Almost all parties pledge to keep higher education free

Almost all of Estonia’s political parties have pledged free initial higher education in the Estonian language, to all, with only Parempoolsed, contesting its first ever election, calling for part tuition fees. Most of the parties also presented plans for reforming the system of student grants and loans, writes Ode Maria Punamäe for ERR News.

Aune Valk, vice-rector of the University of Tartu, told ETV news show ‘Aktuaalne kaamera’ that Reform and Centre’s manifestoes contain the most on the funding of higher education, with both pledging university rectors’ desired 1.5% of GDP on higher education spend. Valk said: “The stress here is placed on initial higher education,” referring to a first bachelor degree that a student may read.

Parempoolsed is the only party which states that it plans to replace free higher education with part tuition fees. The party would also boost the proportion of graduates in the real world, and reform the student loan system.
Full report on the ERR site