Maria Golubeva

2005-06 International Policy Fellow
Developing Socially Responsible Elites and the Challenge of Higher Education Reform working group


Higher education in the Social Sciences and Humanities has undergone many structural changes in Latvia following the country's independence from the Soviet Union. Despite extensive cooperation with international donors however, academic departments in Humanities and Social Sciences do not yet participate in the introduction of democratic discourses in society at the level aspired to.

This article identifies why in some cases academic reform in Latvia has not led to promotion of liberal discourses in the academic milieu, and assesses the impact of international donors on the Departments of Humanities and of Social Sciences. A lesser exposure of researchers in Humanities to international academic discourses and public policy discourses is seen as an underlying factor. A comparison between Latvian and Romanian higher education is presented, showing that although there are more alternative channels for funding in Romania, it lies behind Latvia in the progress of reform of public administration. Finally, policy recommendations are offered aimed at how to promote liberal discourse. These focus on how to increase interaction between the Humanities and Social Sciences, and how to provide greater incentives for Humanities scholars to get involved in projects concerning issues of public policy.