The number of foreign students working towards a degree in Estonian universities is increasing each year. Students come from over 50 different countries, but best represented are Finland, Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Nigeria and India.
Tallinn University of Technology is hosting 431 new students from all over the world this year. That is a more than 30 percent increase compared to the previous year and amounts to about half of all new foreign students in Estonian universities.
Tallinn University has 223 new students from abroad and the University of Tartu has 200. Compared to 2013, these figures are up by 33 and 34 percent, respectively.
The number of applications received from foreign students at the University of Tartu has almost doubled compared to last year, growing from 188 in 2013 to 349 in 2014. Tallinn University boasts an even greater rise, 579 against the 334 received a year before.
According to Ülle Tensing, senior specialist for international studies at the University of Tartu, "One can notice several reasons behind this rise, two new degree courses in English and more intensive marketing being perhaps the most important."
Krista Must, a communication specialist for Tallinn University, told ERR News that their university has, in co-operating with the Study in Estonia program, marketed their courses in five target countries: Finland, Russia, Turkey, Latvia and Lithuania. In 2012 the university also opened a branch of law school in Helsinki. The school currently hosts 167 students, most of whom are Finnish citizens.
University of Tartu reports that the largest number of their foreign students also come from Finland, followed by Russia, Ukraine and India. "These are countries where the University of Tartu has deliberately marketed itself for some time now. I am glad that the number of students coming to Tartu reflects the work we have done," said Eveli Soo, senior specialist for international marketing.
The number of exchange students, from programs such as Erasmus, has also increased. "Tallinn University usually hosts around 200 exchange students per semester," Must said.