Study Guide
ECTS and Evaluation

1 ECTS is defined as a study workload of 40 working hours. An average workload of a full time study year in most study programmes is 60 ECTS, and 30 ECTS per semester. Latvian credit system is compatible with ECTS. The number of ECTS credits is found by multiplying the number of Latvian credits by a factor of 1.5. The university does not have any requirements for minimum or maximum number of ECTS chosen by exchange students. However, it is recommended to have 30 ECTS per semester to provide a reasonable amount of study load.

Evaluation of study courses is organized in the form of examination or continuous assessment. Students in Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences do not have so called session weeks. Exams and tests are taken at the end of the course. In addition to the tests and exams, students are evaluated by the assignments regularly given to the students during the course. Independent study and research work of the students is the key factor for improvement of the knowledge acquired and development of various professional skills of the students. In bachelor study programmes students work on research projects, and in the final year they write a bachelor thesis. In master study programmes students have to write a master thesis at the end of their studies.

The comparatively small number of the students in groups ensures good relationships between students and lecturers, which contributes to the quality of the study process.

In Latvia a 10-point grading scheme is used for knowledge assessment:

Achieve­ment level

Grade

Meaning

Approx. ECTS grade

Very high

10

with distinction

A

9

excellent

A

High

8

very good

B

7

good

C

Medium

6

almost good

D

5

satisfactory

E

4

almost satisfactory

E/FX

Low

3-1

unsatisfactory

Fail

 

To find out more on the education system in Latvia, see here.

Study administration

ViA Study Administration Unit is located in Cēsu Street building, room C205 (e-mail: studijas@va.lv)

Please turn to this unit if you have a question regarding:

  • Enrolment
  • Study agreements full-degree students)
  • Individual evaluation sheets of study courses
  • Transcripts of records and other confirmations
  • Registration for next study semester (full-degree students)
  • Change of personal details
  • Application for scholarships

Transcript of records

Study Administration Unit also issues confirmation documents (e.g. about student status) and transcripts of records in Latvian and English. In case you need any of these documents during your studies, please contact the student service by email studijas@va.lv to order these documents. Further details on receipt of prepared documents and charge if applicable will be emailed to you.

Exchange student study period confirmation and transcript of records is prepared after the end of the study period and mailed to the partner university.

Academic Debts

It may happen that due to some reasons you fail to complete a study course. There can be various reasons for that – unsuccessful results of the exam, or you have failed to fulfil the requirements of the course due to illness etc. It is possible to take the exam again and complete the course. First, you have to agree with the teacher about the procedure for completing the course (time, place). Then you have to turn to Study Administration Unit to receive the individual evaluation sheet of the study course. The Student service staff will inform you if the repeated examination is subject to a fee.

Academic Calendar

Autumn Semester

Application form and list of courses offered in English available on www.va.lv/en/

March

Application deadlines for students

May 1 (exchange)

May 1 (full degree - Non-EU/ EEA)

May 31 (full-degree - EU/ EEA/ Swiss Confederation)

Letter of acceptance

Will be sent within 1 month after the deadline of application

Your Latvian student mentor will contact you

Beginning of August

Arrival information should be sent to international@va.lv and your student mentor

Until August 20

Official arrival dates (set individually each year)

Around August 26 – 27

First day of accommodation (set individually each year)

Around August 26

Orientation days and course registration

Last week of August

Beginning of semester (set individually each year)

September

End of semester (set individually each year)

January

Christmas holidays

December 24 - January 1

Period for individual research projects and internships

January 2 - 28

Last day of accommodation

December 31 (January 31)

Transcript of records will be sent to your home university

End of February

 

Other holidays:

September 27 - Anniversary Day of the foundation of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences

November 18 - Independence Day of Latvia

 

Spring Semester

Application form and updated list of courses offered in English available on www.va.lv/en/

August

Application deadline for students

October 15 (exchange)

May 1 (full degree - Non-EU/ EEA)

May 31 (full-degree - EU/ EEA/ Swiss Confederation)

Letter of acceptance

Will be sent within 1 month after the deadline of application

Your Latvian student mentor will contact you

Beginning of January

Arrival information should be sent to international@va.lv and your student mentor

