Higher education

Studying in Estonia

Every year, Estonian universities welcome more and more international students from all over the world. Internationally recognised English-based degree programmes and shorter courses are offered by universities that have agreed on common high academic standards and support services by signing the Agreement on Good Practice in the Internationalisation of Estonia’s Higher Education Institutions.

Admission to the study programmes is usually administered by the higher education institution.

The evaluation of foreign higher education qualifications and qualifications giving access to higher education is conducted by the Estonian National Academic Recognition Information Centre (Estonian ENIC/NARIC). Applicants should also prove their proficiency in the English language. The common requirement is an official result of TOEFL, IELTS or some other internationally accepted English proficiency tests.

Candidates should apply directly to the higher education institution for more detailed information on admissions and scholarship opportunities.

More information can be found at www.studyinestonia.ee


General Organisation

Since 2012/2013 academic year, higher education is free of charge in Estonia for those studying full-time and in Estonian.

New needs-based student support system was introduced at 2013/2014. Students from less privileged families can apply for study allowance (~ 75-220 EUR per month) when studying full-time and completing at least 75% of the curriculum.

Students who started their studies in 2012/2013 or earlier and study full-time, can also apply for study allowances (55.93 euros per month). PhD students who meet the requirements for obtaining a doctoral allowance, have the right to receive 383.47 euros per month. Students engaged in teacher training can apply for a special study allowance of 1,300 euros per year.

Students can apply for special study loans from banks. In 2012/2013, the amount for the loan per academic year was 1,917.35 euros.

In the 2013/2014 academic year, a total of 59,998 students studied in higher education study programmes, which is 7% less than the previous academic year.

In the 2013/2014 academic year, 33% of students continued to study in the field of social sciences, business and law.

Over the last few academic years, admission to the study programmes of higher education has decreased, primarily at the first level of higher education.

In addition to the demographic changes, the decrease in numbers is the result of the reduced number of students admitted to the places not financed from the state budget. The decrease has been especially noticebale in private educational institutions.

The description of Estonian higher education system


Institutions of higher education


Regional distribution of Estonian higher education institutions



Last updated: 26 May 2020