Riga Technical University

Riga Technical University (RTU) (Latvian: Rīgas Tehniskā universitāte) is the oldest technical university in the Baltics established on October 14, 1862. It is Located in Riga, Latvia it was previously known as Riga Polytechnical Institute and Riga Polytechnicum.

Riga Technical University
Rīgas Tehniskā universitāte
RectorLeonīds Ribickis
Students14, 383 (2019)


Riga Polytechnical Institute (1862–1918)Edit

Riga Polytechnicum was first established in 1862 and was the first poly technical institute in Imperial Russia. It offered degrees in agriculture, chemistry, engineering, mechanics, trade and architecture, with education in German.

In addition to four technical faculties (architecture, engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry), the polytechnic also included an agricultural and a commercial faculty. The first lecturers came from Germany, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. The language of instruction was German.

Between 1863 and 1869, the number of students grew from sixteen to ninety. In 1869 the polytechnic moved into a new building. Since there was a lack of technical universities in Russia, many students - especially from the Baltic Sea governments - had gone to study at ETH Zurich, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, TU Dresden and Leibniz University Hannover. That should be changed. On January 1, 1874, Alexander II of Russia introduced general conscription. Now all men from the age of 21 had to serve fifteen years, six in Imperial Russian Army and nine in the reserve. For graduates of the Russian university who wanted to study, the period of service was only six months. This difference led to a significant increase in student numbers. At the beginning of the academic year 1874/75, 59 students enrolled, the total student body comprised 201 members. In the course of Russification, Nicholas II of Russia nationalized the university by decree of May 6, 1896. From 1896 to 1918 it was called the Riga Polytechnic Institute (Rīgas Politehniskais institūts - RPI). The number of students continued to increase, reaching 2088 students in 1913/14. In 1918/19 the Polytechnic was called the Baltic Technical University (Baltijas Tehniskā augstskola).

In 1896, it was renamed Riga Polytechnical Institute and the language of instruction was changed to Russian. The establishment of a faculty of architecture at the Polytechnicum in 1869 was instrumental in providing Riga with a group of locally trained architects, with consequences for the development of the characteristic Art Nouveau architecture in Riga.[1]

When World War I started in 1914, the Riga Polytechnical Institute was evacuated to Moscow and worked there until 1918. After that, part of the faculty returned to Latvia and joined the newly established University of Latvia.

In 1919, the university was incorporated as a technical faculty of the Latvian University of Applied Sciences (Latvijas Augstskola, since 1923: University of Latvia), which was founded after independence. On September 1, 1958, their technical faculties were spun off again and raised to an independent university. From 1958 to 1983 it was called the Riga Polytechnic Institute, and then renamed the Arvīds Pelše Institute of Technology in Riga (Arvīda Pelšes vārdā nosauktais Rīgas politehniskais institūts). In the mid-1970s, the university became the largest university in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. It has been called the Riga Technical University since March 1990. On April 23, 1992, a student parliament was founded. It is the oldest student self-government in Latvia.

Riga Technical University, 1958–presentEdit

Riga Polytechnical Institute was re-established in 1958 by splitting off the engineering departments from the State University of Latvia. In 1990, it was renamed to Riga Technical University. The university currently consists of 9 faculties:[2]

