Universities raise concerns over underfunding of sector

Rectors of six Estonian universities – the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University, the Tallinn University of Technology, the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre – met with Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas to discuss the underfunding of higher education, reports ERR News.

University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser told ERR: “If we do not have sufficient funding, quality will certainly suffer. We are already in a situation in which universities have had to limit access. At the same time, you must take into consideration that the number of high school graduates is increasing and those that cannot get into university will go to acquire an education abroad, which will also affect the next generation of academic workers.”

Asser added that the universities want to continue with free higher education and hope to get considerable state support. He pointed to establishing the so-called Netherlands model in Estonia, where all students could pay €100 (US$113) to €150 (US$170) monthly, which could be covered with a study loan. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has reportedly recommended that model to Estonia for the last decade, but it has not been implemented.
Full report on the ERR site