According to Kaidi-Kerli Kärner from the Archimedes Foundation, which coordinates international and national higher education and research programs in Estonia, around 10-12 percent of graduate students from abroad stay to work in Estonia after obtaining their degree.
Tallinn University of Technology currently hosts the largest number of foreign students in Estonia, Kärner told ETV, with Tallinn University and the University of Tartu close behind.
“We've observed a 17-18 percent annual rise in the number of foreign students in Estonian universities,” Kärner said, adding that the increase is, however, bound to slow down soon.
Of all foreign students in Estonia, 45 percent come from Finland. While the Finns prefer humanities, graduate students from other countries most often study computer science, technical disciplines, and law. “These people are highly educated specialists, who come to Estonia to do research or further their career. Estonia has a lot to gain from this brain potential,” Kärner stressed.
According to her, the long-term goal for 2020 is to keep 30 percent of the graduands in Estonia at least on temporary basis after they finish their studies. The number is around 10-12 percent at the moment. Although Estonia succeeds in luring in good specialists, the real question is whether it has jobs to offer and the willingness to offer them. There is room for improvement in that department, Kärner said.
The Archimedes Foundation is holding a "Work in Estonia" job fair for foreign students on Wednesday, with more than 30 companies and 200 students in attendance.
Editor: M. Oll