UT rector: Universities short €75-80 million for free higher education

University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser.
University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser. Source: Karli Saul

Because state funding is insufficient for offering comprehensive free higher education, certain curricula need to become paid, University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser says.

Asser told ERR that universities' funding is insufficient and that the system from years ago has failed to hit targets. The rector added that the system is short some €75-80 million annually.

"I do not think anyone is willing to take that step today," Asser said in terms of the possibility of the money being found.

He explained that private funding is the only way to ensure continued high quality of higher education.

"It it likely that students would not be willing to accept a level tuition today, rather it would have to be some intermediate option, "Asser said, adding that higher education funding requires a broader public debate.

The rector said that universities are not planning a return to the previous fully paid higher education system.

"I do not think the scheme should be such to negatively impact the total number of students," he added.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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