Latviski English По-русски
Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Minister: Education Ministry will not fund low-quality education programs

(No Ratings Yet)

Roberts Kilis

189 or 22% of all higher education programs have been deemed low-quality by the Education and Science Ministry (ESM). These programs have notable flaws and students that follow these programs do not receive what they hope to learn, Education and Science Minister Roberts Kilis says.

The Higher Education Council, on the other hand, identified only 55 such programs. The main differences in results lie with stricter criteria, Kilis said in an interview to Latvian Radio.

Kilis called the students of these low-quality programs to turn to the management of those high schools with requests of clear action to improve the education programs.

The minister noted the ESM will not be closing down low-quality programs “from the top”. He said this decision is one for the high schools to make – close down the education programs or improve them. Kilis plans to offer the government to completely turn down the allocation of any funds to such education programs, instead using the funds for better programs. The minister will have a newly-developed funding division program within one and a half month.

Kilis noted that 389 or 46% of high school education programs have been recognized as very good. Other programs are considered to have some flaws that should be addressed.

As it is well known, the ESM performed an education program assessment, using the results gained by experts of the Higher Education Council’s realized European Social fund project – “Higher education program evaluation and proposals for improvements.” As a result, the ministry has developed an alternative education program categorization based on the quality of education programs and their longevity.

The alternative education program categorization provides for setting three groups of programs the longevity of which is not questionable, programs that can be improved, and programs the longevity of which is questionable.

In accordance with the experts’ quantitative data and the ministry’s used methodology, Group A (education programs that are of high quality) includes 389 education programs – 46% of the total number of active high school education programs. Group B (programs that have flaws and require improvements) includes 264 education programs – 32% of the total number of high school education programs. Group C (longevity of which is in question) includes 183 programs – 22% of the total number. Compared with the Higher Education Council’s division of education programs, the evaluation of education programs was improved in 43 cases and remained unchanged in 459 cases. Evaluation was reduced for 334 programs.

Results of the analysis state the Higher Education Council’s division of education programs has a very weak link with experts’ conclusions. Quantitative data offers some insights, but it remains only part of the full analysis of the situation. Therefore, the minister took the initiative to develop a mechanism to use the data from both models, so that the information can be used in decision making in relation to future budget funding allocation for education programs.

After the minister’s request on September 14, 2012, the Higher Education Council received the Excel file containing experts’ quantitative evaluation of all 852 education programs. 842 programs were included for further analysis. As it turned out, the information regarding ten programs was submitted twice. At the same time, it is important to note the restriction of available data: only 17% of all evaluated education programs have been evaluated in relation to all 62 criteria. With that, the minister’s carried out evaluation only covered 836 education programs.

The ministry’s proposed education program evaluation analysis can be used as one of the criteria for the determination of which education programs are eligible to receive state funding. The evaluation information will be used as analytical material for education program accreditation for members of the commission. Nonetheless, the accreditation process will still feature the data gained as a result of the ESF project – both qualitative and quantitative.


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Some 5,000 gather in protest rally outside Lithuania's Parliament

Some 5,000 people gathered outside the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius on Thursday, March 15, to express discontent with the failed parliamentary vote to impeach MP Mindaugas Bastys and the performance of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.

BNN summary of the week: oligarch talks’ ownership; scandals in Lithuania; Estonia wants direct democracy

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Scandals; Invitation; Fight; Opinion; Decline.

Remembrance day of Latvian Legionnaires passes with shouts and two arrests

The Legionnaires’ remembrance procession in Riga on Friday, 16 March, passed peacefully. Nevertheless, several conflicts did take place among differently-minded people near the Freedom Monument. Two individuals were arrested by police.

Influenza intensity in Latvia – moderate when compared to other European nations

A comparison of influenza activity in Europe shows that it is high or very high in several countries. Latvia’s influenza intensity is considered moderate, as noted by epidemiologist Raina Nikiforova.

Hourly labour costs in Latvia grew 7.3% in 2017

Compared to Q4 2016, in Q4 2017 hourly labour costs rose by 54 cents or 7.3 %, reaching EUR 8.02. Seasonally adjusted data show identical changes – rise of 7.3 %.

Rietumu Banka claims it has not worked with high-risk clients for years

Rietumu Banka has been steadily rejecting high-risk clients for years and has significantly reduced the volume of transactions, as mentioned by the bank’s representatives.

