Vice-Rector Daina Vasilevska: Perfection has no Limits (0)
Turība University prepares for a new study-year by working on the improvement of both study environment and academic sphere. This summer the University staff has been joined by Vice-Rector of Scientific and Academic Issues, Dr.sc.admin. Daina Vasilevska, who has far-reaching goals regarding the development of the University, including also the broader development of science and facilitation of educational quality.
This is not the first time, when you come into contact with Turība University. Can you tell about your previous cooperation?
Perhaps, it will sound strange, but for the first time I came into contact with Turība in the previous century – in 1994, but then the University had another name. For the second time I came to Turība in 2004, when I worked on different projects and administrated the students’ hostel or the Youth’s Tourism Lodging, as it is called today. There is a saying that you cannot step into the same river twice, but I have done that already for the third time, and each time the University surprises me. When I returned to Turība University this year, I was glad to see its growth and development. The congratulations of academic environment colleagues and the joy for the path I have chosen confirm that Turība University is the right choice.
When you agreed to take the position of the Vice-Rector of Turība University, you certainly had particular goals you wanted to implement. What are the most important ideas?
The ideas and aims have been set jointly with the employers. Since the progress in the modern world is impossible without the support of science, we will certainly work on the development and improvement of scientific direction. The University, already for a decade, publishes a qualitative scientific periodical “Acta Prosperitatis”, therefore we should make also the logical next step – we should strive for the inclusion into the scientific data base. We will also work on the facilitation of educational quality. Do not misinterpret, at present the educational quality at Turība University is good; however, perfection has no limits, it is always possible to try to achieve more and to offer better educational opportunities.
What kind of education have you obtained?
Since I have four diplomas of higher education, I like to tell a joke that my education would be enough for a family. The first diploma I obtained in soviet times by graduating the University of Latvia as a philologist of German. By the way, now I have decided to perfect my English language skills. I understood that a philologist’s diploma would not be enough, therefore at Riga Technical University I obtained the Degree of Social Sciences in Management, but in 2014 I at the University of Latvia obtained the Doctoral Degree in Management with the specialization in the educational management. I defended my Doctoral Thesis on a very controversial topic “Socio-Economic Factors of the Availability Supply of Higher Education in Latvia”; it was defended on Friday the 13th, besides it was in full moon, therefore I believe that everything is possible. At present I am also an expert for the quality of higher education, expert of the Latvian Council of Sciences, I review scientific papers, participate in the processes for the licencing and accreditation of study programmes, etc.
How do you see the future development of Doctoral study programmes implemented at Turība University?
It is difficult to provide the particular answer. The Ministry of Education and Science at present is working in the improvement of Doctoral studies and Doctorate system, and by the end of 2019 will develop suggestions for a new model of Doctoral studies that would meet international standard. At present these suggestions have become the grounds for discussions in the academic environment, but the changes are, of course, necessary, and the students will only benefit from them. However, it is already clear that also in the future Turība University will implement competitive Doctoral study programmes and will continue the direction, where several higher education institutions cooperate for the implementation of one programme.
How do you spend your free time?
I like to travel in my free time. In fact, it was one of the reasons, why I chose to study German. I had decided that it would be my opportunity to travel, for example, like an interpreter or a guide. I had such opportunity. When speaking about travelling, I had to say that I strive to plan a travel at least twice a year, and I try to visit places I haven’t seen before. I often try to combine business trips and recreation, for example, when attending conferences, I plan an additional day for the sightseeing in the city. I like to visit southern countries, because, although I love Latvia very much, it should be pointed out that our Baltic Sea could be a bit warmer.
One of my hobbies is also reading; besides, it is reading not only of scientific literature, but also thrillers. I should certainly mention that I’m keen on dancesport – thanks to daughter’s achievements in this field, I’m now an active fan and spectator of contests, and I myself have graduated Riga School of Choreography. I didn’t become a famous ballet-dancer, but I had an opportunity to take part in different performances on the great stages. When I had to make a choice – dancing or acquisition of another profession, I discussed this issue with parents, who were not related to the world of art, and we concluded that in order to achieve something at that time I would need connections, which we did not have.
I do not regret the choice I have made – the education of a German philologist provided me with an opportunity to work as a freelance guide at the hotel “Latvija”, and already then to get acquainted with the representatives of different countries and cultures. Therefore today, while working at Turība, where there are students from many countries, I feel comfortable and perceive this situation with great interest. It is wonderful that so many young people come to us from all over the world, because everybody brings something new into our everyday life.