Photo: Toms Grīnbergs, UL Communication department

In order to ensure a sustainable and effective consolidation of the institutions of the University of Latvia (UL), the Council of the University of Latvia on 22 April supported the rector’s proposal to create six faculties instead of five, by dividing the originally planned Faculty of Medicine, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing into two – the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, and the Faculty of Science and Technology. The consolidation decision on the establishment of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology, and the Faculty of Law remains unchanged. On 30 April, the Acting Deans of the new faculties have been appointed.

“Analysing of the international practice and hearing out the opinion of industry experts, the UL leadership proposed to form two faculties to represent the fields of medicine and natural sciences – the Faculty of Exact Sciences and Technologies, and the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences – to ensure the growth and competitiveness at both the national and international level of these fields of science, which are eminent for the development of UL. In the consolidation process, it is essential to take into account several key criteria – the volume of the newly created faculties, the number and specifics of the implemented study programmes, for example, whether the faculty implements programmes in regulated professions, as well as their budget and business model,” emphasizes UL Rector Prof. Gundars Bērziņš.

The UL Council has passed the decision, stating that the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences will consist of the current Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Institute of Biology, Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, Institute of Cardiology and Regenerative Medicine. On the other hand, the Faculty of Science and Technologies will encompass the Faculty of Computing, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, Institute of Chemical Physics, Institute of Astronomy, Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy, Institute for Mechanics of Materials, Institute of Physics, Interdisciplinary Centre for Educational Innovation, as well as The Natural Resource Research Centre.

“The decision passed by the UL Council is a successive step in the improvement of the new structure of UL, – already last November, when making a decision on the changes of the UL structure, the Council envisaged an opportunity for the newly appointed rector to offer his vision for the implementation of the UL Strategy and effective management. G. Bērziņš and his team presented the UL Council with an in-depth analysis of the situation and risks, which served as the basis for the Council’s decision to separate the field of medicine, integrating into it two powerful scientific institutes whose research is closely affiliated with Latvia’s leading hospitals. In its substantiation, the leadership of UL has relied upon the results of the international scientific assessment, as well as on the indicators of the faculties’ operation to date. The UL Council has supported G. Bērziņš’ approach to follow the tradition of the international academic environment to separate the field of medicine and life sciences, positioning medical and life sciences studies as the backbone and business card of a classical university,” the decision of the UL Council is explained by its Chair, Prof. Mārcis Auziņš.

The UL Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences will comprise the Faculty of Business, Management and Economics, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Centre for European and Transition Studies.

The UL Faculty of Humanities will incorporate the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of History and Philosophy, the Faculty of Theology, the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, the Institute of Latvian History, the Latvian Language Institute, the International Institute of Indic Studies and the Livonian Institute.

The UL Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology will be the new name of the former Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, while the UL Faculty of Law will retain its identity, continuing to train the professionals of its field and upholding its identity as a stronghold ensuring the sustainability of its discipline.

UL Rector Gundars Bērziņš has appointed Acting Deans for the new faculties, who will perform their duties until the confirmation of the dean positions by the end of September this year:

  • The Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences – Prof. Jānis Priede;
  • The Faculty of Humanities – Prof. Dace Balode;
  • The Faculty of Law – Asst. Prof. Edvīns Danovskis;
  • The Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences – Asst. Prof. Jāzeps Logins;
  • The Faculty of Science and Technology – Prof. Zaiga Krišjāne;
  • Prof. Linda Daniela will remain the Dean of fhe Faculty of Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology.

By carrying out internal consolidation, based on the best practices of Northern European higher education institutions, UL improves the organizational structure with the goal to increase the competitiveness of UL, promote personnel growth and ensure the best possible governance of studies and science. In the process of consolidation, the succession of all study and development programmes of LU, as well as scientific projects, is ensured.