The Student Union of Latvia (LSA) represents the interests of all students of Latvia on the national and international scale. The organization is an essential partner of the higher education policy makers regarding student-related questions.
The Student Union of Latvia (LSA):
- Gives opinions on students interests regarding normative act projects;
- Nominates student representatives to The Council of Higher Education and other institutions following the set normative acts;
- Ensures local student council representation in foreign countries;
- Solves other students’ representation issues within its competence.
LSA is a union, members of which are student councils of higher education institutions in Latvia. The student councils ensure the activity of the union by representing the interests of students of their higher education institution in LSA Congress and the Council – the decision-making bodies. The student councils elect the executive body of LSA – the LSA Board.
The Congress is the highest decision-making body, members of which gather once a year. The Congress consists of students delegated by the member student councils. The delegates gather to elect the president of LSA, confirm the budget of the organization, and propose action guidelines for the next year. Congress usually takes place in March.
The Council is the decision-making body where the student council delegated council members meet no less than once every two months. Every local student union has at least one up to five council members in the LSA Council. The Council decides on the LSA positions regarding issues, which affect the student’s interests on a national and international level, as well as oversees the work of the Board of LSA and the president, elects the LSA Council. The responsibilities of the council members include active involvement in discussions in the period between the Council meetings regarding draft decisions.
The Board is the executive body or the “doers” of LSA, who are elected for a year. Every member of the Board has responsibilities, which they have taken. Important decisions regarding every-day activity are accepted by a voting of the Board. The Board gathers no less than once in two weeks. The work of the Board is coordinated by the president, who has been elected by the Congress and represents the union in communication with its partners, mass media, and other national and non-governmental organizations. The election of the Board takes place during the next Council meeting after the Congress.
The President of The Student Union of Latvia represents the student’s interests on a national level, engages in the formation of education politics, and manages the activity of the LSA Board.
The main tasks of the President are to:
- Meet and form cooperation with the makers of higher education politics – individuals and organizations;
- Represent LSA and express the opinion of LSA in local, national and international conferences, discussions, presentations, meetings, which are related to LSA as an organization or any other questions under the supervision of the President;
- Perform representative functions of LSA;
- Represent LSA without a special authorization;
- Conduct, monitor and be responsible for the work of the LSA board.
The main responsibility of the LSA Vice President is representation of students of Latvia on an international level, as well as integration of higher education international dimension into every-day work of the Board of LSA, leading to raising the profile of internationally approved guideline and recommendation implementation in Latvia.
The main areas of responsibility of the Vice President are:
- Promoting the lobbying of LSA’s interests and cooperation with international organizations and organizations from other countries;
- Securing effective communication among LSA and national student unions of other countries regarding different processes taking place in the area of the European higher education;
- During the absence of the President, taking over their responsibilities;
- Promoting the integration of foreign students into higher education institutions by providing them with a suitable study environment;
- Following up with the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Recognition Convention in Latvia;
- Promoting the availability of Recognition of Prior Learning;
- Giving opinions on Latvia’s education export and introducing strategies of European level in Latvia;
- Organizing seminars and discussions related to international processes.
The main responsibility of the Academic Affairs Officer is to strive on a national politics level towards having the offered higher education quality in Latvia to be suitable and competitive in Europe and worldwide.
Every-day tasks of the Academic Affairs Officer are:
- Improving higher education quality evaluation in universities;
- Involving student councils in the evaluation of quality;
- Involving student-observers delegated by LSA into the higher education institution accreditation process;
- Giving opinions on amendments to legislation, which are related to the education system of Latvia;
- Promotion of graduate and post-graduate studies;
- Improvement of general secondary education system;
- Promoting implementation of the basic principles of the Bologna Process in Latvia.
The main duty of the Social Affairs Officer is promoting free access to higher education for anyone by ensuring that the students can fully focus on studying without any social or economic condition barriers.
The main responsibilities are:
- Advising student councils, the LSA Board, the LSA Council, and project managers in social matters;
- Taking actions which are directed towards simplification of the student loan system;
- Making proposals to the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers and bills, which deal with social issues, including grants, loans, their cancellation, eligible expenses, public transportation and other;
- Representing LSA and expressing the opinion of LSA in local, national and international conferences, discussions, presentations, meetings, which are related to the responsibilities of the LSA Social Affair Officer;
- Solving the question regarding student’s minimum expenditure basket;
- Participating in the Study Administration Commission of The Ministry of Education and Science, which grants loans for studying abroad.
The main task of the Internal Affairs Officer is taking care of the existence of LSA, its members and other internal concerns, which are necessary for a successful union’s activity, ensuring LSA member involvement in every-day work of the organization in depth.
Responsibilities of the Internal Affairs Officer include:
- Communication with the student councils of higher education institutions regarding the current events and issues;
- Building the capacity of LSA members and educating the student representatives;
- Representing LSA and expressing the opinion of LSA in local, national and international conferences, discussions, presentations, meetings, which are related to the responsibilities of the LSA Internal Affairs Officer;
- Consult, monitor and support LSA project (“Who Cares for the Student?”, “Student Leaders’ Forum”, Annual LSA Awards, etc.) organizer teams.
The Public Relations Officer of LSA works with the goal of promoting the belief that The Student Union of Latvia is an inalienable and vital part of raising and securing the quality of student’s lives. Their task is to attain that the opinion regarding any student interest related question is heard, seen and understood in the public space.
The responsibilities of the Public Relations Officer are:
- Creation of the image and reputation of LSA in public space;
- Maintenance and improvement of LSA’s e-communication channels;
- Managing advertising and self-promotional activities;
- Analysis of industry trends and necessity of information for work with LSA target audiences;
- Maintenance and improvement of media relations, coordination of information flow and preparation of publicity materials.
The main responsibility of the Head of Finance and Cooperation is to control the financial resources by providing an efficient cash flow and use, as well as attracting financial resources and sponsored goods. The main tasks of the Head of Finance and Cooperation are:
- Following the cash flow and budget expense;
- Forming cooperation offers with potential LSA supporters, sponsors;
- Communicating and meeting with LSA supporters and sponsors. Taking responsibility of meeting the demands of the supporters and sponsors.
The main goal of the Office Manager is taking care of the availability of LSA documents by keeping records in order to guarantee successful operation of the organization. One of the main tasks is to taking minutes in the Council and Board meetings. More responsibilities:
- Selecting, analysing and preparing necessary documentation for the operation of the organization;
- Organizing the LSA Council meetings and the Congress. Coordinating the agenda with members of LSA, sending out Council meeting and Congress documents, which are prepared by the office manager, to the members of LSA.