Universities will not sign contracts without new funding

Estonian universities will not sign administrative contracts with the state if the government fails to make additional funding available for this year and for three consecutive years that would help reduce the cumulative higher education financing deficit of €100 million (US$111 million), writes Mirko Ojakivi for ERR.

University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser told the Vikerraadio “Uudis+” programme that underfunding of higher education was an acute problem for all public-law universities in Estonia. All are currently in talks over new administrative contracts that cover the state’s expectations and universities’ possibilities.

Asser said that the problem was caused after Estonia switched to free higher education and universities were deprived of opportunities to involve private capital. Government funding of universities has since then dropped from 1.5% of GDP to 1.1%. “It is impossible to retain the same working conditions in this kind of a decline, and it is about to reflect in the quality of higher education,” Asser said.
Full report on the ERR site