The paper will describe the development of universities in Latvia from 1950’s to nowadays. The higher education system experienced changes along with the political transformations of the country. Latvia was incorporated in the Soviet Union in 1940, regained its independence in 1991 and joined EU in 2004. Since 2012 Latvia is a fully fledged participant of the European Higher Education Area. The paper will describe the transformations of universities in Latvia from the perspective of a cultural learning theory and transfer of knowledge defined by Gita Steiner-Khamsi. It will provide the reference to an external education model, its modification and metamorphosis into a local educational model. Latvia as a small country and relatively new culture had found itself in the situation to learn from the cultural experiences of countries that have longer experience of democracy and had to overtake the ideas of the education systems from other countries and adopt them to the local needs.