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Study: Universities Should be More Foreign Friendly

Estonian educational institutions lack a common understanding for the importance of internationalized higher education and the government must place clearer milestones for the development of universities, an study by the think tank PRAXIS concluded.

The lack of overseas representative offices for Estonian universities is one of the biggest barriers in developing closer educational cooperation with Asian nations, said Laura Kirss, the study's author. Beside concentrating on the recruitment of EU students, there should also be stronger emphasis on Asia, Kirss said.

The government must also establish an agreement on how to solve issues regarding visas and residence permits for foreign students, Kirss said.

Nevertheless, Kirss said that higher education in Estonia has become more international in the last five years, as both the number of foreign students and lecturers has increased considerably.

By the year 2015, an estimated 2,000 foreign students will be studying in Estonian universities. Currently there are 1,319 international students, or 2 percent of the total number of college students, according to the Archimedes Foundation.

The study was presented at a forum put on by the Archimedes Foundation and the Ministry of Education on October 6 and 7.

 

Ingrid Teesalu

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