VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Latvia  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research 

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Current VET/HRD research

VET research institutions in Latvia did not exist before 1990. Research on VET was fragmented and had a low impact on VET policy. 

Regular 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. 

The 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).

Future VET/HRD research

The 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. 

Besides 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.

We 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. 

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Latvia (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO