Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ) incumbent rector Jaak Aaviksoo said on "Vikerhommik" that as Estonian youth do not wish to undertake doctoral studies there won't be any local university professors in 20-30 years.
Aaviksoo became TalTech rector in September 2015 and ran for a second term this year, but lost on Monday to Tiit Land, who will take up his post on September 1.
"The problem of all Estonian universities is that under a half of those in doctoral studies have Estonian background. Academic career is not attractive enough for them. Foreigners, not Estonians, tend to fulfil their dreams here. /../ The problem lies with youth that have a master's degree but won't continue in doctoral studies. In 20-30 years, we won't have any Estonian-language professors and it is a major concern," Aaviksoo said.
"In a globalizing world, Europe is one of the few locations where tertiary education is free. Estonia has gone down this road, too, but the funds ran out at one point and now we are already discussing restoring tuition fees. It should be taken into consideration that in five to ten years, a significant tuition fee will apply in all European universities," Aaviksoo added.
Editor: Anders Nõmm