Lithuanian and Estonian businessmen are ahead of Latvia in terms of investments

In Latvia, 36% of small and medium-sized companies have plans to invest in the development of their business this year. In Estonia and Lithuania, on the other hand, the proportion of businesses with development plans is 42% and 46%, respectively, according to results of a recent study performed by SEB Bank.

Russia pledges maximum pressure on UK amid ex-spy poisoning row

Russian top diplomat in the UK has envisaged on Friday, March 16, that the Kremlin would use maximum pressure on London as Moscow insists it has not been involved in the poisoning of a former Russian-British double agent with a Russian-made chemical weapon, as has been found by British investigators.

Latvia’s ministry: Crimea’s annexation is illegal

18 March 2018 will mark four years since the Russian Federation violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing the Crimean Peninsula and causing military aggression in the country’s eastern region. With its actions the Russian Federation has violated international law and basic principles of international relation, says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Building gas pipe to Finland, Estonia to organise works for EUR 135 million

Continuing the works on the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland, the Estonian natural gas network company Elering has stated that around 135 million euros, including a 98-million-euro funding from the European Union, will be invested in the project.

Replacement of cash registers rejected by SRS would cost half a million euros

The State Revenue Service has declined 18,000 cash registers as unfitting for requirements established by the Cabinet of Ministers. Fixing the problems found in them would cost half a million euros, as reported by LNT News.

Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee presented with protest restrictions on 16 March

Administrative District Court has compiled a shortened ruling, in which it rejected Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee’s application and preserved the decision imposed by Riga City acting CEO on 13 March 2018 on establishing restrictions on the planned gathering and protest act for 16 March unchanged.

U.S. introduces Russian sanctions for election meddling and cyber-attacks

Washington has introduced sanctions against 19 Russian individuals and five entities blaming them for attempts to sway the 2016 U.S. election and perceived cyber-attacks.

Slovakian PM Fico replaced with fellow party member

Slovakian head of government Robert Fico has stepped down after the murder of a journalist shed light on corruption in Slovakia, prompting nationwide protests. The long-standing Prime Minister had offered to resign earlier this week if the ruling coalition was allowed to finish its term.

Weekends will be cold and sunny in Latvia; next week will have volatile weather

Starting with Sunday, 18 March, air temperature in Latvia will rise above zero in most of the country, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s ruling LFGU party remains unscathed by scandals

It seems that, for now, Lithuania‘s ruling Farmers and Green Union has been nearly damage-proof despite the lambasting.

Latvian Civic Alliance: non-government sector should aim towards cooperation

Latvian Civic Alliance has invited the management of Latvia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry to meet to discuss ongoing cooperation between organizations representing the business sector and the NGO sector.

Saeima rejects National Alliance’s proposal to make 16 March an official remembrance day

Latvia’s Saeima has decided to reject the proposal submitted by the National Alliance on making 16 March an official remembrance day.

43.6% of Latvian households have difficulties with making ends meet

In 2017 the share of households admitting that pay for usual necessary expenses with difficulty or great difficulty constituted 43.6 %, which is 1.5 percentage points more than in 2016.

Saeima voices support for Rail Baltica project’s progression

On Thursday, 15 March, the Saeima made a decision to support Rail Baltica project’s progression. In its decision, the parliament invited Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers to provide all the necessary support for the project’s successful realization to ensure the project is realized in accordance with established terms and does not lose funding or support from the European Union, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Fast snow shovelling linked to cardiac fatalities, Finnish study finds

In Finish doctoral study, it has been concluded that snow should be shovelled calmly, not provoking stress and increased adrenaline in human blood that could lead to cardiac arrest.

Riga’s mayor spent at least eight million euros of residents’ money to promote himself

Over the course of the past three years, at least EUR 8 million of residents’ money has been used to promote the image of the Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs. This money was used to buy media, employ young members of Harmony, and finance ‘in-house protestors’ and using social networks, as estimated by Re:Baltica research journalism center.

Slovenia's head of government resigns amid protests and struggling railway investment

The Slovenian head of government Miro Cerar has stepped down from office in reaction to troubles with an expensive railway project and mounting opposition by trade unions.

NAF Commander: Latvia and Estonia have joint military procurements planned

Latvia and Estonia have joint military procurements planned, Commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš told journalists after his meeting with Commander of Estonia’s Defence Forces Riho Terras.

Estonia's switch to free higher education proved right choice, says Ratas

The switch to free higher education made by Estonia in 2013 has proved to be the right choice for a small country, even though critics have pointed to potentially less motivated students, has stated the Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

Newest comments