Reasons to study at the Faculty of Computing of the University of Latvia:

  • Recognition of a diploma in Europe certified by the European accreditation of programmes and the obtained "Euro-Inf Quality Label";
  • High evaluation of employers – every year the UL bachelor's study programme in Computer Science has been recognised as the most recommended study programme by employers in Latvia since 2017;
  • The programmes are based on the recommendations developed by the ACM/IEEE;
  • The lecturers are strong in theory and have gained practical experience in the industry;
  • 4.5 month-long internship in an IT company already provides real work experience during the studies;
  • Wide selection of sub-programmes (specialisations);
  • Students are invited to participate in scientific research, including the internationally regarded quantum computing research group led by Professor Andris Ambainis;
  • Diverse and exciting extracurricular activities – cultural events, sports, various interest groups;
  • Excellence studies for those who want and can learn more than the programme requires;
  • Studies in the very centre of Riga;
  • Extensive opportunities to participate in the Erasmus+ mobility programme;
  • Opportunity to implement your ideas in the project studio "DF LAB", using a wide range of tools (3D printers, laser cutter, virtual reality equipment, etc.);
  • Opportunities to develop sports programming skills – UL students regularly show excellent results in the international student team competition ICPC.

Choose success – study at the Faculty of Computing of the University of Latvia!

Recognition of a diploma in Europe and the quality label

The bachelor's and master's study programmes of the Faculty of Computing have not only obtained Latvian accreditation, but have also been re-accredited at the European level and awarded the "Euro-Inf Quality Label". The University of Latvia is currently the only one in Latvia with such a quality label.

The European Quality Label has been introduced to promote the quality and transparency of computing/informatics study programmes, to ensure common accreditation standards for computing/informatics study programmes throughout Europe, to establish common qualification standards, and to increase student mobility. The label is awarded based on the conclusions of an international group of experts by the European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education (EQANIE), a non-profit organisation founded in Germany in 2009, to evaluate computing/informatics study programmes as well as computing faculties or departments. The label is awarded to bachelor's and master's level study programmes that meet the standards set by the European Quality Label.

Employers recommend studying computer science at the University of Latvia

Every year the UL bachelor's study programme in computer science has been recognised as the most recommended study programme by employers in Latvia since 2017, In an annual survey conducted by the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia and the portal, employers value studies in the field of IT and recommend studying in ICT study programmes, but recognise the UL bachelor's study programme "Computer Science" as the best, not only among IT programmes, but also study programmes of all fields.

Lecturers with doctoral degrees, education and experience obtained in world universities

Several professors of the Faculty of Computing have obtained an education in foreign universities, for example, Prof. Andris Ambainis – the University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Leo Seļāvo – the University of Pittsburgh, Prof. Jurģis Šķilters – the University of Mainz. Lecturers regularly participate in exchange programmes, for example, even now four of our lecturers have been in one semester-long training at the University at Buffalo, New York, and this experience is also used to read their study courses. In order to gain international experience, lecturers also read lectures at the foreign universities. Lecturers from other universities, such as the Blekinge Institute of Technology and Stockholm University in Sweden, also read guest lectures to students. Lecturers also have real work experience in the industry; many combine work in the industry and the work of a lecturer.

All lecturers elected to academic positions have a doctor's degree. High-level specialists from the industry are also involved in lecturing.

Excellent success in world programming competitions

UL students have managed to enter the finals of the prestigious international student team programming competition six times already, in which 120–140 teams from all over the world participate every year. Every year, more than 50 thousand participants take part in this competition (a record of 60,000 participants was reached in 2019), representing more than 3.5 thousand universities from 110 countries. The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the competition take place in regions across all inhabited continents. The highest achievements of the University of Latvia so far are the shared 18th and 20th place. The artificial intelligence challenge was carried out during last year's final, in which participants had to solve problems related to artificial intelligence and neural networks within three hours. The UL student team came a high 6th place (Challenge Silver) in the competition in which 135 teams participated.

Students win awards in the final work competition

Every year, FC students win awards in the Latvian higher education bachelor's and master's thesis competition "ZIBIT", where industry experts evaluate and select the best of the best works submitted by Latvian higher education institutions. The 3 best bachelor's and 3 best master's theses are awarded. For example, in 2019 an FC student won 1st place in the master's category, while in 2018 4 out of 6 awards were won by UL students.

One of the leaders in quantum computing in Europe

The Centre for Quantum Computing, established at the Faculty of Computing and headed by world-class scientist Professor Andris Ambainis, is one of the three most important centres in Europe (also in Paris and Amsterdam) for research on quantum computing. Currently, the research group consists of almost 20 people. Postdoc researchers from various countries, including the United States, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, India, Russia, etc., also regularly join the group. Students are also involved in research and already write publications during their studies.