Until January 20

Official arrival dates (set individually each year)

Around January 25 - 26

First day of accommodation (set individually each year)

Around January 25

Orientation days and course registration

Last week of January

Beginning of semester (set individually each year)

February

End of semester (set individually each year)

June

Period for individual research projects and internships

June 1 - 30

Last day of accommodation

June 30

Transcript of records will be sent to your home university

End of July

 

Other holidays:

March/April – Easter holidays (each year Easter is on a different date)

May 1 - Labour Holiday

May 4 - Day of Proclamation of Independence Declaration

June 23 - 24 - Summer Solstice celebration

Registration (full-degree students)

Starting from the 2nd semester of the 1st year, full-degree students are required to register for their studies. Registration takes place before every semester and confirms the student’s intention to continue the studies. International full-degree students will receive an e-mail from Student Administration Unit with further instructions regarding registration before every semester, as well as information regarding the financial, library, student hostel or academic debts, if any.

Lecture Schedule

08:00 - 09:30

1. lecture

09:45 - 11:15

2. lecture

11:30 - 13:00

3. lecture

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch break 1 hour

14:00 - 15:30

4. lecture

15:45 - 17:15

5. lecture

17:30 - 19:00

6. lecture

19:10 - 20:40

7. lecture

20:50 - 22:20

8. lecture

 

Note:  some courses may meet for two or three consecutive sessions, one day per week.  Other courses may meet for one or two sessions, multiple times per week. Furthermore, some courses may meet one day in one week, and two days in the following week.  It is wise to regularly review your schedule.  

The building in Cēsu Street is open:

  • Working days 7:45 – 21:15 (or according to lecture schedule)
  • Saturdays 9:00 – 17:15 (or according to lecture schedule)
  • Sundays – building open only if there are lectures

The building in Tērbatas Street is open:

  • only if there are lectures (30 minutes before and 15 after the lectures)

Language Course

All exchange students are offered a Latvian language and culture course (6 ECTS in Autumn semester, 3 ECTS in Spring semester) during their studies at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. It is our belief that learning the local language helps to get acquainted with the local culture and gives a better understanding of the Latvian spirit.

Apart from Latvian language course, students can also choose to study the following languages: English, German, French, Chinese, and Russian.

Orientation Week

Every semester an Orientation Week is held for all international exchange students before the beginning of studies. Orientation Week is designed to help international students settle and get acquainted with life in Valmiera and studies at ViA. Orientation Week consists of sessions concerning academic and practical issues, library, Student Union, life in Valmiera, as well as social events and trips. Usually orientation week is held one week before the semester while regular courses and studies starts from the 1st week of the semester. The programme for the orientation week will be emailed to all international students before their arrival.

Orientation Week is organised in close cooperation with student mentors. Mentors are Latvian students who want to spend time with international students, introduce international students with a lot of practical things connected to living in Valmiera and who are the best advisors for international students. Each international student has been assigned a student mentor who will get in touch before arrival.

ICT Facilities

Computers, Software, Internet

ViA provides computers and software and Internet connection necessary for the lectures and practical assignments. There are computer labs only in the second building (Tērbatas Street 10). All the auditoriums of the university have a computer and a projector. If you need to use a projector during a class, ask your lecturer.

Wireless internet is provided in all university buildings including student hostel. In the university building it can be accessed by using student username and password.

If you need some other equipment to complete your study assignments, for example, Dictaphones, microphones, video or photo cameras, you have to write an application, confirm it with your teacher and submit it in room C011. It is recommended to make a reservation of the equipment beforehand as there are a lot of students who might need it at the same time.

E-mail

Each student receives a university mailbox upon starting studies. The university e-mail consists of student name and surname, separated by a dot: name.surname@va.lv. All university students, as well as teachers and other staff can be contacted this way. The mailbox can be used by accessing https://box.va.lv from any place with an Internet connection.

University email and e-learning system are the main tools for student, teacher and staff electronic communication during the whole period of studies, and possibly also after studies as the e-mail can be used also after graduation. Student username and password is the same for all university IT systems, including email, e-learning etc.

