Riga Stradiņš University

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Rīga Stradiņš University
Rīgas Stradiņa universitāte
Stradini logo lat v.jpg
Rīga Stradiņš University logo
Latin: Universitas Rigensis Stradina
Motto Ars longa, vita brevis
Established 1 September 1950
Type Public
Endowment €25 million
Rector Jānis Gardovskis
Administrative staff
1,318 (2014)
Students 7,412 (2014)
Undergraduates 6,129 (2013)
Postgraduates 1,283 (2013)
139 (2013)
Location Riga, Latvia
Campus Urban
Colours Red ‹See Tfm›     White ‹See Tfm›     Silver ‹See Tfm›    
Nickname Stradiņi, RSU
Website www.rsu.lv/eng
RSU logo

Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) (Latvian: Rīgas Stradiņa universitāte, Latin: Universitas Rigensis Stradina) is a public university located in the city of Riga, Latvia. The Stradiņš (pronounced ˈstradiɲʃ) name in the university’s title is fitting, since members of the Stradiņš family have had a significant influence on the course of community and academic life in Latvia for over a century. The professional work of Pauls Stradiņš, Dean of the University of Latvia Faculty of Medicine, ensured the passing on of the values, standards, and quality of education in medicine, creating a bridge between pre- and post-war Latvian education and science, and placing a firm foundation for the creation and development of Rīga Stradiņš University.[1]

Rīga Stradiņš University[edit]

1996 Latvian postage stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of Professor Pauls Stradiņš

In 1950, Riga Medical Institute was established on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine of the State University of Latvia. The initiators were professors Pauls Stradiņš (1896–1958) and Ernests Burtnieks (1950–1958) - the first Director of Riga Medical Institute, and Healthcare Minister of the Republic of Latvia Ādolfs Krauss. Initially the institute included the faculties of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, as well as 45 departments.

Rīga Stradiņš University is a state-funded university which offers various study programmes and ensures the realisation of scientific projects, providing training of experts in health care and social sciences who work in Latvia and across the world. Rīga Stradiņš University is the only university in Latvia which has traditionally been integrated into the healthcare system of the country, and therefore ensures a successful run of the university, which is a precondition for an effective existence of the health care system in Latvia.

RSU is autonomous and academically free to pursue its goals and tasks, working for the benefit of the state and society, and offering a wide array of academic and professional education and research opportunities in the fields of health care, social care, social sciences and natural sciences.


On 2 February 1920, Swedish professor Gaston Bakman held the first lecture on human anatomy in the Theatrum Anatomicum Rigense (currently Anatomical Theatre in Riga). This lecture was the forebearer of higher education in medicine in Latvia. Professor Gaston Bakman believed that this was also the beginning of the Institute of Anatomy and Histology, as well as the Museum of Anatomy in Riga.

After World War II, only two professors of medicine remained in Latvia and one of them was Professor Pauls Stradiņš, who in a very short time as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine managed to rebuild and renew the education and science of medicine from scratch. In 1950, Riga Medical Institute was established on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine of the State University of Latvia. Initially the institute included the faculties of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, as well as 45 departments.

In 1990, the Institute was renamed Medical Academy of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Medicīnas akadēmija, Latin: Academia Medicinaei Latviensis), but already on 5 April 1998, the Constitutional Assembly made the decision to rename Medical Academy of Latvia, based on its actual activities as Rīga Stradiņš University. Rīga Stradiņš University in time developed into a university type higher education institution, as it trains experts not only in the fields of medicine and pharmacy, but also offers study programmes in social sciences, natural sciences, public health and law. On 13 June 2002, Rīga Stradiņš University Act came into effect and Medical Academy of Latvia was renamed Rīga Stradiņš University.

Today Rīga Stradiņš University offers various options to acquire education. Students can pursue their academic and personal goals in faculties, divisions, academic schools and institutes. RSU ensures that everyone, starting from a school graduate to a doctor, can continue and improve their knowledge.

RSU alumni include many prominent doctors and members in the society, including many former and present politicians, e.g.:


Rīga Stradiņš University's ten faculties provide undergraduate as well as postgraduate level studies in various programmes. High school students as well as doctors of science have the opportunity to study at RSU and enhance their education, and make a contribution to the creation of knowledge and new technologies.[2]

Currently there are 10 faculties at RSU:

Medical Sciences:

Social Sciences:

  • Faculty of Communications (including Department of Communication Studies and Department of Sociology)
  • Faculty of European Studies (including Department of Political Science and Department of Economics)


  • Faculty of Law

Post-graduate departments:

  • Faculty of Continuing Education
  • Doctoral Study Division

There is also a department for international students studying at RSU:

  • International Student Department

University students can choose full-time studies, which require undivided attention as well as part-time studies, which can usually be combined with work. Medicine and health care students at various levels of study can access state budget funded study places, whereas the best social science students receive rebates on their tuition fees.[3]

Students and teaching[edit]

RSU has a student teacher ratio of 1:10. The total number of students is approximately 7,000, while the total number of RSU employees stands at around 1,000, with 370 academic staff members. The language of instruction at RSU is primarily Latvian, however several study programmes, e.g. Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing and Physiotherapy are offered entirely in English. International students constitute about 18% of the student body of the university.


  • Ernests Burtnieks (1950–1958)
  • Vasilijs Kalbergs (1958–1963)
  • Vladislavs Korzāns (1963–1992)
  • Jānis Vētra (1992–2007)
  • Jānis Gardovskis (since 2008 until present)


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°57′13″N 24°03′19″E / 56.95361°N 24.05528°E / 56.95361; 24.05528