The Latvian Academy of Culture (hereinafter – the Academy) is the Academy with University status and currently has four academic departments:
Along with a wide range of competencies in the arts that are included in the academic study programmes, the students must acquire a specialization in one field of the arts, e.g. Intercultural Communication, Theory of Culture, Traditional Culture and Latvian Folklore, Culture Sociology, Culture Management, Theatre Acting, Theatre Directing, Drama, Choreography of Contemporary Dance, Audiovisual Art.
During the next period (2014-2020), the Academy would like to keep the total number of mobility participants, but to reverse the mobility between EU, EEA and non-EU countries within the Erasmus and others mobility programs. The current total number of Academy`s student mobility participants (for studies and training on 1st and 2nd year cycle) is approximately 75-79 for Erasmus and 12-14 for Leonardo da Vinci. From 2016 onwards, the distribution of students would be approximately 65-70 to EU and EEA countries and approximately 20-22 to non-EU countries. The Academy has similar plans for teacher and staff mobility, with the largest percentage of mobility exchanges allocated to EU and EEA countries.
So far the Academy has been looking for partners according to overall university profiles with a view to ensure the mobility of students in all sub-programs. The same is expected in the future for cooperation with non-EU countries, primarily focusing on theater, choreography and audiovisual art students / teachers (in these areas we have a relatively low number of co-operation agreements with EU and EEA countries), as well as management and intercultural communication sub-programs. The Academy has already started successful cooperation with several foreign universities outside EU and EEA, which we intend to continue in the new Erasmus program in 2014-2020. We also intend to find some new partners.
1) Starting from the academic year of 2015/2016, we plan to continue the exchange of students and teachers with the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. This cooperation has lasted for over 15 years and there have already been several teacher mobility visits under the current bilateral agreement.
2) Starting from the academic year of 2014/2015, we plan to commence negotiations with a view to restore the cooperation agreement with the Russian State University for the Humanities (there has been cooperation in the nineties, but the contract was later not extended).
3) Starting from the academic year of 2016/2017, we plan to hold negotiations with a view to begin cooperation with the Krasnoyarsk State Academy of Music and Theatre regarding student and teacher exchanges according to the sub-program "Contemporary Dance".
1) The Academy has signed a cooperation agreement with the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema; mobility exchanges are planned starting from the academic year of 2015/2016.
3. The USA
1) The Academy has already cooperated with the Tisch School of the Arts at New York for several years and we plan to extend this cooperation in order to achieve teacher mobility in the academic year of 2014/2015 and student mobility in the academic year of 2015/2016.
2) Cooperation with the United States would be particularly important also for the students of the sub-program "Intercultural Relations between Latvia and Great Britain" to provide them the opportunity to study one semester in the country where the main language is English. Currently the Academy does not have any contracts with British or Irish universities, as these typically have a large number of incoming students and are no longer open to new contracts. We hope to find a new partner during the next Erasmus period.
4. Canada and Mexico
1) Currently the Academy does not have any cooperation agreements with universities in Canada or Mexico, however, we plan to conclude at least one/two cooperation agreements in linguistics and humanities by the academic year of 2016/2017 in order to provide an opportunity for the students of the sub-programs "Intercultural Communication between Latvia and France" and "Intercultural Communication between Latvia and Spain" to improve their language skills and expand their understanding of French-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries.
Expanding cooperation with non-EU countries, the Academy plan to create an international modern dance sub-program encompassing partners from EU, EEA and non-EU countries, but at first it would be necessary to organize exchange of students and teachers to get to know each other’s strengths and needs as well as meet in person, which is currently problematic for the Academy due to budget limitations.
The Academy`s Department of Choreography of Modern Dance is worth special mention: over a short period of time it has emerged as a serious creative body that is able to compete on the international arena. The opportunity for movement arts to develop opened up in the mid-nineties when a small number of enthusiastic practitioners criss-crossed Europe, taking classes to catch up with other countries. Latvia had to go through the evolutionary stages of dance history at superspeed. One of the most enthusiastic choreographers Olga Žitluhina founded the Modern Dance Choreography programme at the Latvian Academy of Culture in 1999 that became a basis for professional development of the genre and now we are ready to extend this experience.
So far the Academy has participated only in centralized actions, but the next few years, we also plan to implement a decentralized action – the Summer School of Management Studies. We already have a partner from Germany and we are looking for another partner in EU, EEA or non-EU countries.
Over the next five years, the Academy also plans to introduce mandatory traineeship in undergraduate theoretical sub-programs, therefore it is expected that the number of students who will take traineeship during the study period would be increased. The implementation of the mobility would be an excellent starting point for the careers of the graduates and would aid their inclusion in the labour market. Since 2001, the Academy already has implemented a several projects in the Leonardo da Vinci program framework.
Regarding the 3rd cycle studies we have a plan to extend traineeship opportunities. We already have good experience with 3rd cycle trainees from universities of Poland and in the academic year of 2013/2014 we are planning to start cooperation with universities of Italy under current cooperation agreements.
Dr, prof. Rūta Muktupāvela