Press Release

Entrant number gone up while enrolments down

Latest data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in the academic year 2019/2020 higher education is acquired by 79.4 thousand students, which is a drop of 1.2 % over the year. However, for the second year in a row an upturn in the entrant number is registered.

In the academic year 2019/2020, 29.4 thousand students entered Latvian higher education institutions, which is a drop of 6.3 %, compared to the year before. Females still constitute majority of the entrants – 16.1 thousand students or 54.8 % of the higher education institution entrants. Studies of more than a half of the entrants (57.1 %) were non-subsidised, and studies of 42.9 % of students were state-subsidised.

Change in the number of entrants, enrolments and graduates with degree or qualification

Change in the number of entrants, enrolments and graduates with degree or qualification

Almost every fifth entrant (17.2 %) was a mobile student who acquired previous education abroad. Currently in Latvia there are 10.1 thousand mobile students, which is 21.1 % more than a year ago and almost twice as much than in 2014. Males account for 7 out of 10 mobile students. More than a half (53.7 %) of the total number of mobile students is formed by students that have acquired their previous education in India, Uzbekistan and Germany. The highest number of mobile students (2.3 thousand) is studying in Riga Stradiņš University.

* Social sciences, business and law together with humanities and arts;

** Science, mathematics and computing together with engineering, manufacturing and construction;

***Services programmes include: hotel, restaurant and catering, travel, tourism and leisure, sports etc.; transport services; environmental protection; security services (protection of persons and property, military and defence).

Similarly to the previous years, also in this academic year majority of the first-year students (44.1 %) entered programmes of social sciences and humanities – 10.7 and 2.2 thousand, respectively. At the same time, higher number of entrants is registered in health and welfare programmes – 4.6 thousand students (15.6 %), which is 9.1 % more than last year. Engineering and life science programmes (incl. IT) were entered in total by 7.3 thousand students (24.7 %), which is the same number as a year ago.

For the third year in a row, number of educational institutions has not changed – there are 54 higher education institutions (29 universities and 25 colleges).  More than a half of the total enrolments study in three largest Latvian universities – University of Latvia, Riga Technical University and Riga Stradiņš University. In 12 educational institutions (mainly colleges) there are fewer than 200 students.

Compared to the previous academic year, the total enrolments (79.4 thousand) has declined almost by one thousand, while over the past five year by 4.9 thousand or 5.8 %. Social sciences and humanities still are the most popular fields of education (chosen by 32.9 thousand students or 41.4 % of the total enrolments), followed by engineering and science (19.6 thousand or 24.7 %). Health and welfare programme enrolments have grown as well – in this academic year they were chosen by 13.1 thousand students (16.4 %), indicating a rise of 14 %, compared to 2015.

In the academic year 2019/2020, doctoral programmes are implemented by 20 higher education institutions. Currently 2 052 doctoral students are participating in these programmes, more than one third of them have chosen social sciences.

In 2019, degree or qualification was acquired by 14.8 thousand students, which is 3.4 % less than a year before. Out of the graduates, slightly more than 35 % or 5.2 thousand students graduated from the programmes of social sciences, business and law. Since 2010, the number of Latvian higher education institution graduates has declined almost twice.

Key indicators of higher education








Higher education institutions and colleges








 101 270

 131 125

 103 856

81 602

80 355

79 408


32 950

43 826

31 012

27 128

27 652

29 399


15 009

26 124

26 545

14 587

15 363

14 848

More information on the latest higher education statistics will be available on 5 March in the CSB website section Education.


Media requests:
Communication Section

Phone: +371 67366989, +371 27880666

More information on data:
Social Statistics Data Compilation and Analysis Section
Rolands Ņikitins
Phone: +371 67366742


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