The University of Tartu has published its annual report on continuing education for 2022. According to a press release, last year, the number of learners, who took continuing education courses at the university exceeded 45,000.
In 2022, 46,108 lifelong learners participated in 1,494 different courses at the University of Tartu.
45,118 were in the university's continuing education programs, while 990 were enrolled in degree study courses. The number of learners increased by 12 percent when compared to the figures for 2021.
Nearly three quarters of participants in continuing education programs at the University of Tartu last year took courses, which were either entirely online or involved online components. The university also ran 187 internal training courses throughout the year, with 2,804 participants.
Most courses were between 27 and 80 academic hours in length. However, mostly thanks to the introduction of micro-credential programs, there was also an increase in the number of longer continuing education programs, which last over 240 hours.
Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Tartu Aune Valk said, that she was pleased the university is leading the way when it comes to lifelong learning in Estonia.
"We are grateful to the learners and clients who put their trust in the university and upgraded their knowledge and skills on our courses," said Valk.
"I would also like to thank all the staff who found the time to contribute to continuing education alongside their other tasks. In addition to increasing numbers of continuing education learners, what is even more important is that the university offers new and varied learning opportunities for different target groups, such as micro-credential programs and MOOCs, which have also been well received," Valk added.
In 2022, for the third time, universities in Estonia had the opportunity to offer free continuing education courses to working adults within the framework of the state-commissioned continuing education program.
With the support of the project "Promoting adult education and broadening learning opportunities," 21 courses were organised during the year.
For the second year running, the University of Tartu offered micro-credential programs, in which learners can acquire an additional specialisations or competences. These smaller integrated continuing education programs have proved popular by those, who want to pick up additional qualifications around busy work schedules. In the 2022 fall semester, nearly 300 learners were enrolled on these programs.
The university also designs continuing education programs based on client's wishes and needs. In 2022, cooperation with public institutions and private operators continued, with training programs commissioned by various ministries, public authorities and local authorities, as well as health and education institutions and businesses.
Last year, the university ran several Massive open online courses (MOOCs), attracting more than 8,000 participants in total.
Online courses were also offered to prepare high school students for exams and support their learning, as well as Youth Academy courses, which provided opportunities for pupils to diversify their learning.
The summer and winter universities provided further opportunities for self-development. Courses were also run as part of the University of the Third Age (U3A) program for older learners in 15 locations across Estonia.
The International Summer University, which is also set to take place again this year, was also a success in attracting students to Tartu from around the world for a variety of different courses.
Editor: Michael Cole