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Riga Technical University (RTU) is the first higher school in Latvia.

The history of Riga Technical University dates back to 14 October 1862, when the Riga Polytechnicum (RP) was founded. It was the first multi-discipline technical tertiary education establishment in the Russian Empire. The RP was established following the model of the most progressive technical universities of that time. The RP originally incorporated six departments: Engineering, Chemistry, Agriculture, Mechanics, Commerce, and Architecture. 

In 1896, the Riga Polytechnicum was reformed into an official higher school of the Russian Empire – the Riga Polytechnical Institute (RPI), with Russian as the official language of tuition. Following the example of European higher schools, the institute retained its autonomy. 

In the beginning of 1919, the five faculties of the Riga Polytechnical Institute formed the core for the foundation of the Higher School of Latvia. On 28 September 1919 the consolidation of the independent Latvia State led to the establishment of the University of Latvia, which incorporated nine faculties. For the first time in the history of Latvia, tuition was conducted in Latvian. For the following 40 years higher technical education in Latvia was generally associated with the University of Latvia and its successor - the Latvian State University.

In 1958, technical faculties of the Latvian State University were separated to form the renewed Riga Polytechnical Institute, providing tuition both in Latvian and Russian, depending on the course system. The RPI was an independent tertiary education establishment with 3000 students. In the first 5 years the number of students increased more than threefold. At the end of the 1980s, the RPI had already 10 faculties: Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Technical Appliances and Automation, Textile and Clothing Technology, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Radio Engineering and Communications, Engineering Economics and Social Sciences.

On 19 March 1990 the Riga Technical University was renamed to its present name. Since then the university has been successfully reorganizing its study processes to ensure compliance of academic and professional tertiary education, focused on the spheres typical for the national economy of Latvia, along with the requirements of the European Union. 

The academic performance of RTU has received positive evaluation by international experts and the university is accredited by the Tertiary Education Council of the Republic of Latvia. The study programmes offered by the RTU have undergone international expertise and are officially accredited. 

To date RTU comprises 8 faculties: Architecture and Urban Planning, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Electronics and Telecommunications, Power and Electrical Engineering, Engineering Economics and Management, Materials Science and Applied Chemistry, Transport and Mechanical Engineering. There are also part-time and extramural departments. RTU has affiliations in the largest cities of Latvia – Daugavpils, Liepāja, and Ventspils.