University of Latvia. Photo: Toms Grīnbergs.

The University of Latvia (UL) reputation continues to ascend, rising by six index points in the course of the year, and the people express a higher level of long-term trust in University, as attested by the academic reputation survey conducted by market research company "Kantar TNS" in 2018.

The UL reputation assessment among the inhabitants of Latvia has risen by six index points, and currently stands at 65 points, exceeding the overall indicator awarded to the sector of higher education, as well as the average in Europe for all sectors. The assessment of University's reputation by young people has also risen. Overall, UL is recognised (at least by name) by almost all the inhabitants of Latvia aged from 15 to 60, while more than a half has a more profound view of the University.

"Study results show that the public increasingly appreciates the education provided by the University of Latvia, the knowledge, skills and abilities obtained in the study process. We are particularly pleased that the UL motto "To Science and Fatherland" is fulfilled ever more resolutely," emphasizes the UL Vice-Rector for social and legal sciences Prof. Jānis Ikstens.

The survey was carried out from March 8 to April 5, 2018 with an aim to establish the reputation that UL holds among the inhabitants of Latvia, particularly targeting two groups – those aged 15 to 60, and the young people of 15 to 26, as well as to define the main drivers of UL reputation. The study encompassed 1010 respondents, and has been implemented for the second consecutive year, exploring the reputation of the nine largest higher education institutions of Latvia (University of Latvia, Riga Stradiņš University, Riga Technical University, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, and others).

The study evaluated the overall reputation, the quality of education, the success of the university's work, the attitude (affinity) toward the university, and long-term trust.

During the year, UL has gained a wider recognition among men, young people aged 15 to 26, inhabitants of Riga region, as well as among those with secondary education.

The reputation is promoted by the long-term trust vested in the University. According to the assessment given by the surveyed, in a year UL has become more attractive: the proportion of good messengers truly admiring the University has grown along with the positive appraisal of the UL work success and long-term trust in the University.

The University's reputation is also founded upon its history (longstanding experience), good reviews, positive recognition carried by people's personal references, the high regard of the University's diploma in job market, as well as its active scientific work.

The study also reflected the spontaneous associations with UL. In addition to aforementioned strengths of the UL reputation, inhabitants of Latvia also favourably remark upon teaching staff (their competence and consideration with regard to students), high quality of education, study programmes (wide selection of programmes, good organization of studies and technical support), the prestige, leading position and popularity (many students) of the University, extensive offer of places funded from the state budget, and opportunities to find a good job after graduation from UL.

The education obtained at the University of Latvia is rooted in academic excellence and fulfils the demands of labour market, as demonstrated by the data of State Revenue Service – 96% of the UL graduates have found a job within a year after receiving their diploma.