Quantum programming education network and knowledge export

With the creation of the quantum computer and the ability to try to programme something on it, FC researchers came up with the idea of creating a stakeholder group and passing on their knowledge to others. This is how the "QLatvia" initiative came about, in which our researchers took part, and in the summer of 2019 they participated in the "QDrive" activity and travelled by car to various European countries, in total travelling 10 thousand kilometres and conducting 11 workshops in 8 countries. By the end of December 2019, the number of workshops conducted was already 21. Also, the workshop participants were eager to continue their cooperation, and now all these countries have joined together in a large project "QWorld", which organises various quantum programming activities and ensures the flow of knowledge. 

The only European-level research centre of perceptual and cognitive research in the Baltics

The Laboratory for Perceptual and Cognitive Systems has been established at the Faculty of Computing, the head of which is Prof. Jurģis Šķilters. Under his leadership, research is carried out on the processes of human perception, perception of colours and emotions, visual-spatial perception, etc., which are important and are used in the development of artificial intelligence and improvement of technology. The laboratory is an important research centre and the world's leading experts in their fields regularly cooperate with laboratory researchers and attend symposia, seminars and conferences organised by the laboratory.

Students already have real work experience during their studies

The study programmes of the Faculty of Computing include a compulsory internship in the industry, which already starts in the 2nd year of studying, so all graduates of the bachelor's programme already have real work experience. Compared to graduates from many foreign universities, who only start their careers after graduation, FC graduates already receive promotions after graduation and work on complex international projects. Every year, the faculty cooperates with 60–80 companies, where students go on internships.

Double diploma programmes

Dual Award programme in Computer Science has been developed through careful and detailed collaboration between the University of Lincoln UK and the University of Latvia, drawing on the experience of both institutions. The programme is considered to provide industry-required know.
In cooperation with RTU, RBS and Buffalo University in the US state of New York, students are offered the opportunity to study in the Baltic IT Leadership Programme "Computer Science and Organisational Technologies" and obtain a diploma from UL, RTU, RBS and Buffalo University. Several master's students at the Faculty of Computing have successfully obtained a double diploma while studying at the University of Latvia and the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, and actions are currently being taken to extend the contract for this double degree programme.

Opportunities for students to implement their projects

A couple of years ago, we created a project studio DF LAB equipped with different technologies, where students not only have the opportunity to create different prototypes for their study projects, but also to get involved in various health technology projects. For example, both students and graduates were involved in the development of the recently launched breast health platform

Research recognised at international conferences

Lecturers and researchers of the Faculty of Computing are not only researching quantum computing and perception, but are also the authors of important international publications on language technologies, big data, artificial intelligence, data quality, the Internet of Things, the Semantic Web and other current topics. The most capable students are also involved in such research.

The faculty regularly organises conferences of world significance

Proof of international recognition and trust is the organisation of conferences recognised in Europe and the world. The Faculty of Computing has organised a number of very recognisable and important events, such as ICALP 2013 (the 40th International Colloquium on Automation, Languages and Programming), CCC 2017 (Computational Complexity Conference), ESSLLI 2019 (The European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information), and in 2020, the world's second most important conference in quantum computing – TQC 2020 (15th Conference on the Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication and Cryptography), organised online due to Covid-19, and Spatial Cognition 2020, which was unfortunately postponed until next year.

Cooperation with industry

Cooperation with industrial companies is very important for us, because this cooperation helps to develop study programmes and offer students modern study content and create added value for knowledge.

Representatives of companies work in final work commissions, councils, quality evaluation, development of study programme and course content, as well as read guest lectures. The involvement of companies in raising the qualification of lecturers is also very important to us, ensuring involvement in various projects of a company. Companies also regularly support student initiatives – both in organising events and purchasing various items necessary for the study process. In turn, a "Big Data Analytics Module" has been created in the master's study programme, where professionals working in the field can gain additional knowledge as a listener.

Own scientific journal – Baltic Journal of Modern Computing

The Baltic Journal of Modern Computing has been published electronically on a quarterly basis since 2013 and is jointly published by the University of Latvia, Vilnius University, the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Latvia, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Liepaja University and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. The journal publishes articles on Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Didactics of Computer Science and related topics.
The journal's publications are currently indexed by the two most prestigious indexes of scientific publications – Web of Science and Scopus.

Students regularly participate in various hackathons and other activities

Demonstrating their knowledge and skills, FC students participate in various hackathons and competitions. For example, in 2018, a team of FC graduates and students won 2nd place in Europe's largest hackathon "Junction" with 1,500 participants, but in 2017, it won the health technology challenge of this hackathon. In turn, FC graduates’ idea of an application for yoga classes won at the business opportunity festival "Icebreakers'19".