Baltic Regional Forum

The social cohesion requires serious attention as a steady stream of Latvians continues to leave the country in pursuit of a better future. In this framework, education and research have a key role to play not only to promote growth and employment, but also to guarantee equal opportunities and social cohesion. Establishing the Baltic Regional Forum brings the involvement of academics, business partners, NGOs and other actors of civil society.  

To meet these major social challenges, universities are called upon to reconsider their mission beyond the confines of the lecture room in recognition of their role in knowledge creation and its transformation into innovative goods and services under involvement of both public and private sectors. In this regard, we are not only thinking about technology and skills development but also about cultural awareness - thereby opening up a larger role for social sciences and humanities.

More could be done to make business and academia work hand in hand to design and supply the curricula, develop skills and competences that allow traversing between business and universities.

Among the tasks to be performed are consulting services to SME, more proactive engagement in placing university graduates in businesses and connecting key players towards this purpose. The overall goal is to bind universities to regional growth and to rethink the responsibility of higher education institutions in regions.

The initial mission is a critical evaluation and an inventory of the regions’ current and potential strengths as well as the region’s capacity to identify and absorb university expertise.

Development of the Baltic Regional Forum is equivalent to development of the gateway mechanism between the university and the region. This gateway mechanism works in two directions: connecting local concerns to larger regional issues. But also regional and global issues need to be translated into locally concrete targets.