University of Latvia
Master in International Migration and Social Cohesion
About the University of Latvia
The University of Latvia (UL) with its 18,000 students, 13 faculties and more than 20 research institutes is the largest comprehensive university in the Baltic States. University of Latvia (UL) was founded on September 28, 1919. The new higher educational institution became one of the most essential freedom manifestos of the Latvian people. Therefore, the University of Latvia is more closely connected with the history of independent Latvia than any other higher education institution in the country. Over the ninety years of its existence, from a higher school of a hundred lecturers with less than one thousand students, the University of Latvia has evolved into one of the leading Latvian higher educational institutions. The University offers more than 150 state-accredited academic and professional study programmes. At UL, research is conducted in over 50 research fields which represent four main areas of inquiry: the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and education sciences. The University of Latvia pays great attention to the development of international collaboration. At present the University of Latvia has signed more than 500 agreements with 326 institutions in 31 European countries within the ERASMUS programme. Each year, approximately 300 students of the UL study abroad with the help of international exchange programmes, thus perfecting their skills and abilities; in turn, the University of Latvia welcomes approximately 250 international students.
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences (SZF) was established in 2000 and approximately 1,000 students began their studies in the faculty. Today the Faculty is among the five biggest faculties at UL, with more than 2,000 students and offers studies in the fields of Sociology, Political Science, Information and Library Studies and Communication Science at all levels – bachelor, master and doctoral. SZF offers four Master study programmes.
The environment in which students pursue their studies is modern and well-equipped. Instructors are well known Latvian experts in their fields. The faculty’s library is Latvia’s most extensive and best information resource centre in the fields of political science, sociology, social work and communications. The library contains more than 30,000 books, magazines, educational resources and units of electronic resources.
The Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI) was opened by the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2004 and it offers excellent opportunities for research. The institute has three main areas of focus: Regional development in Latvia; Latvia’s role in the region of Baltic Sea states and Northern Europe; Democracy, minorities and culture. Among the various areas of research pursued by ASPRI are social integration, in particular immigrant integration.
About the Master Study Programme of Sociology
In the year 2007 the Master Study Programme of Sociology was recognized as the leading programme in Sociology in Latvia. The goal of the master’s degree programme in sociology is to train highly qualified specialists who can do independent work in research, can continue their academic career whilst pursuing a doctorate, and work in those areas of the profession which relate to sociology.
MISOCO Academic Advisor
Dr Baiba Bela is the UL Academic Advisor within MISOCO.
Dr. Bela is an associate professor in sociology and social anthropology and Director of the Master Study Programme in Sociology. Research interests are connected with oral history, narrative analysis, memory and identity, also human development, migration and quality of life.
Baiba Bela is the author of 37 articles in journals and collected articles, mainly in Latvian. Articles in English have appeared in Pro Ethnologia (2003), ELORE (2006), Suomen Antropologi (2007), Humanities and Social Sciences of Latvia (2008). Recently she has been engaged in research of individual and collective identities of exiled Latvians in Sweden and is editor and co-author of the book “We didn’t go to Sweden to become Swedes” (Bela et. al., 2010, in Latvian).