University of Tartu drops ministry project due to researcher conflict

The University of Tartu.
The University of Tartu. Source: Vladislava Snurnikova/ERR

The University of Tartu decided to end its participation in Ministry of Education and Research project, which examines the impact of student-centered learning and flexible learning pathways on students. The decision stems from a conflict between researchers responsible for the implementation of the project.

The project, named "Student-centered learning and flexible learning pathways: theoretical base and application possibilities in the Estonian education system" was announced by the education ministry last December and the budget was €300,000.

University of Tartu's grant office head Taivo Raud said there were disagreements between the operators of the project at the university which left the project without enough people.

"There were differences of opinion between researchers in the case of this project: to what extent and who specifically will contribute to the project," Raud told ERR.

He added that the university had not yet reached an agreement with the ministry on financing, nor had it initiated the project.

Education ministry analysis department adviser Anneli Kährik told ERR that the University of Tartu and Tallinn University applied for the project contest. She noted that neither of the first applications from the universities were suitable and were sent back.

Kährik said both universities applied a second time and the University of Tartu was picked and notified at the end of April. She added that the university notified the ministry about dropping the project in the end of May, but an internal audit caused the official resignation to be delayed until the Midsummer holiday.

Kährik confirmed that the ministry did not sign a contract with the university.

Discussions with Tallinn University about picking up the project are ongoing and the ministry hopes to reach an agreement in August or September.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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