Universities having to adjust in order to accept international students

University of Tartu main building
University of Tartu main building Source: Vladislava Snurnikova/ERR

Due to the emergency situation, Estonian universities have had to make various concessions regarding admission of international students.

For the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, admission period of international students is still to come. While international students usually travel to Tallinn for the examination and sometimes the examination board travels to Seoul, these trips will be cancelled this year and a majority of international students have to be admitted via video, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Research Margus Pärtlas told "Aktuaalne kaamera".

The government on Monday approved a proposal by the minister of education and research making high school final examinations voluntary rather than compulsory and making high school graduation possible without sitting said exams. "Secondary education is of course compulsory, but a ranking is formed on the basis of the qualification test," Pärtlas said.

For the University of Tartu, however, grades and exam results are important for ranking the candidates, which is why the university has changed the conditions for admission to faculty of medicine due to the emergency situation.

"We have decided to accept applicants' state exam results instead of the SAT Subject Test in Biology," Head of Student Admissions Tuuli Kaldma said.

While TalTech's Vice-Rector for Studies Hendrik Voll said they are more lenient regarding deadlines this year, the Estonian Academy of Arts has instead taken a harder line. "Students who wished to apply but couldn't undertake the language test remotely weren't able to enter this year," Head of International Relations Office Sandra Mell explained.

"Our main concern now is the visa application process of student candidates from third countries. All embassies are closed and we can't imagine whether they will make it in time. Right now it seems like they won't," Priit Reiska, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at Tallinn University, told ERR. According to Reiska, the university is considering postponement of the start of the academic year for international students by a semester if the situation regarding migration has not improved by autumn.


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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