research institutions in Latvia did not exist before 1990. Research on
VET was fragmented and had a low impact on VET policy.
research on VET/HRD in Latvia started in 1996 and was initiated by the
ETF. The main research activities concentrated on issues that were relevant
to priorities set by VET development programmes and EU strategic documents.
Since 2003 the number of VET/HRD research activities have decreased due
to limited funding, because till 2003 the VET research activities were
significantly supported by the ETF.
total expenditure for research and development in Latvia was 0.47% of GDP
in 2000, 0.41% in 2001, 0,42% in 2002 and 0,38% in 2003. It is very low
in comparison with the EU average. The main state funding for fundamental
and applied research is devoted to IT, organic synthesis and biomedicine,
science of materials, forestry science and wood technologies, and letonica
(Latvian language and culture).
main funding for VET related research in the next years will come from
the ESF. The ESF project activities are based on priorities stated in the
Single Programming Document. The Single Programming Document stated that,
considering the current situation in the labour market, in the period of
2004-2006 one of the priorities should be given to the research and analysis
of the labour market situation, including the obstacles for entering the
labour market. Since 2005 the labour market research has started and some
research is already finalised.
the already mentioned activities, the coordination of VET related research
is an issue which needs to be discussed and solved in this country. Also,
research activities directed to VET accessibility, quality, effectiveness
and life long learning should be developed.
have at least five university institutions providing teacher education,
including the Humanitarian Institute of Riga Technical University, the
Education Research Institute which is part of the Faculty of Pedagogy and
Psychology at the University of Latvia, the Institutes of Philosophy and
Sociology at the University of Latvia. The VET research capacity in pedagogical
universities should be highlighted and disseminated more efficiently.