Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) does not support switching to universal paid higher education in order to boost universities' income, while he believes people should pitch in for consecutive degrees.
We should not end it [free higher education]. Considering that young people have their eyes open and countries close to us are offering higher education for free... We need to consider the international situation," Lukas said in an interview to daily Eesti Päevaleht.
The minister explained that many young people go to work to be able to study and afford not education, but the study process.
"Accommodation, food, other necessities. Students are having a hard time of it already, financially speaking, and returning to tuition, we would risk social inequality carrying over to higher education," Lukas said.
He opined that free higher education should be retained, while people could be expected to pay for consecutive degrees, trainings and microdegrees.
"This is not to say that the first or even second degree would be paid. Higher education should continue to be free in Estonia," Lukas said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski
Source: Eesti Päevaleht