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"That's all we can do" should not be the motto in higher education - Vike-Freiberga

Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Photo: Lita Krone.
 RIGA, Nov 30 - "That's all we can do" should not be the motto in higher education, ex-President Vaira Vike-Freiberga points out in an interview with the newspaper "Latvijas Avize", describing the current situation in Latvia's higher education.
Vike-Freiberga believes that 64 higher education establishments are far too many for Latvia with its population of two million. There is no need for such a large number of quality higher education institutions in a country with so few people, says the former president, adding that Latvia has excellent traditions in arts and music schools, sufficient numbers of high-class vocational schools and technical colleges. However, there can only be a limited number of high-level higher education establishments.
Vike-Freiberga emphasizes that higher education institutions should be prepared to compete with each other and observe the minimum criteria that a higher education establishment must meet for its study programs to be accredited.
As reported, the Education and Science Ministry's assessment of study programs has been widely criticized and several organizations, including the Latvian Rectors' Council and the Council of the Association of Latvian Students, and a number of higher education establishments have called for Kilis' resignation.
On the other hand, Kilis believes that the mounting criticism of the ministry for the controversial evaluation of universities' curricula should actually be addressed to the Higher Education Council and its head, Janis Vetra, because the council might have altered the findings of foreign experts who participated in the assessment. Vetra, however, says that Kilis' accusations are unfounded.
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