Baltic International Academy
The Baltic International Academy is one of the higher educational institutions of the Republic of Latvia, which implements the mission of Latvia regional and education development by the provision of competitive, internationally recognized diverse fields of study; carrying out the training of competitive specialists which are socially responsible members of society, respect of human rights and the environment, going to the continuous improvement and development by the elaboration of innovative research, ensuring the formation of long-term development of the society and the economics of knowledge of Latvia in general.
The Academy is one of the largest non-governmental higher educational institutions in the Baltic States and Northern Europe, which was founded in 1992. The branches of the Academy are located in 7 largest cities of Latvia, thus the Academy is represented in all regions of Latvia.
The Academy implements 31 study programs in 10 fields of study at all levels of education, beginning from the College (the 1st level of higher professional education) to the higher doctorates.
Today 2436 students study in the united Academy, of which 1713 are full-time students. More than 28,000 people graduated the Academy during its existence.
The Academy has signed 277 cooperation agreements with Universities worldwide, including 120 agreements of the program ERASMUS+ with universities from 24 countries of Europe. The number of universities-partners outside the EU is 152 and the number of cooperation agreements is almost 160.
Students from 30 countries study main programs and academic mobility programs in the Baltic International Academy. The total number of foreign students in the period of 2016 is 494 people.
Today the study field “Social Welfare” includes the following programs and levels of specialists’ preparation:
• The program of the 1st level of higher professional education “Organizer of Social Assistance”
• The professional bachelor degree programme “Social Work”
• In June of 2015 we managed to achieve our objectives on the development and licensing of ‘the professional master degree program “Social Work”, which greatly extended the possibilities of education and training of Latvian and foreign specialists for social institutions and organizations, and also getting higher education in the field of social assistance at the master’s degree level
The extension of study fields of education allowed the Academy to become one of the leaders in teaching students and education of specialists in the field of social work in Latvia. Today we are one of two higher educational institutions in Latvia that offers these programs and trains specialists for this sector.
The study field “Social Welfare”, has successfully passed accreditation of all incoming study programs of the curricula, receiving high evaluations from the National Accreditation Agency and international experts.
The study field “Social Welfare” is focused on:
• solution of social problems;
• positive change in the interaction of the individual, family and society with the social environment;
• the training of specialists able to provide support and assistance to individuals who are under the influence of various circumstances face the situation of personal and social helplessness;
• psycho-social support, consultation, group and clinical social work;
• development of social services, management of the organization and transformation of social policy.
All disciplines of this field are directly related to solving social problems both in Latvia and in the world. The mastering of the disciplines of the study program takes place during lectures, seminars, practical classes, internships, consultations, as well as through independent work. Interactive methods, along with traditional forms of work such as lectures and seminars, are practiced: projects, group work, creative seminars, discussions, analysis of situations, etc.
Significant for the educational process are:
• the process of the implementation of various research works, which the student carries out and defends independently within the framework of the studied discipline;
• practice outside the educational institution that forms professional knowledge and skills of the future specialist in the field of social work.
The Academy has signed agreements on cooperation with public social institutions, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations. These contracts provide the opportunity to professionally trained students able to meet the demands of the labour market.
The events organised and carried out by students, teachers and employees of the study field “Social Welfare”, as well as with their support, both in the Academy and outside it:
• Annual professional conferences “Relevant issues of social work in terms of 10 years – challenges and opportunities” and “Relevant issues and prospects in the practice of social work in Latvia”, held in conjunction with the society of social employees of Latvia and Ministry of Welfare of LR;
• Holding of conferences and seminars on the issues of autism allows the persons involved in these issues to discuss their situation with experts in this field, to get to know about the existing methods of work with such children, as well as to develop new approaches to the solution of these problems.
• Information and methodological meetings took place with the support of the Ministry of Welfare of LR in the regions based on the Academy in five cities of Latvia, where the branches of the Academy are located (Daugavpils, Smiltene, Riga, Yelgava, Liepaja).
The topics of the meetings are:
* relevant information of the Ministry of Welfare of LR in the social field and in the project “Development of professional social work in the regions”;
* changes in the system of social assistance – offers, discussion;
* services of social rehabilitation, funded by the state for adult individuals, who have suffered from the violence and committed violence;
* the European Fund of support of the lowest-income people;
* child violence and child violence in the family, its types and indicators, inter-institutional cooperation, if violence occurred.
The Academy cooperates with many embassies in Latvia: Germany, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, the Netherlands and the USA, which actively participate in cultural, scientific and research activities of the Academy.
Several Cultural and Information Centers have been opened and continue their work at the Academy (in cooperation with the state institutions of Latvia and foreign countries, and international foundations and organizations): the German Center; the Nordic Center; the Economic Representative Office of Malopolska; the Center “Russian World”; the Information Center of the European Union; the Latvian Center.
The Academy successfully cooperates with the following organizations: UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, the UNIRWIN/UNESCO Chairs, the Latvian Confederation of Employers, the Latvian Association of Colleges, Association of Private Universities of Latvia, the European Students’ Union, the Student Union of Latvia, the Latvian Association of Travel Agencies and Operators, Children’s Identity & Citizenship European Association, the Civil Alliance Latvia, the European Platform for Good Practice in Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, International Association of Schools of Social Work and other organizations and associations, thereby providing a close connections between higher education and the business environment, social organizations and associations.