In order to financially support students in higher education, from September 1 to December 31, the minimum monthly stipend for excelling students will be increased from EUR 99.6 to EUR 200, the Cabinet decided on Tuesday, September 7.
For this purpose, the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) intends to spend EUR 2.04 million. The Ministry will obtain the money by reallocating funds among the budget programs.
According to the Ministry, the existing grant amount of EUR 99.60 may be insufficient to keep the excelling students in higher education, as well as the amount of the stipend has not been revised for more than 10 years. So far, the actual solution was students working in parallel to studies, but due to the socio-economic crisis caused by Covid-19, these opportunities have been reduced.
LSM reported last year that the state had upped the stipend to EUR 200 temporarily, while the Covid-19 crisis lasts. However, this year, as the official state of emergency in the country ended, the amount went down again. Therefore, the Student Union of Latvia (LSA) asked for continued support as financial difficulties extended beyond the formal state of emergency.
“There is no grant of €200 in the national budget for 2022. We are also asking, so that there is no gap in receiving payments, to keep [the stipends] at €200 per month in the autumn semester,” said Kristafers Zeiļuks, president of the LSA, at the time.
The project adopted September 7 is intended to increase the current minimum monthly grants from €99.60 to €200 for the period from 1 September to 31 December 2021.
The funding shall be distributed proportionally to the number of seats financed by the State budget.