The Foreign Investors Council in Latvia (FICIL) has been focusing on the education system in Latvia for many years now. During the annual FICIL Sentiment Index research, investors repeatedly pointed to the lack of willingness to address the issues of governance and funding of higher education institutions as one of the worst decisions by politicians.

On April 9, at the invitation of the Saeima Education, Culture and Science Committee, FICIL presented the investors’ recommendations aimed at modernizing the governance of higher education institutions.

The range of problems in the field of higher education is much wider – insufficient funding, challenges related to the consolidation of higher education institutions, the need to attract high-quality teaching staff from abroad, etc. However, investors believe that improving the governance of higher education institutions can become a decisive catalyst for broader changes in higher education that are geared towards improving its quality and competitiveness. The management model offered by FICIL has been used for a long time by universities throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world, including in the world’s top-rated universities.

FICIL believes that there is a need for a clear separation of decision-making functions and executive powers in higher education institutions, by involving employers and experts with international experience in strategic management of universities, thus ensuring close interaction between higher education institutions and the job market, as well as promoting responsibility of higher education institution leadership for achieving the desired outcome.

We are pleased that the Minister of Education, in the discussion of the Education, Culture and Science Committee on 9 April, also agreed that changes in the governance of higher education institutions were necessary and confirmed the Ministry’s readiness to address these problems.

FICIL’s recommendations are our efforts to create a constructive dialogue among the business community and the higher education sector, and our goal is to use this as rational discussions on necessary improvements in the field of higher education that would benefit both students and the business community.