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CEB and University of Latvia sign loan agreement to finance university development

28 February 2018

PARIS – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Mr Rolf Wenzel, and the Rector of the University of Latvia, Mr Indriķis Muižnieks, signed today at the CEB’s headquarters a €11.5 million loan agreement to finance the development of the university campus. 

Indriķis Muižnieks and Rolf Wenzel
Indriķis Muižnieks and Rolf Wenzel

Founded in 1919, the University of Latvia is one of the largest academic institutions in the Baltic States, with more than 15,000 students and over 1,000 academic staff. Its aim, which is reflected in its 2015-2020 strategy, is to be one of the leading science universities in the Baltic region and recognised as a major research and innovation centre in Europe and globally. In order to increase its capacity and upgrade its facilities, the University has been undergoing extensive modernisation in recent years. 

The CEB loan will part-finance phase II of the development of the university campus in the Torņakalns area of Riga, which involves the construction of the “House of Science” and the “House of Letters”. This is part of the University’s strategic plan to make more efficient use of its buildings, increase the number of auditoria, seminar rooms, and modern research and study laboratories, and provide state-of-art facilities for students and staff. 

The modernisation work is expected to have significant benefits for the University community and more broadly for higher education in Latvia. In terms of capacity, it is anticipated that, by the time the project is completed, the University should be able to host an additional 1,000 students and a further 1,000 students by 2026. 

Commenting on the signing, Governor Wenzel said: “Giving young people the opportunity to build a bright future for themselves is vital when it comes to creating cohesive, prosperous societies. This is why the CEB attaches particular importance to social investments in the area of education. I am pleased that with the CEB loan agreement we are signing here today we will help the University of Latvia to complete its modernisation plan. In so doing, we will contribute to strengthening the quality and competitiveness of higher education in Latvia.”

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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