System of education
The Latvian education system consists of pre-school education, basic education, secondary education and higher education. General education in Latvia in total lasts 12 years consisting of compulsory 9-years basic education and 3-years secondary education. Additionally pre-school education at age of 5-6 is compulsory in Latvia.
Basic education stage comprises general basic education (grades 1-9) and vocational basic education. Secondary education stage comprises general secondary education, vocational secondary education and vocational education. Higher education comprises both academic and professional study programmes.
- More information on educational system: Ministry of Education and Science website
- More information on study programmes for foreign students: Study in Latvia Study in Europe
- Latvian Self-Assessment Report about referencing the Latvian education system to the EQF and the QF-EHEA (2nd version, May 2012): Latvian English
- Latvian one-off Report on Validation "Implementation of Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning Outcomes in Latvia" (2018): Latvian English
- Updated Self-Assessment Report about referencing the Latvian Qualifications Framework to the EQF and the QF-EHEA (2018): Latvian English
Vocational education in Latvia
Vocational education programmes in Latvia are provided at three levels:
- basic education (integrated primary and lower secondary);
- secondary education (upper secondary);
- higher education.
Vocational education combines education and practical training (50-65% of curricula depending on the type of programme) at school and enterprises. Vocational education at secondary level can be implemented also as an apprenticeship type scheme (nationally called “work-based learning”) with flexible curricula taking place alternately at school and in enterprise.
Vocational education institutions, depending on founder, can be public (State, local government) and private. Institutions that provide vocational secondary education programmes and additionally act as regional methodological and continuing education centres and carry out validation of non-formal and informal learning may obtain a status of vocational education competence centre according to criteria established by the Cabinet of Ministers.