This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Business Informatics

Riga Technical University
Thematic Area
Factual description
The study programme ‘Business Informatics’ in Riga Technical University combines interdisciplinary features in the fields of information technology, computer engineering, electronics, telecommunications, computer control and computer science. In addition to interdisciplinarity, the programme is implemented in cooperation with University of Buffalo (USA) and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). The aim of this programme is to prepare the professionals with expertise in systems thinking and engineering sciences, participate in interdisciplinary and international projects and design intra- and inter-organizational information systems. The programme language is English, therefore local and international students study together, work in teams and share multicultural experience.
The complex systems in the modules of the programme are considered from the practical point of view. Complexity is addressed by number of systems components, number of relationships, and variability modeling.
Theories of complex systems and systems thinking are incorporated in most of the courses. The courses include general systems theory as well as theories of living systems and viable systems. Problems of different complexity level are solved by students in groups or individually. In some subjects, students choose the application relatable to them, and then during the semester develop a solution to a problem in this area. Many students are employed in industry and their problems are usually related to their work experience, thus, include practical issues. Problem solving also requires understanding of principles of systems classification, foundation of cybernetics, set theory and graph theory.
Although the ethical and sustainability issues are not specifically addressed in the modules of the programme, they are taken into account in many modules, for example, ‘Enterprise Architecture and Requirements Engineering’ or ‘Business Process Management and Engineering’. In the programme, the sustainability is handled as a result of designing a sustainable system, that is, the system with the correct requirement engineering and systems approach. This is ensured by considering APQC PCF, which includes the processes that take care of sustainability.
Relevance in complex systems
The complex systems and sustainable thinking are covered in various subjects on the different level. Sustainable development issues are addressed in the module ‘Enterprise Architecture and Requirements Engineering’, the module ‘Systems Theory’ covers complex systems and system thinking. The approaches that are used in the requirements engineering and describe systems are presented in the mentioned courses. Students learn to identify problems solvable by ICT, design business architectures and specify the requirements for organizational information systems which include people and computer systems as parts. They also study the methods which enable to identify critical factors that have influence on the systems performance. The main focus is on the theories which are usually used for business development.
Strong points
The strong point of this programme is the cooperation between the educational institutions and corporation. This facilitates working with real life problems.
Transferability potential
The courses in the study programme are grouped by the themes, can last several semesters, and can be adapted to the level of the individual courses. This scheme enables students to prepare their final papers based on the issues analyzed through several courses from different perspectives.