SSE Riga Rector Anders Paalzow congratulated successful applicants, telling them that the academic year will start on 17 August as initially planned. In an effort to protect the health and safety of the student community from COVID-19, the semester will start with fully online instruction. This will also provide equal study opportunities for international students who are unable to come to Riga due to travel restrictions or elevated health risks associated with COVID-19. SSE Riga staff will provide full support for international students to obtain a residence permit.

The Rector stressed: "We hope to meet our students at SSE Riga and renew on-site instruction as soon as this is possible and permitted by the authorities. But, should it become necessary, we are also ready to organize fully remote or blended instruction at any time so that students can continue to progress toward their degree.”

The President of the SSE Riga Student Association, Sāra Zdanovska, congratulated successful applicants on behalf of the student community and noted that a close-knit community and friendly atmosphere at SSE Riga are factors that will play a considerable role in the study process. The close cooperation established between students, faculty, and administration and based on her personal experience makes SSE Riga stand out. Sāra added that the SSE Riga experience goes well beyond its academic programme and the Student Association will make sure that students have a rich social life.

SSE Riga Chief Finance and Operations Officer Santa Blate reminded new students that financial support is available in the form of tuition fee waivers, scholarships, loans and more. Santa stressed that the School offers a unique opportunity to take a study loan guaranteed by SSE Riga. While the state institutions of Latvia are working on a new State guaranteed study loan system for the new academic year, SSE Riga has developed a loan programme which is 100% guaranteed by the School so that no other guarantor is needed. According to the new Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No.231 and the Section 45 part 2 of the Law on Higher Education Institutions all SSE Riga students, who are 18 years old citizens of the European Union will have a chance to apply for the State guaranteed study loans and those that are 18 years old citizens of the Eastern Partnership Country or Russia and have a valid residence permit in Latvia, will have a chance to apply for the SSE Riga guaranteed study loan. The maximum amount of the loan is the total tuition fee for 3 years’ studies. Students may also use the programmes in combination with other scholarships. The maximum interest rate for the State guaranteed loans is set at 3.5% + EURIBOR or similar index (to be confirmed by the issuing bank), whereas for the SSE Riga guaranteed loans expected interest rate is 4% + 6 months EURIBOR. The loans are repayable within 10 years after the graduation. On average SSE Riga graduates repay their study loans comfortably within 7 years.

Notes Rector Anders Paalzow: “We are grateful for the strong interest expressed and so many questions during the webinar. SSE Riga staff will continue further communication with our next year’s students to help them learn more about studies and life at SSE Riga as well as address issues due to concerns related to COVID-19."