Education and Science, Forum, Jurmala, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 16.08.2018, 14:38

Professors and Scientists from Different Countries Meet Again in Jurmala, Latvia

BC, Riga, 24.07.2018.Print version
The representatives of 40 Higher Educational Institutions from 13 countries participated in the Annual International Scientific Symposium and International Multidisciplinary Academic Conference in Jurmala, July 11-14, 2018.

It is the fourth consecutive year the Latvian Institute IRIS-ALKONA organized the scientific forums in Jurmala welcoming the researchers and experts from different parts of the world. This year brings together two events at a time - 4th International Scientific Symposium “Economics, Business, Finance’’ and International Multidisciplinary Academic Conference. The opening of both events was held on July, 11.

 

“Today the problems of business, economics and finance are closely intertwined with the problems of science and education, while academic problems are being solved in the interdisciplinary framework’’, states Assoc. Prof., Dr. Natalia Konovalova, Director of IRIS-ALKONA Institute, the event organiser at one of the plenaries. She believes the discussion of interdisciplinary problems in a consolidated and integrated environment could generate a good experience for boosting new ideas and scientific projects. She also insists that nowadays international scientific cooperation as well as interinstitutional connections are highly essential. Not only does it foster the development of science, but improves the business environment itself.

 

This year scientific event in Jurmala was remarkable for the extensive discussions of the problems relevant not only for economics, business and finance, but experts also addressed the problems in the sphere of pedagogy, psychology and education.

 

Keynote speakers made were very interesting presentations. For examle, DSc(Econ) Olga Bogdanova, Director of Tax Administration Department of the Ministry of Finance in her presentation focused on the recent developments in the financial sphere of Latvia which she refers to as notorious ones. She raised the issues related to tax reform, shadow economy and credit ratings. Bogdanova believes the main purpose of tax reform is the fight against shadow economy. Following the estimates of Friedrich Schneider, German esearcher, the shadow economy in Latvia in 2017 made 21.7% of GDP. The reform is aimed to decrease the rate of the shadow economy up to 18% of GDP by 2021; i.e. following the forecast of the Ministry of Finance the rate of the shadow economy will be annually decreasing at a rate of approximately 1%.In her speech the representative of the Ministry of Finance also devoted big attention to the credit ratings of different countries, stating that Latvia is currently having a positive credit rating. She believes that the main factors fostering the stability of credit rating in Latvia are its membership in the Eurozone, decrease in the foreign currency risks, accessibility of liquid funds from the Eropean Central Bank (ECB) for the Latvian banks, as well as the membership in the Organisation of the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Still, there is a threat of the credit rating decrease that might be caused by an increase in social and defence expenditures, external financial risks and geopolitics, specifically a tense relationship with Russia. “The thing is, the economy of Latvia is too small and exposed, being rather vulnerable to external crunches,’’she concludes.

 

Professor from Germany Dr. Günter Hofbauer at one of the plenaries presented his view of the Porter’s value chain concept. He posed the question: “Isn’t it high time the existing value chain model was changed so that it could be applied to the new demands of the market?’’ The novelty of the concept is its ability, unlike the former model of added value, to estimate the profit making operations of an enterprise. Professor pointed out that alongside its advantages the concept has certain shortcomings. Cost comparison analysis, conducted on the basis of the concept, allows to examine to what extent each operation meets the best indicators  in the industry. Following the information obtained, it will be possible in the future to more effectively plan the sequense of a certain activity/operation, identify the most effective cost reduction methods and determine the ways to increase the company cost reduction competitiveness.

 

The disadvantage of the concept application is a difficulty to obtain the information about other companies in view of its confidentiality. Apart from this, the comparative analysis of costs is not always possible as the rival companies do their best to use different methods of cost estimates.’’Comany’s value chain is a critical  element of strategic analysis of costs used to compare the costs of key competitors and determine the cost competitive advantage of the company,’’ concludes the German professor.

 

Two other presenters focused on the problems of education, pedagogy and teaching methods. Specifically, Mg. Econ. Yuri Moskaluk, Board Member of Rietumu Asset Management   talked about the necessity to bridge the HEI students’ preparation to the employers’ needs. He emphasized the existing paradoxical situation: while there is an excess of the workforce on the labour market the employers experience a dramatic shortage of qualified staff. The problem is especially tangible in the financial sector, specifically when recruiting staff to work in financial markets. Security markets are extremely versatile and those operating in this area are expected to be agile, proactive and able to forecast the changes before they actually emerge. Professionals operating in this area should use the latest information rather than the one available in the media or news feeds. HEIs today are challenged with the problem of how to educate such specialists in the right way. Having both, practical experience in a financial organisation and teaching in HEI Yuri Moskaluk addressed the problems faced by the universities preparing qualified workforce as well as employers when recruiting qualified staff. Yuri Moskaluk states that the main condition for employers to provide themselves with the qualified workforce is a solid bridge between HEIs and employers built on effective cooperation, interaction and feedback.

 

The plenary ended with the presentation of Michael A. Radin, Professor from the USA. His speech was dedicated to the pedagogical management. He focused on the causes of ineffective pedagogical management and its impact. Poor cooperation with students, lack of information and feedback, inflexible approaches to education are the causes of ineffective pedagogical management the impact of which may be highly perilous, cautions the American professor. It may lead to students’ potential limitations, hostile environment, lack of students ‘trust to faculty, plagiarism. Michael Radin highlighted the comparison examples of ineffective management impact in education and some other spheres. He also talked about the American pedagogical management experience in the US education system. The American professor ascertains that effective pedagogical management determines success in the international education.

 

Following the plenary, the participants of symposium and academic conference continued their work in parallel sections. The symposium and conference lasted till July, 14.






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