  • Department of Architectural Design
  • Department of History and Theory of Architecture
  • Department of Fine Arts
  • Department of Telecommunications Networks
  • Department of Transmission Systems
  • Department of Transport Electronics and Telematics
  • Department of Radiosystems
  • Department of Electronics Equipment
  • Department of Fundamentals of Electronics
  • Faculty of E-Learning Technologies and Humanities
  • Department of Sport
  • Department of Social Sciences
  • Department of Engineering pedagogy and Psychology
  • Department of Languages for Special Purposes
  • Department of Technical Translation
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics
  • Department of Industrial Electronics and Electrical Technologies
  • Department of Power System Control and Automation
  • Department of Electrical Machines and Apparatus
  • Department of Electric Power Supply
  • Department of Environment and Energy Systems
  • Department of Modelling and Simulation
  • Department of Management Information Technology
  • Department of Image Processing and Computer Graphics
  • Department of Computer Networks and Systems Technology
  • Department of Computer Control Systems
  • Department of Applied Computer Science
  • Department of Software Engineering
  • Department of Artificial Intelligence and Systems Engineering
  • Department of Engineering Mathematics
  • Department of Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics
  • Department of Roads and Bridges
  • Department of Geomatics
  • Department of Structural Analysis
  • Department of Structural Engineering
  • Department of Computer Aided Engineering Graphics
  • Department of Heat and Gas Technology
  • Department of Water Engineering and Technology
  • Department of Civil Building Construction
  • Department of Construction Technology
  • Department of Composite Materials and Structure
  • Department of Building Materials and Products
  • Department of Occupational Safety and Civil Defence
  • Department of International Business, Transport Economics and Logistics
  • Department of Customs and Taxes
  • Department of Civil Engineering and Real Estate Economics and Management
  • Department of the Territorial Development Management and Urban Economics
  • Department of Quality Technology
  • Department of Innovation and Business Management
  • Department of Corporate Finance and Economics
  • Department of Silicate, High Temperature and Inorganic Nanomaterials Technology
  • Department of Polymer Materials Technology
  • Department of General Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Materials Physics
  • Department of Semiconductor Physics
  • Department of Optics
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Chemical Technology of Biologically Active Compounds
  • Department of Design and Materials Technologies
  • Department of Clothing and Textile Technologies
  • Department of Aeronautical Technologies
  • Department of Avionics
  • Department of Aircraft Theory and Design
  • Department of Transport Systems and Logistics
  • Department of Medical Physics and Engineering
  • Department of Nanoengineering
  • Department of Instrument Engineering
  • Department of Material Processing Technology
  • Department of Theoretical Mechanics and Strength of Materials
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design
  • Department of Heat and Power Engineering Systems
  • Department of Railway Transport
  • Department of Automotive Engineering
  • Department of Railway Automatics and Telematics

As of 2020, it had 14,006 students. 3,525 out of these students were foreign students and 514 doctoral students.

Riga Business SchoolEdit

The Riga Business School is a management–education institution within Riga Technical University. It was founded in 1991, in close cooperation with the State University of New York at Buffalo (USA) and the University of Ottawa (Canada), and it was the first higher education institution in the Baltic states that offered Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in English.[3]

The school currently has more than 800 MBA graduates, mostly middle- and upper-level managers both in Latvia and abroad. The education standards and structure are adopted from the North-American style MBA, which contains case studies, working in groups, and active participation in classrooms.


In March 2017, RTU announced that it had won the first place among universities in Latvia in the international U-Multirank rating. The employment of RTU graduates is rated the highest (at the A level). The same evaluation was given to the university for bachelor's programs in English, for self-created or spin-off companies, for the post-doctoral study process and creativity in science.[4]

RTU is also the highest rated Latvian higher education institution «Times Higher Education Rating» in the 2020 Sustainability Assessment,[5] which evaluates the performance of universities in sustainable development. place in the group of the highest rated universities. RTU was rated the highest in the category "Planet protection" - in 2020 RTU was recognized as the 14th best in the world in this field[6]

RTU is also included in other European and world-class university rankings such as "QS World University Rating", "Eduniversal" and "GreenMetric".

Notable faculty and alumniEdit

Some of its most notable graduates are the Latvian-born Nobel Prize laureate Wilhelm Ostwald, the legendary Mayor of Riga George Armitstead, the former President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and many others who have earned distinction in science and society.

Affiliations and alliancesEdit

The Riga Technical University is one of the eight holders of the European University of Technology, EUt+,[7] with the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, the Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus, the Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences, Germany, the Technological University Dublin, Ireland, Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain, the University of Technology of Troyes, France, the Technological University Dublin, Ireland and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The European University of Technology, EUt+ is the result of the alliance of eight European partners who share in common :

  • the "Think Human First" vision towards a human-centred approach to technology
  • the ambition to establish a new type of institution on a confederal basis

Through EUt+, the partners are committed to creating a sustainable future for students and learners in European countries, for the staff of each of the institutions and for the territories and regions where each campus is anchored.



  1. ^ Krastins, Janis (2006). "Architecture and Urban Development of Art Nouveau – Metropolis Riga". International Review of Sociology. 16 (2): 395–425. doi:10.1080/03906700600709327.
  2. ^ Structure and administration: RTU Structure
  3. ^ Riga Business School. "History of RBS".
  4. ^ Starptautiskajā «U-Multirank» reitingā RTU — pirmajā vietā starp universitātēm Latvijā. / rtu.lv
  5. ^ Rankings 2020
  6. ^ Reitingi[dead link]
  7. ^ "European University of Technology, EUt+ Website". European University of Technology. Retrieved 13 May 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 56°56′50″N 24°06′17″E / 56.9472°N 24.1047°E / 56.9472; 24.1047