HIGHER EDUCATION IN ESTONIA

HIGHER EDUCATION IN ESTONIA

The Estonian system for higher education is, much like in Hungary, has three levels. One can usually get a diploma in 4-10 years (BA degree in 3-4 years, 2 additional years for a MA degree, and 3-4 more to get a PhD.)

Students usually study in small groups, and they have many opportunities to join various research and development projects. The different educational institutes are well-equipped, modern and student-friendly. Teachers are well-prepared and students are met with a welcoming, friendly, supportive and inspiring atmosphere.

As of now, there are 19 schools of higher education in Estonia (6 state-funded and 1 private university, 7 state-funded and 5 private colleges.)

Traditionally general education, as well as higher education is highly competence-based in Estonia. So, it is not surprising that Estonian students receive leading marks on the PISA tests every year. As an e-society, they pay special attention to developing digital skills and competences and to the teaching of computer-sciences. They also use a variety of digital tools for teaching and school assignments from as early as kindergarten until university studies, just like they do in everyday life.

GETTING A DEGREE (ENGLISH PROGRAMMES)

There are more than one hundred English higher education programmes in Estonia. They are all high quality, internationally acknowledged and marketable. The programmes are available in the following universities:

! Estonian Studies MA programme taught in English for international students interested in Estonia and the Estonian Culture.

Every year more and more international students choose Estonian Higher education. Since 2015 the number of non-Estonian students doubled (in 2019 and 2020 around12%, more than 5200 students from 120 different countries.)

"I spent three months at Tallinn University, during which I was able to learn so much, it became a wonderful, decisive time for me. Within the English taught programmes many courses are free to visit. There are also many opportunities to participate in research programmes and events, such as projects, conferences or presentations from guest lecturers. During these students can get a glimpse of the inner workings of the different faculties and research groups of the university. Every condition and tool is available for studying, research and for getting a thorough knowledge on the Estonian culture." – Timi, Estophilus scholarship student

UNIVERSITY LIFE

Estonia is a member of the European Union and is part of the Eurozone. The country is around the size of Transdanubia in Hungary, and the population is a little over 1 million. After the capital, Tallinn, the second biggest city is Tartu, a traditional university city, giving a home to the oldest and largest universities of the country, the University of Tartu, founded in 1632 by the Swedish. ( It is interesting to know that in 1583, István Báthory, Transylvanian monarch and Polish king founded a Jesuit college in the city.) Both Tallinn and Tartu have an active Hungarian community, Tartu has a Hungarology programme (with a Hungarian lector), and Tallinn is home of the country-wide Hungarian Institute.

Estonia is a very livable and lovable place, with a special, rich nature (wetlands, forests, islands and seashores). It is also very modern, and one of the world’s safest countries. Internet access is a constitutional right. Everyday life and running errands are – due to the many e-services- organized, transparent, understandable and easy to manage for internationals as well. Adults and young adults speak English very well, and many of the people speak Russian too. General services are available in English.

"During my semester at the University of Tartu, I learnt a lot. I got to know the history of the country and region, I got to see what it is like to live in a digital society, and how good it is to volunteer in another country. I studied the Estonian language, got to see the wetlands, visited Riga, Helsinki and Vilnius. What I liked best was probably the many international events in Tartu that helped me to adapt to the new situation. I met many amazing people thanks to these events, and I got t know the culture even better. I can only recommend visiting this special northern culture.” – Eszti, Campus Mundi scholarship student

International students have the opportunity of getting a job besides university, as well as participate in Erasmus and other exchange programmes. Internationals who attended Estonian Universities are welcomed on the job market. The atmosphere is also very inspiring and motivating for those who wish to start their own company, so it is no wonder that the average number of start-ups per person in Estonia is the highest in the world.

There are many university and state-led institutes that help students get information, run errands and adapt through language-courses, orientation days and informative materials, as well as leisure programmes. University life is active, student organizations are very popular in schools. The Estonian cultural scene is lively, and it is very easy to travel within the country and to visit the surrounding countries as well.

UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE TRAINING, RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Exchange students, scholarship students or those taking part in training or an internship can also participate in Estonian Higher education. Many programmes offer courses taught in English, which can also be taken into account in respective Hungarian programmes. Many Hungarian universities and colleges cherish good relationships with Estonian schools of higher education. Aside from the most popular international training/internship/research scholarship opportunities (Erasmus, Campus Mundi)* there are many Estonian state scholarships as well (the Estonian language is not required):

  • Estophilus: 1-5 months of research to gather material in any subject related to Estonia, available for BA senior students, MA students and PhD students

  • Dora Pluss: short instructional study, and part university training for MA and PhD students (the subject is not limited to Estonia)

  • Winter and Summer School,  1-4 weeks courses taught in English: University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian Academy of Arts all offer various short programmes like semantics, arts, cybersecurity, robotics, short film and storytelling.

For those interested in Estonian culture and language we recommend the winter and summer universities of the University of Tartu and Tallinn University (different levels, taught in English or Finnish language)

USEFUL LINKS: 

* Hungarian Universities can provide more information on Erasmus, campus Mundi and other scholarship opportunities.