Webpage

The university webpage www.va.lv/en contains a lot of useful information, for example, contacts of teachers and administrative staff, information on study and practical issues, useful links etc. From the top menu all other IT systems of the university can be accessed.

E-learning Environment

University has its own e-learning system which serves as a tool of communication between students and teachers and as support for studies. In the e-learning system you can find lecture materials posted by teachers, send in your assignments, communicate with the teacher and your course mates etc. The teachers will inform you if they use the e-learning support in their courses and they will also add you to the respective course in the e-learning system.

We recommend using Internet browser Mozilla Firefox for using e-learning system. If you have any problems while using the system, please contact the IT Service by datori@va.lv

Online Lesson Schedule

The lesson schedule can be viewed online. Choose your study programme and click on Show button. In the lesson schedule students can see the time, title and teacher of the lecture. The system also allows teacher and auditorium view, which can be used, for example, to see if there are any free rooms. Lesson schedule must be checked frequently to see if there are any changes of time or place of the planned class.

Password

Students receive their usernames and passwords during an information session in Orientation Week. Please change your password and keep it as secret!

IT Service

If you have a problem with IT facilities, please address them to the IT Service staff in room C011 or send your question by email to datori@va.lv.

University ID

During the orientation week, all students will also receive a university ID card which serves as an ID for library, copying and other purposes.

Internships and Employment

Students can apply for an internship during their study period at ViA. Internships are provided in cooperation with many enterprises and professional partners of the university. In most cases, internships are without salary.

The unemployment rates are still rather high in Latvia, thus finding a part-time job while studying is very difficult, especially if students do not know the local language.

The citizens of EU/ EEA and Swiss Confederation do not have any limitations regarding their employment; they have the same status as local citizens. Students from all other countries will need a work permit or specific visa to do a job.

Full-degree international students are eligible to apply for a scholarship and participate in international internship programmes offered at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences to do an internship abroad. For more information, please contact International Office by email international@va.lv.

State Scholarships (full- degree students)

Full-degree students who have received Latvian state supported study placement, can apply for the following scholarships:

  • Minimum (monthly) scholarship
  • Increased scholarship
  • Social scholarship

Minimum monthly scholarship

The amount of the scholarship is EUR 99.60. It is awarded for 1 semester: in Autumn semester from September to January, in Spring from February to June. The scholarship is available to any student who has a state supported study placement and who is fulfilling the requirements of the study courses and has successfully completed the courses. The scholarship is awarded on basis of competition. The application is open until September 15 and February 15.

Increased monthly scholarship

The amount of the scholarship is up to EUR 199.20 per month. The scholarship is available to a student who has a state supported study placement and the average grade in the previous semester is 10, and the student has completed some scientific work. The other scholarship terms are the same as for the minimum scholarship.

Social scholarship

Social scholarship is a single (or in case of pregnancy – monthly) scholarship up to EUR 99.60 during 1 semester. The amount of the scholarship is determined by the Scholarship Awarding Committee, which evaluates the documents submitted by the student. The application for this scholarship is announced at the beginning of every semester.

The criteria for receiving this scholarship include:

  • Death of a family member
  • Pregnancy, birth of a child or adoption
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Marriage

Application

Study Administration Unit will inform all international full-degree students by e-mail about the availability of the scholarships and application details.

Diplomas and diploma supplements

The diploma of higher education - an educational document acknowledged by the state, which attests higher education acquired by the person after the acquisition of internationally accredited educational programme agreeably to the certain level of higher education.

Diploma Supplement – the document made according to the regulations of the European Commission, the Council of Europe, Education, science and culture organisation of the United Nations (UNESCO/CEPES), which provides objective information and ensures an academic and professional acknowledgement of the corresponding diploma in Latvia and abroad.

The data on the essence, level, context, contents and status of the successfully graduated studies by the person listed in the original of the diploma have been included in the diploma Supplement.

In order to be awarded with The Diploma Supplement label, diploma supplement must demonstrate that all the elements of the model developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO are included.

The European Commission awarded Vidzemes University of Applied Siencies with the Diploma Supplement label in 2010.

Diploma Supplement is being issued in English and Latvian, given automatically and free of charge to every student upon graduation.