Estonia Attracts Surging Numbers of International Students

Estonia Europe Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Jan 22, 2024


Estonia is witnessing a surge in international students from non-EU countries, drawing the attention of thousands, new figures have revealed.

Following the Estonian Internal Security Service’s (ISS) statement that international students tend to discontinue education at Estonian universities quickly, data collected by ERR News, the English-language news outlet of Estonian Public Broadcasting, reveals a contrasting picture, showing the dropout rate is less than 10 percent.

The number of international students in Estonia increased by 20 percent between 2020/21 and 2021/2022 academic years, reports.

In a previous comment, the Head of International Marketing for Higher Education at the Education and Youth Board, Eero Loonurm, emphasized that Estonia continues to be an attractive place for international students.

“Estonia remains an attractive country for international students, which is also demonstrated by the increase in the number of students enrolled. However, the introduction of Estonian higher education on the global level and the invitation of foreign students to Estonian universities is a real art form, since there is a very real global competition with the best universities in Europe and around the world,” Loonurm said in a statement released in December 2021.

Recent figures show that 948 international students from the so-called third countries attended Tallinn University over the past year. Between 2018 and 2022, nearly 1,700 international students enrolled at the Tallinn University of Technology.

Officials from Tallinn University said the institution does not gather data on international student dropouts based on their nationality.

“It is possible that a citizen of a third country got their bachelor’s degree and enrolled in a master’s program inside five years in which case the same person might be counted twice as statistics is based solely on the number of enrolled students and the data is not personalized,” Monika Maljukov, communication specialist for Tallinn University told ERR News.

She unveiled there are 74 students studying at this university who come from non-EU or EEA countries, including Ukraine, the US, China, Colombia, Georgia, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Russia, and more.

Data indicate that most international students in Estonia are interested in pursuing master’s studies, but there has also been an increase in interest in PhD studies in recent years.

Over the past years, Estonia welcomed most students from its neighboring Finland and Russia. In 2021, 19 percent of international students in the country were from Finland, while those from Russia accounted for 11 percent.

However, Estonian universities also admit some students from Latvia, Germany, Italy, France, and several other countries.

During the same year (2021), most international students chose to study business, administration, and law (1,574). A total of 758 chose humanities and arts, followed by 681 in information and communication technology.

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