Delegation from the European University Association is to Meet the Government of Latvia
LU Press Centre
At the beginning of November, 2009, a delegation from the European University Association will visit Latvia to discuss with the government of Latvia the reduction of the national budget funding for the higher education and the possible consequences of this action for all stakeholders.
The Council of the European University Association (EUA) decided to send its delegation to Latvia as it is concerned about the financial situation of the higher education in Latvia. In addition to the already made cut of 48 % in 2009, the funding is planned to be further reduced by 31 % in 2010. Such budgetary cuts are far above those made in any other country – even Iceland, who has suffered most in the crisis, decreased the budget funding for the higher education only by 8.5 %.
“The European University Association has made a unique decision. They have never before visited a country to talk to the government. However, the situation in Latvia is such that a delegation will be sent and one of a very high standing – led by the President [of the association] J. M. Rapp. They intend to discuss with the Latvian government and the members of the national parliament the possibility of not reducing the funding to such an extent,” emphasized the Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Council Andrejs Rauhvargers.
The head of the delegation is Prof. Jean-Marc Rapp, President of the EUA. The delegation also includes the Secretary General of the EUA Lesley Wilson and a member of the Board, President of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP) Prof. Tadeusz Luty.
The EUA is recognized as “the main representative of the higher education institutions in Europe” and as such participates in the policy-making discussions with the European Parliament, the European Commission and other international organizations as well as represents the European universities and other higher education institutions when cooperating with other continents.
The EAU comprises the Rectors’ Councils from more than 600 best European universities of all European countries. In order to become a member of the EUA, a university must have a doctoral programme that has awarded doctoral degrees in the recent years. In Latvia, the EAU members are the University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, Daugavpils University, Rīga Stradiņš University and Latvia University of Agriculture.