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Universities in Riga, Latvia

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Riga is a coastal city and sits on the Baltic Sea. It is considered an important cultural centre in Latvia and is known for its historic architecture and medieval Old Town.

Riga is the capital and largest city in Latvia, an eastern European country bordering Lithuania and Estonia. Riga is home to nearly 700,000 residents and is well-known for its centuries-old history, cultural landmarks, concert halls and other entertainment venues.

Riga is known as an excellent European city for young people, due to its low living costs and vibrant energy. Most students in Riga give the city a high score for student services and overall liveability, according to the QS world rankings. The city also ranks 101st worldwide for employability, a key factor for international students. With more than half of Riga citizens, especially younger people, being fluent in English, you will also find it easy to travel and communicate in the city.

Top Universities in Riga

Riga Technical University

Founded in 1862, Riga Technical University is home to nearly 11,000 enrolled students of which about 1,800 are international admits. Primarily located on an urban campus in central Riga, the university is well-known for its strengths in engineering and information technology courses. International students should note that the majority of degree programmes at Riga Technical University are taught in Latvian, although there are 5 courses taught in English. 

The university regularly partners with the Latvian government, the EU and world-leading companies to perform advanced research in a variety of disciplines. Award-winning research centres at Riga Technical University include the Centre of High Energy Physics and Accelerator Technologies and the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre. Riga Technical University is also a member of the European Universities of Technology (EUt+) alliance, an organisation of eight top-ranked European research universities committed to advanced research and solving real-world issues. 

Riga Stradins University

Originally founded in 1950 as a medical institute, Riga Stradins University continues to offer world-class courses in medicine and healthcare alongside social science disciplines today. The university is home to just over 8,000 enrolled students, with a sizable international student population of almost 2,500.

Riga Stradins University is known for its world-leading faculty across subjects, and the small class sizes allow for greater one-to-one attention from your professors. With alumni of the university working in many of Europe’s top hospitals and medical institutes, international medical students will be able to secure ideal internships and post-graduation employment opportunities by accessing the Riga Stradins network. 

Riga Stradins University is well-regarded for its research and innovation, especially in medicine; research institutes at the university include the Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology and the Institute of the History of Medicine.

University of Latvia

Founded in 1919, the University of Latvia is the country’s largest university offering degree programmes across over 50 fields of study, including a large number of programmes taught in English. Initially known as the Latvian Higher School, the university maintains technical and research-based partnerships with more than 150 top-ranked universities in over 40 countries.

The University of Latvia is home to over 12,000 students with an international student population of about 850 students. The university’s primary campus is located in central Riga, and the university also operates small institutes all over Latvia.

The University of Latvia is well-known for its academic strengths in both the natural and physical sciences, as well as social science and cultural subjects. Major research institutes at the University of Latvia include the UL Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, the UL Institute of Cardiology and Regenerative Medicine and the Institute of Solid State Physics.

Latvia University of Life Sciences & Technologies (LLU)

Located an hour from Riga in the nearby town of Jelgava, the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies was originally founded in 1938 and named the Latvia University of Agriculture until 2018. LLU is home to just under 4,000 enrolled students, of which about 120 are international admits.

LLU offers world-class courses in a range of agriculture-related subjects and environmental disciplines. The university also organises multiple events every year in Jelgava to keep its student community engaged and entertained. LLU’s International Cooperation Centre also arranges plenty of exchange programmes which allow international students to experience foreign cultures every year.

LLU is especially well-regarded for its world-leading agricultural research, and the university operates multiple award-winning research centres across Latvia such as the Forest and Water Resources Research Laboratory and the Research Laboratory of Economic Characteristics of Plant Varieties.

Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL)

Established in 1998 as a partnership between the governments of Sweden and Latvia, the Riga Graduate School of Law offers bachelor, masters and doctoral studies in law. RGSL utilises research-based methods in its teaching and focuses on maintaining a diverse multicultural student body with international students from all over the globe.

RGSL is involved in multiple Europe-wide research projects including the ENACT – European Citizenship project and the PRIV-WAR – Regulating Privatisation of War project. RGSL primarily operates from its main campus in the Albert Street neighbourhood of Riga.

Riga Universities World Ranking 2025

Below are the top-ranked Riga universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2025 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2025Times Higher Education Ranking 2024
Riga Technical University721-7301,001-1,200
University of Latvia781-7901,001-1,200
Riga Stradins University951-1,0001,500+
Latvia University of Life Sciences & Technologies1,500+

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Riga

In addition to the five top-ranked Riga universities for international students, the city and its nearby regions also offer a variety of specialised institutes offering degree programmes and vocational training in a wide range of subjects including engineering, IT and business. A few of the top-ranked institutes in and around Riga for international students are:

  • Turiba University
  • RISEBA University of Applied Sciences
  • Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
  • Latvian Academy of Music
  • Art Academy of Latvia
  • Baltic International Academy
  • Riga Business School
  • Latvian University in Riga Medical College
  • International College of Cosmetology

Tuition and Living Costs in Riga

Tuition fees for international students in Riga are highly affordable, and range between 2,000 to 6,000 US Dollars per annum for most degree programmes. A few courses such as medicine may be more expensive at up to 18,000 US Dollars per annum, while certain specialised postgraduate degree programmes may even cost up to 30,000 US Dollars per year.

As for living expenses, the Riga Graduate School of Law estimates that international students should budget 500-600 US Dollars per month. This figure includes 200-300 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 100-125 US Dollars for food expenses, 50-75 US Dollars for transport and utilities, and another 100-150 US Dollars for entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.

A Latvian student visa currently allows you to work upto 20 hours a week during the semester, and up to 40 hours a week during academic breaks. Many international students are able to find excellent part-time employment and internships in Riga, in order to offset living and tuition expenses.

Life in Riga for International Students

Riga is perfectly located in central eastern Europe for international students to travel during weekends and academic breaks and explore tourist-favourite European countries including Germany and Italy. Additionally, international students can easily travel to Riga International Airport from their home countries via major European hubs such as Amsterdam and Paris.

As for the city itself, Riga is filled with cultural and historical landmarks as well as excellent restaurants and outdoor spaces. You can enjoy a day in the sun by the Daugava river which flows through the city, or at beaches on the Baltic sea nearby. Below are a few of Riga’s must-visit destinations for international students:

  • The Freedom Monument
  • House of the Black Heads
  • Latvian National Museum of Art
  • St. Peter’s Church
  • Latvian Museum of Architecture
  • Riga Cathedral
  • Riga Art Nouveau Museum
  • Riga Motor Museum
  • Riga Castle
  • Latvian National Opera
  • Bastejkalns Park
  • Riga National Zoological Garden
  • Museum of the History of Riga
  • National Library of Latvia
  • Dzintari Forest Park
  • Vermane Garden
  • Voidu Park
  • Powder Tower
  • Riga TV Tower
  • Laima Chocolate Museum

Riga is an excellent choice for international students seeking top-ranked European universities in an affordable city. In Riga, you will have plenty of chances to socialise with fellow students, de-stress during academic breaks, and enjoy the best of European culture in and around Latvia.

See all universities in Latvia.

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