Rector Indriķis Muižnieks. Photo: Toms Grīnbergs

Thursday, September 28, on the 98th anniversary of the University of Latvia (UL) the Ceremonial Senate meeting took place in the Great Hall of the UL. Three Honorary Doctorates were presented and 54 new doctorate degrees awarded in the Conferment Ceremony. The Rector of the UL, Prof. Indriķis Muižnieks stated that the University has changed this year.

“We laid the foundation – the capsule for the Centre of Formal Sciences. We experienced growth, adding the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy to the University’s family, and becoming the UL in its fundamental meaning as we started working in the eight branches, a great challenge to be met. It is the endeavour shared by the entire UL in the upcoming year – to be able to combine the University’s national mission with our progress towards the scientific distinction, the elite group of the world’s universities,” emphasizes I. Muižnieks in his speech dedicated to the major changes in the University.

The Chairman of the Senate, Prof. Māris Kļaviņš in his turn underlined the University’s mission – to prepare Doctors of Sciences. “Many of the UL study programmes are professionally oriented, and they provide students with the needed skills in the labour market; however, the labour market is inconsistent. Concentrating on gaining the knowledge specific to a particular profession may result in discovery that the things learned during the study years are no longer relevant. From this perspective, the academic education can be seen as an advantage in comparison with  the education that provides the training for a concrete profession currently demanded in the labour market,” accentuated the Chairman of the Senate.

Three UL Honorary Doctorates presented

The UL Honorary Doctorate degrees were presented to the Director of Helmohltz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Institute of Fluid Dynamics, Dr. Gunter Gerbeth for the productive cooperation with the UL Institute of Physics throughout 30 years; to Prof. Antoine Alemany of the National Centre of Scientific Research for continuous contribution to the development of magnetohydrodynamics research at the UL; and to the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Dr. Ismail Serageldin for strengthening the UL’s international cooperation in the field of education, science and culture. I. Serageldin was introduced to the public by the former president of Latvia (1999–2007), Prof. Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, who emphasized that the charismatic professor can deservedly be called a renaissance person.

New doctorate degrees awarded

The Ceremonial Senate meeting was concluded with the Conferment Ceremony of the New Doctorates. This year, the UL symbols of honour – degree certificate, UL doctoral scarf and UL doctoral silver badge were received by 54 new doctors, who with their intelligence, talent and work  contributed to the University’s accomplishments in Latvia and the world.

Over 10 years, he celebration in honour of the new doctors has become a tradition. In the Conferment Ceremony, the degrees were awarded to Uģis Kagainis, Artūrs Paparde, Līga Āboliņa, Aleksandrs Dahs, Ģirts Brasliņš, Inese Aleksejeva, Irina Bērzkalne, Svetlana Jesiļevska, Ilze Vilka, Jana Namniece, Mārtiņš Ruciņš, Paulis Paulins, Vadims Geža, Nataļja Zorina, Elīna Apsīte-Beriņa, Jānis Karušs, Māris Krievāns, Kristaps Lamsters, Daiga Pipira, Agnese Beļska, Aiga Mieriņa, Vija Putāne, Zane Sedlova, Vēsma Lēvalde, Irina Eglīte, Sarmīte Kupča, Iveta Līduma, Agita  Melbārde-Kelmere, Daiga Šantare, Guna Geikina, Solvita Umbraško, Estere Birziņa, Ginta Kronberga, Līga Paula, Markus Baur, Britta Bolzern-Konrad, Jürgen Alexander Gollner, Aaron Leander Haussmann, Alen Antun Sacek, Michael Trestl, Stefan Willutzky, Ināra Dundure, Inga Jēkabsone,  Bernd Lӧschenbrand, Antra Līne, Romāns Putāns, Olga Stariņeca, Linda Eglīte, Ilga Kokorīte, Linda Ansone-Bērtiņa, Jānis Krūmiņš, Oskars Purmalis, and Artis Robalds.