A. Briška

University of Latvia (LATVIA)
In the current economical conditions the question of the quality of education is not only urgent, but also very essential for the recovery and improvement of economics. National economy of Latvia needs different kinds of specialists who could adapt the rapid changes in the labour market and react to them properly. According to the Lisbon strategy, the economy of Latvia is based on educated society; the society assets are spent, but what does the society get in return? In the latest years the number of higher education study programs is growing rapidly, but how to assess their quality and input into the development of national economy? The higher education establishment can choose which programs to make and implement, therefore the competition of study programs and higher education establishments is rising. More and more urgent is the question which criteria to use to detect which study program is qualitative and necessary for the society.
The aim of this article is to research the effectiveness of adjustment of the chosen criteria to assess the usefulness of implementation of higher education study programs.
The first part of the article looks at the formation of the system of Latvian higher education quality assessment and the functions of its main members. In the second part of the article, using the data of the student survey by UL research project, the author compares the answers of student groups of different study programs. In the third part the author researches coherences between students’ satisfaction with the knowledge acquired while studying and the study program done, and the two criteria which could be usability criteria when assessing study program quality. These criteria are the usability of knowledge acquired while studying in the labour market, and the ability to adapt the labour market, and they are characterised by students’ income.
In the author’s opinion, it is important to link these two student assessments about the knowledge acquired while studying and the study program itself with the students’ ability to adapt the labour market requirements and the opportunity to use the knowledge acquired while studying in the labour market. The chosen criteria assess the usefulness of study program implementation both from the point of view of usability and competitiveness. If the knowledge acquired while studying is usable and the student is competitive in the labour market, we can assume, that the study program is useful not only for the student, but also for the society and the Latvian national economy in total.
The research does the comparative and correlative analysis. The comparative analysis compares the chosen assessment criteria of different study program groups and their effectiveness indicators. The correlative analysis looks for coherences between the chosen assessment criteria.