Possibilities to Obtain Higher Education in Germany for Latvian Baltic German Students (1920–1934) [PDF]

Rudolfs Rubenis
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: With the formation of the Parliamentary Republic of Latvia in the early 1920s, higher education in Latvia underwent the changes that affected the Baltic Germans. The necessity to obtain higher education in the Latvian language was perceived with mixed feelings, and the interest in the establishment and development of the University of Latvia (UL) and involvement in the reorganisation of the Riga Polytechnic Institute (RPI) went hand in hand with the reluctance to accept the full Latvianization of higher education. In the circumstances, the students used contacts established by their student corporations and sought for higher education in Germany, where it could be obtained in German but later equated to the higher education obtained in Latvia. Thus, the aim of the article is to evaluate the possibilities for the Baltic German students from the parliamentary state of Latvia (1920–1934) to study in German universities. The research is based on the documents of UL and Baltic German student corporations from the Latvian State Historical Archive (LVVA), Baltic German student corporation press (journals and anniversary books) kept in the UL Library, UL activity reports (1924–1931) stored in UL Museum history collection and available research on the Baltic German minority in the Parliamentary Republic of Latvia. The study showed that during the parliamentary period, the Latvian Baltic Germans used the state granted minority rights to find alternative ways to obtain higher education in German. The parliamentary system did not discriminate against the Baltic Germans for their use of the German language and allowed them to study in Germany but demanded that their diplomas be equated with the diploma obtained at the UL. The contacts established by student corporations helped Baltic German students to better integrate into the German study environment offering accommodation on the premises of student corporations in Germany. At the same time, additional knowledge through lectures on the political situation of Baltic Germans in the parliamentary state of Latvia did not allow them losing their historical connection with the Baltic region.
Keywords: Baltic Germans, Germany, higher education, student corporations, University of Latvia.


In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3