“While preparing for the accreditation, we evaluated the correspondence of our study programmes to the objectives and results of the academic programs, and the market situation in Latvia; qualification of the alumni for the labour market and capacity to quickly learn the specific knowledge required for employment, but not included in the study programme. The students must have the certain amount of fundamental knowledge in the production practice upon entering the labour market for the first time. Consequently, we have built the courses to enable the students to learn as much as possible in the first two years, and then proceed with an internship and selection of a specialization. The technologies and IT environment change rapidly, therefore we aim for adjustments to the study programme and the re-accreditation was completed two years in advance, – originally it was planned in 2019. Now there is an opportunity to provide the studies also in English, and it is intended to enrol foreign students starting from the next year autumn semester,” says the Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Professor Guntis Arnicāns.
“There are 312 internationally accredited study programmes in the world that have received the Euro-Inf Quality Label, and two of those are in Latvia, both at the University of Latvia. Of the Baltic countries, there is only one another in this list – the Kaunas University of Technology. The UL is the first entity in the world whose computing study programs have been re-accredited for the second time. The requirements for the Euro-Inf Quality Label are more rigorous than those of our national accreditation, for example, we must to prove that after the graduation the student has received all of the knowledge and skills defined by the European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education (EQANIE). The foreign experts gave a positive assessment to the cooperation with our partners representing industry and business, however, they indicated that the awareness of the academic staff and students regarding the quality system of the Faculty and their opportunities to initiate improvements within the Faculty call for enhancement,” admits the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Head of Information Technology, Computer Technology, Electronics, Telecommunication, Computer Management, and Computer Science study direction, Professor Juris Borzovs.
The Euro-Inf Quality Label is awarded by the non-governmental organisation European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education (EQANIE), which founded in 2009 with an objective to improve the quality of studies and introduce a system for comparison and evaluation of information technologies, informatics, and computing study programmes. The University of Latvia bachelor's and master’s programmes hold this label since 2012.
The UL Faculty of Computing provides studies in four levels – the 1st level professional programme “Programming and Administration of Computer Networks”, after 2,5 years granting the qualification of “programmer” or “network administrator”, bachelor’s programme “Computing Sciences”, master’s programme “Computing Sciences”, and doctoral programme “Computing Sciences”. In 2017, the bachelor’s programme “Computing Science” was among the top study programmes in Latvia recommended by employers.
The accreditation of the study programmes was prepared by Head of Information Technology, Computer Technology, Electronics, Telecommunication, Computer Management, and Computer Science study direction Juris Borzovs, Director of the 1st level professional programme “Programming and Administration of Computer Networks”, Professor Jānis Zuters, former Director of the bachelor’s study programme “Computing Sciences”, Dean Guntis Arnicāns, Director of the bachelor’s study programme “Computing Sciences”, Professor Laila Niedrīte, Director of the master’s study programme “Computing Science”, Professor Kārlis Podnieks, and Director of the doctoral programme “Computing Science”, Professor Andris Ambainis.
The modernization of the Faculty of Computing was supported by “Mikrotīkls” Ltd., and donations were administered by the University of Latvia Foundation.