On February 23, the call for applications for studies at the international Erasmus Mundus master's program "Service Design Strategies and Innovations" (SDSI) for the 2024/2025 was closed.

The number of applications is impressive – this year, SDSI received 630 applications from all over the world competing for 35 study spots. Compared to previous years, there has been a noticeable increase in the quality of submitted applications, with only a few deemed ineligible for selection. While candidates from outside Europe – South America, Asia, and Africa – have shown the most interest in the program, this year there is also a significant increase in applicants from the USA, Canada, and Australia.

The evaluation process for SDSI study candidates is meticulous and carefully considered to ensure the selection of the most suitable candidates. In the first round, motivational videos and admission assignments are assessed, and the top candidates are invited to individual online interviews in the second round. The admission committee includes representatives from all SDSI consortium universities – the Art Academy of Latvia, the University of Lapland in Finland, the Estonian Academy of Arts, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Thanks to co-financing from the European Commission and adherence to geographic criteria, each year the top 20 students have the opportunity to be awarded the Erasmus Mundus scholarship – a monthly stipend of 1400 EUR for the entire duration of the studies. For those top candidates who do not qualify for the scholarship, self-funded studies are an opportunity.

The SDSI program offers an international study experience, combining aspects of design, business, technology, and research. The study plan includes three mandatory mobility locations – Latvia, Finland, and Estonia – for at least one semester each. Graduates receive diplomas from three universities – the Art Academy of Latvia, the University of Lapland, and the Estonian Academy of Arts.

This will be the second year of the SDSI program in Erasmus Mundus status, and studies will begin in September 2024 at the Needle Factory in Kuldiga. Currently, Erasmus Mundus students admitted in 2023 are studying at the Needle Factory and will continue their studies in Finland and Estonia in the second year. We eagerly await the next group of students!