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The main study principles in SSE Riga differ from the majority of the universities in the Baltics. At SSE Riga, studies concentrate on just one or two courses at a time. An intense course usually takes from two weeks to two months. A course often has daily lectures and seminars, and the grade given consists of the exam result, practical project work and its presentation.
The ability to work in a team is greatly valued in business nowadays. It is said that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Teamwork is the essence of the study process at SSE Riga, hence almost all the courses require project work to be written in international teams of four. Students learn to work with diverse personalities, ranging from various nationalities and with people with various working styles and skills.
Project work is simply called ‘reports’ among the students of SSE Riga. The papers are based on taking theoretical knowledge gained during the course and applying it to a practical issue. Business projects might include visiting an enterprise, interviewing managers and employees for a case study, or contacting several companies to ask for information. Meanwhile, academic research is usually based on quantitative information which is analyzed with statistical tools to reach conclusions or test hypotheses.
At the end of each course students present their project work in front of the class and an evaluator, and defend their papers from colleagues’ opposition and critical remarks. While the Presentations Skills course at the very beginning studies at SSE Riga provides basic knowledge, these abilities are developed throughout the three years. The ability to present in-depth on complicated issues and research in 5 to 7 minutes, to use visual aids both to keep the listener interested and get the intended reaction, requires practice and is a must in business life.
Many seminars in SSE Riga are lead by Teaching Assistants – students who performed well in the course the previous year. Such responsibility gives pedagogical and leadership experience to the Teaching Assistants, and is also a way to present complicated issues in a way that is familiar to students while emphasizing the problems from one’s own fresh experience. Study groups are also widely promoted in SSE Riga. Students gather to discuss course material, solve exercises or distribute the workload among each other when studies are intense.
After each course the Administration creates a questionnaire for evaluating different aspects of the course, so that all students can express their opinions and criticize any shortcomings they observed. After that, a feedback session with representatives from the Administration, students, and lecturers takes place. The information gathered is later used to improve the quality of the course. Students, in turn, get feedback after each course, too. Some lecturers provide detailed evaluation of project work; others are available throughout the course for support and supervision.
I think that studying in this school in a relatively small community makes the study experience special. More than anything else, I enjoyed the company of fellow students. It was good to study in a very friendly atmosphere."'| ""
United Kingdom, Class of 2009