Discussion “Do foreign nationals in Latvia receive sufficient information in regard to Covid-19?”

14. January, 2022


Dārta Pelse

On November 11th, 2021 Centre for Public Policy and the NGO “Make Room” organized a discussion “Do foreign nationals in Latvia receive sufficient information in regard to Covid-19 and are able to adapt to the conditions of the pandemic?”
Participating in the discussion:
– Quadri Okunuga.A, AIESEC Latvia country director;
– Abu Sohail ur Rehman, foreign student from India, living in Latvia long-term;
– Smuidra Žermanos, Dean of the International Student Department (RSU);
– Liene Levada, expert, Ministry of Education and Science (Higher education, science and innovation department);
– Jānis Saulītis, Director of Student Service in University of Latvia;
– Gareth Euan Hamilton, Dean of Social Anthropology at RSU.
The discussion is moderated by Ieva Raubisko (researcher, Providus) and Miks Celmins (Make Room).
00:00 Do foreign nationals in Latvia receive sufficient information in regard to Covid-19?
00:21 Opening remarks
03:20 Introduction of panelists
06:10 Smuidra Žermanos about no. of int. students in Riga Stradins University
06:46 Jānis Saulītis about no. of int. students in Universtity of Latvia
07:37 Liene Levada, about no. of int. students in Latvia
08:34 Miks Celmiņš about information accessibility for foreigners during the Covid crisis
09:44 On start of the Covid in Latvia (Gareth Euan Hamilton)
11:40 Lack of information about Covid related matters for international students (Quadri Okunuga.A)
14:56 General information accessibility for international students in Latvia (Abu Sohail ur Rehman)
18:15 Covid related information’s accessibility & lack of support for international students in regard to information accessibility (Quadri Okunuga.A)
20:04 Lack of information accessibility for int. students (Gareth Euan Hamilton)
22:06 Information channels used by students, organisations & challenges identified during pandemic (Abu Sohail ur Rehman)
27:10 Smuidra Žermanos on Covid-related communication with gov. institutions, embassies, challenges encountered during the beginning of the pandemic
38:33 Jānis Saulītis on Covid-related communication with gov. institutions, decisions about remote studies, lack of information & certainty about gov. decisions
46:25 Liene Levada on Ministry of Education’s communication with universities, students, other gov. institutions during Covid pandemic
48:06 University representatives respond to a question about providing information to students
51:00 Question “What could be done additionally to improve current situation?” (Quadri Okunuga.A)
58:45 Question “Establishing a risk management group for such issues?” (Quadri Okunuga.A)
1:02:50 Question “How universities currently address student drop-out due to Covid & Covid-related challenges?” (Abu Sohail ur Rehman)
1:06:38 Comment/question “Finding solutions for students, who could not get vaccinated due to inability to get vaccinated in Latvia and whose academic career suffered because of that” (Abu Sohail ur Rehman)
1:13:39 Question “What practical solutions can be applied, so everyone benefits?”
1:18:03 Reflections on the discussion by Abu Sohail ur Rehman
1:22:06 Reflection & recommendations by Quadri Okunuga.A
1:25:53 Reflections & recommendations by Gareth Euan Hamilton
1:31:18 Summary of the discussion by Ieva Raubiško
1:35:38 Summary & reflection by Miks Celmiņš
1:36:40 Additional comments by Quadri Okunuga.A & Abu Sohail ur Rehman
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