Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) said on Tuesday it will give students who cannot attend university this year due to the threat of coronavirus the opportunity to study online or defer their study place to 2021.
Last week the university announced it would not accept bachelors and masters students if they were traveling from a third country which had a high risk of the virus or unreliable statistics.
Since then, a number of candidates have informed the University of their concerns over continuing their education and a petition was launched at the weekend. Many students have given up places at other universities or left jobs to start their course at the end of August.
TalTech said it does not have capabilities to admit students from across the world safely at this time.
On Tuesday, Rector Jaak Aaviksoo issued the statement to the affected students, explaining why the university made such decision and what opportunities the candidates will be offered in the future.
ERR News has published the statement in full:
"TalTech genuinely recognises your dismay at the Senate's decision concerning this year's intake, which has been expressed to university representatives and other related authorities. We assure you that such conclusion was reached due to the announcement of the order of the Government of the Republic of Estonia that establishes the requirements, measures, and restrictions relating to the prevention of the spread of coronavirus.
"According to the order, the university is, in terms of obligations and responsibilities, liable for the fulfilment of the epidemiological requirements applicable to international students. TalTech as a university with the largest number of international students is not capable of ensuring that these conditions are fully and appropriately met. Complying with the set rules is crucial for us in order to ensure the safety of our students, employees, and society as a whole. Therefore, we are unable to admit new students arriving from the countries specified in the order.
"We understand that this disheartening decision was made due to circumstances out of your control and we recognise your aspiration to study at TalTech.
"In an attempt to find solutions for your requests, we propose you the possibility to defer your study place for September 2021 intake without the need to re-apply, given that the situation has improved and current restrictions have been lifted.
"Additionally, we can offer the candidates to start their studies already this year by taking courses available online through Open University. Passed subjects will be counted as a part of your study load once you are matriculated for the academic year 2021/2022.
"We sincerely hope that presented options provide some relief in these unfortunate circumstances."
A list of countries will be admitted from will be released by the university soon.
Editor: Helen Wright