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Baiba Rivza, Sandija Rivza and Peteris Rivza

Risk assessment in renewable energy production from agriculture biomass in Latvia

The concepts "risk", "crisis", "danger" have become commonly used and recognised in various fields of entrepreneurship, governance, agriculture and environment protection. Risk management and risk evaluation nowadays has not only theoretical, but also practical application. Risk assessment is an important factor for successful and sustainable entrepreneurship of bioenergy production, which has become one of the priorities in the energy sector of Latvia — promotion of the use of renewable energy is included as one of the strategic goals for both European Union (EU) and Latvia. The present research focuses on risk assessment and choice of risk management alternatives in renewable energy production form agriculture biomass, since this type of energy is viewed as a perspective source for renewable energy production in Latvia. This field of energy production in Latvia is rather new and scantily explored, and therefore there are many risk factors that arise in different stages of energy production, starting with planning and building of a bioreactor and ending with production and further use and distribution of energy. A risk assessment module for renewable energy production made using Analytic Network Process (ANP) software is described in the paper.

Open access

Daina Vasilevska, Baiba Rivza, Vilija Alekneviciene and Agnieszka Parlińska

Abstract

Distance education as one of the new and perspective forms of completing higher education increases in popularity around the world. At the same time, the development of this model of education generates new problems: organization of the study process and information security. Distance learning allows solving a problem of accessibility of higher education in case of social issues, working hours, etc. Therefore, distance education is of major importance in increasing the learning efficiency. The Latvian model of distance education is passing the stage of formation and approbation in the market of educational services. However, the creation of system of distance education should not be the final step for higher education institutions as such; furthermore, this process would not be developed without students. Therefore, the objective of the present research is to find out the opinion of the students on the expediency of distance education. More than 850 students from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia and Belarus have participated in the research. Results of the research have revealed that the traditional form of education based on communication between the lecturer and the student is more demanded among the students. At present, distance learning, unfortunately, cannot be characterised by stable demand. In order to increase the demand for such model of education, public presentations and discussions should be made, and media support is also necessary.

Open access

Veronika Bikse, Baiba Rivža and Ieva Brence Latvian

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to find the competitiveness of Latvian university graduates in Latvia and the European Union labour market concerning aspects of entrepreneurship education. To achieve the purpose of this study to determine the competitive and qualitative levels of Latvian universities and necessary improvements that need to be made, a survey of 4,909 graduates (from the years 2006-2011) representing six Latvia universities was performed between November-December, 2011. Results indicate that, in general, the graduates consider themselves competitive in the Latvian labour market. The graduates have positive opinions concerning the quality of theoretical knowledge as well as the abilities to present information and to evaluate, analyse and systematise it. At the same time, there are serious improvements that are necessary in regard to entrepreneurship education and to increase the competitiveness of Latvian universities, which can be done by improving the quality of the study process, the content of courses, teaching (learning) methods and the attitudes of academic staff to better motive students to develop their skills emphasising the practical side of the study process

Open access

Maiga Krūzmētra, Baiba Rivža and Jonas Jasaitis

Abstract

Any country is interested in economic growth regardless of its development level in any period; yet an increasingly important role in defining growth is played by the term ‘smart growth’. The EU development strategy until 2020 defines smart growth as a strategic objective. Smart growth does not take place automatically. It is affected both by the condition of the economic, social and natural environments and by subjective factors - the competence of performance agents. The present research distinguished three groups of rural space and regional performance agents: national institutions, local governments and communities of residents of the territories examined by the research. The research summarised the opinions of experts (Latvia n=171; Lithuania n=163) from the south-eastern part of Latvia and the north-eastern part of Lithuania with the purpose of assessing the contribution of the performance agent groups to the promotion of smart economic growth. The research aimed to identify the positive indications of the contribution made by each performance agent group as well as the largest problems affecting the promotion of smart economic growth in each country. Despite the fact that the sample groups were not representative (did not reflect the views of the entire population), the obtained survey data and the results of this analysis provided insight into the performance agents’ action ratings from the bottom-up position and allowed comparing the situations in Latvia and Lithuania. The research has become an urgent task in project No. 5.2.3 “Rural and Regional Development Processes and Opportunities in Latvia in the Context of Knowledge Economy” in National Research Programme 5.2. "Economic Transformation, Smart Growth, Governance and Legal Framework for the State and Society for Sustainable Development - a New Approach to the Creation of a Sustainable Learning Community: EKOSOC-LV”.

Open access

Veronika Bikse, Inese Lusena-Ezera, Baiba Rivza and Tatjana Volkova

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the experience and to identify the drivers of transforming traditional universities into Entrepreneurial Universities for ensuring sustainable higher education in Latvia. Due to the wide scope, Entrepreneurial University characteristics, the present research study is limited and focuses on the university providing access to students to business incubation facilities, relationships with business incubators for students, as well openness of university to collaboration and knowledge co-creation with its external stakeholders. Analyses of the experiences of universities of Latvia business incubators providing services to students, as well cooperation between higher education institutions (HEI) and local governments and entrepreneurs show that there is a positive trend. In opposite, such a trend can’t be observed towards building Entrepreneurial Universities in Latvia over the past 5 years. The results of the survey show that there is a need put higher efforts to assist young entrepreneurs in building cooperation networks and strengthening knowledge co-creation with external stakeholders.