University of Latvia

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Group.png University of Latvia  
(UniversityTwitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
University of Latvia emblem.png
HeadquartersRiga, Latvia
The oldest and biggest university in Latvia
Main entrance on Rainis Boulevard.

The University of Latvia (Latvijas Universitāte, shortened LU) is a state-run university located in Riga, Latvia established in 1919.

The QS World University Rankings places the university between 801st and 1000th globally,[1] seventh in the Baltic states,[2] and 50th in the EECA (Emerging Europe and Central Asia) category.[3]


Central building, originally constructed for the Riga Polytechnic.

The University of Latvia, initially named as the Higher School of Latvia (Latvijas Augstskola) was founded on September 28, 1919 on the basis of the former Riga Polytechnic (founded in 1862).[4] The first rector of the university was chemist Paul Walden. In 1923, the school received its current name with the approval of its constitution, the University of Latvia (Universitas Latviensis).

In the period between 1919 and 1940, the University of Latvia was the main centre of higher education, science and culture in the Republic of Latvia. The former building of the Riga Polytechnic on Raiņa bulvāris 19 serves as the university's main building. In the pre-WWII years, it was possible to gain higher academic education not only at the University of Latvia but also at the Latvian State Conservatory and Academy of Arts.

With the beginning of the Soviet era, the university was renamed as the Latvian State University (LVU, Template:Lang-lv) from 1940 to 1941 and from 1944/1945 to 1958. Under the Nazi occupation, from 1942 to 1944/1945 its name was the University of Riga. After World War II, over time the Latvian University of Agriculture, Riga Stradiņš University, and Riga Technical University separated from the University of Latvia and became well-known centres of education and research in their own right. In 1958, the university was renamed as the Pēteris Stučka Latvian State University, which was its official name until 1990.

With Latvia regaining independence, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia reconfirmed the Constitution of the University of Latvia on September 18, 1991. It stated that the institution is "a state establishment of academic education, science and culture which serves the needs of Latvia and its people".[5] Alongside the Constitution, the flag, the hymn, the University's emblem, the Rector's chain, and the official garments for the Rector, Vice-Rector and deans were re-adopted as attributes of the University of Latvia.

The EuroFaculty, created by the CBSS to support reforms at the universities in Tartu, Riga, and Vilnius was organized with its headquarters at the University of Latvia from 1993 to 2005.[6] The Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy was merged into the university in 2017.[7]


The University of Latvia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels of study and in October 2014 more than 14,000 students, including Ph.D. and exchange students, had enrolled in various study programs.[8] Almost one third of them studied in business and economics related programs.

Notable alumni


Alumni on Wikispooks

Andris Piebalgs17 September 1957LatviaPoliticianAttended the 2006 Bilderberg as European Commissioner for Energy
Einars Repše9 December 1961LatviaPoliticianWEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1993. President of the Latvian Central Bank 1991-2001. Prime Minister of Latvia 2002-2004.
Jānis Sārts28 July 1972LatviaSpook
Latvian propagandist with some deep state connections.