Number of students in Estonia continues to rise

Child in a school uniform walking through Vabaduse väljak in Tallinn.
Child in a school uniform walking through Vabaduse väljak in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Some 158,000 students are slated to attend general education schools in Estonia this school year, or 1,500 more than last year. Of these, nearly 14,000 are entering the first grade — when compulsory education in Estonia begins.

According to the Ministry of Education and Research, the number of general education students remains on the rise, however this is due to an increase in the number of high school students; at the same time, the number of basic school students is actually expected to decrease.

Nonetheless, more precise changes vary by region. For example, over the past decade, the number of students at general education schools has increased by more than a third in Harju County, which includes the capital of Tallinn, and by nearly one fifth in Tartu County, which includes the city of Tartu. Within the same span of time, however, the number of students in Jõgeva, Võru, Valga and Hiiu counties decreased by one fifth.

A little over 25,800 students will be studying at vocational schools. The average age of vocational students has gone up significantly as well in recent years, as more people over the age of 25 are enrolling to learn a trade or specialty and increase their competitiveness on the labor market.

A total of 44,611 university students earned degrees during the 2021-2022 academic year.

As the new school year begins, the number of students enrolled in schools across Estonia will vary considerably. For example, just one student will begin their studies at the private Jõhvi Hairdressing School, five students each at Hiiumaa Free School and Nõva School, six students at Sonda School, eight at Tudu School and nine at Ruhnu Basic School.

At the other end of the scale, 1,665 students are enrolled at Keila School, 1,527 at Gustav Adolf High School, 1,348 students at Jüri High School and 1,328 at Lasnamäe High School this school year. The majority of the country's biggest schools are located in Tallinn and the rest of Harju County, which also have the highest populations.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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