MIT education innovation laboratory to be created in Latvia this year

To jointly promote high-quality teaching and learning in cooperation with educational leaders, industry representatives, students, and other stakeholders, this year work will commence in Latvia on establishing an  MIT education innovation laboratory. A letter of intent will be signed during the international education forum “Steering Education: From Imagination to Impact” which will take place on the 3 June in Riga regarding establishing an  MIT education innovation laboratory in Latvia. 


Three partners will cooperate in creating and operating the new laboratory: the Ministry of Education and Science, Riga Business School as a  structural unit of Riga Technical University, and, the main strategic partner of the initiative, MIT J-WEL education lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 


MIT J-WEL is an education lab operating under the supervision of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, one of the most powerful universities of the world. This centre is an initiative of MIT to promote cooperation with other universities of the world to foster innovations in education, as well as work with partners to promote excellence and transformation in education all around the world.


Santa Šmīdlere, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science: “The purpose of the MIT education innovation laboratory is to support educational establishments, state institutions and companies on their path to digital transformation in education by involving companies and efficient management in higher education. The task of the laboratory will be to support Latvia in its journey to an innovative education environment, recommending, promoting and helping to master innovative teaching and learning methods. The laboratory also works on the use of small research grants for development of the learning ideas and piloting in different universities.” 


The main directions of the MIT education innovation laboratory during the next few years are to study, pilot and introduce ideas for the ensuring excellence in the study process. the lab will be an environment where academic staff, representatives of businesses, and education policy makers will cooperate to create a  higher education environment where the student is the priority. The lab  help to ensure support and long-term planning in the introduction of innovative study practice. 


The memorandum signed between MIT J-WEL and Riga Technical University has already provided an opportunity for the Latvian educational and organizational leaders to take part in global scale training at the end of September last year – MIT program. Currently, 17 educational and organizational leaders participate in this MIT program established in Latvia. In frame of the program transformation of education is promoted and first ideations on providing high-quality education take place. Riga Business School coordinates this program in Latvia.


Claudio Rivera, MIT Program Director, Riga Business School Deputy Director: “I am grateful to the team of the Ministry of Education and Science for active involvement in the development of cooperation with MIT J-WEL. Already now, Latvian educational and organization leaders have identified several challenges, for example, that learning is quite passive in Latvia is a  challenge that we have to solve together. Digital transformation also breaks into  higher education as a very important goal both in the providing of the form of education and efficiency of processes.”


After signing the letter of intent on June 3rd, work will being establishing the  MIT education innovation laboratory core team, and attracting interdisciplinary experts and researchers. 


Support of MIT J-WEL in the MIT education innovation lab in Latvia is planned in several areas. MIT will ensure participation of its academic staff and experts in the development of the MIT education innovation lab and also implementation of the first stage. Participants of the lab will have access to MIT expertise regarding the introduction of innovative pedagogy methods. MIT academic staff and employees will be available for various activities – ideations, forums, workshops and mentoring sessions. Participants of the lab will be able to attend various events where MIT participates, as well as access resources of MIT academic staff, employees and partners. The existing MIT program, where currently 17 Latvian educational and organizational representatives participate, will become a part of the MIT education innovation lab activities.