The number of foreign students in Estonian universities remains at the last year’s level

20.12.2021 | 11:43

This academic year, 5,072 foreign students are receiving higher education in Estonian universities, which is 164 less than last year. Despite a slight decrease in the number of international students, compared to the previous year the enrolment of students increased by 20%.
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Eero Loonurm, the Head of International Marketing for Higher Education at the Education and Youth Board, said that the mobility of international students has been affected by both the global health crisis and higher levels of competition between countries: "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."

A total of 1,748 foreign students were admitted in the 2021/2022 academic year, which constitutes an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. Last year, there were 1,450 newly enrolled students.

The largest number of foreign students in Estonia is still interested in master's studies (2,122 foreign students), but interest in doctoral studies has also increased, where 757 foreign students are studying this academic year.

In total, foreign students from 124 countries study in Estonian universities. Most foreign students come to Estonia from neighbouring Finland (19%) and Russia (11%). The number of students from Latvia has increased again, and there was a large increase in the number of students from the EU countries, such as Italy, Germany, and France, all of which are among the 20 countries sending the most students to Estonia.

Looking at the number of foreign students in Estonian universities by field of their study, it becomes apparent that most foreign students study business, administration, and law (1,574), followed by the humanities and arts (758) and information and communication technology (681). The number of foreign students studying information and communication technology as well as natural and exact sciences and technology increased the most this academic year.

Although the vast majority of foreign students in Estonia study in English, the number of foreign students studying according to Estonian-language curricula has also increased, reaching 214 (194 foreign students last year).

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