Private HE institutions want state aid to reduce inequality

Unequal status has prompted some Estonian private higher education institutions to apply for state aid to cover operational costs, reports ERR.

While public universities receive state funding for their activities, private higher education institutions have to finance themselves, leaving them at a disadvantage. Under the Higher Education Act, a private higher education institution can receive operating grants if it meets the strategic objectives of the state and if the labour market requires specialists with the qualifications it provides.

“Universities should not be treated differently according to their form of ownership,” said Meelis Kitsing, rector of the Estonian Business School (EBS). “Two public universities receive an operating subsidy of somewhere between €40-50 million [US$43-54 million], but in the case of EBS the amount is zero. The second principle is efficiency. We can see that there is some debate about how best to finance higher education. For our part, we see very clearly that we can deliver [higher education] more efficiently, at lower cost, in the same amount of time and with the same quality as other [institutions],” said Kitsing.
Full report on the ERR site