agriculture” , “Sustainable Forestry”, “Biosystem Engineering” and the doctoral study programme “Environmental Engineering”.
The new academic bachelor’s degree study programmes will focus on general information in the research field, while the doctoral study programme will be interdisciplinary combining several fields of science. Thus the new offer suitable to a wide range of applicants from the countries in different regions will be accredited by 2023, and will be implemented by competent academic staff having experience with foreign students and researchers.
The development of the new programmes started with the project “Consolidation of LLU study programs and development of new programs” (126.96.36.199/18/A/007) financed by the European Social Fund. The aim of the project is to reduce the fragmentation of LLU study programmes and to create four new study programmes in the languages of the European Union thus strengthening resources. The project’s total funding is EUR 396 114.66, of which EUR 336 697.46 is financed by the European Social Fund. During the project from May 1, 2019, to November 30, 2023, it is planned to close 18 study programmes simultaneously with the creation and licensing of new programmes. The purpose is to reduce the fragmentation of study programmes, to accredit study fields, which will include the new licenced study programmes, to approbate newly created study programmes and participate in international education exhibitions to promote the programmes to potential foreign students.