Education in Latvia

09.07.19 08:05 PM By Europe Immigration Service

Rights to education 

Every citizen  of Latvia, holders of non-citizen passports issued by the Republic of Latvia, citizens of European Union, European Economic Area countries and Switzerland, permanent residents of the European Community holding a residence permit for Latvia, stateless persons in possession of a travelling document issued by the Republic of Latvia, third country nationals or stateless persons who are in possession of a valid residence permit for the Republic of Latvia, persons having refugee or alternative status and persons who have received temporary protection within the Republic of Latvia have equal rights to education in Latvia.

Basic and Secondary education

General education in Latvia in total lasts 12 years consisting of 9-years basic education (compulsory for all children starting from the age of 7 and is usually completed till the age of 16) and 3-years secondary education. 


There are 2 types of programmes at the secondary education level: academic secondary education programmes and vocational secondary education programmes. The main task of academic secondary education programmes is to prepare for further studies at university, while the vocational secondary programmes are more aimed at acquiring a vocational qualification, i.e. for entering the labor market. 

Latvian University

Higher education

The admission procedure is not centralised: each higher education institution has its own admission board and criteria. Starting year 2004 entrance examinations are replaced by the results of the national centralised secondary education examinations. A Certificate of secondary general education is required to continue education at the level of higher education.

Tuition fee

The tuition fee for pre-school, basic and secondary education in a state or municipality founded educational establishment shall be funded from the national or municipal budget. A private educational institution may set a tuition fee for providing education.

In higher education programmes the state covers tuition fees for a certain number of students. Each higher educational institution may set a tuition fee for the other students’ places.

Any student is entitled to a state guaranteed loan for his/ her studies in higher education programmes. A foreign citizen or stateless person pays for his/ her education in accordance with the agreement concluded with the respective educational establishment. The tuition fee for the citizens of European Union countries and their children shall be determined and covered according to the same procedure as for the citizens and permanent residents of the Republic of Latvia.