Defense to be taught in 40 Estonian schools for first time this fall

31.05.23 NEWS ... National defense education is set to become compulsory in Estonian upper secondary schools from this fall. Defense education will be introduced to the curriculum in 40 Estonian schools for the first time, while in others it has already been offered as an optional subject.

Municipality seeks right to close local school in court

31.05.23 NEWS ... Lääneranna Municipality's plan to dial back the local schools network was delivered a setback recently when the court gave the small Metsküla and Lõpe schools to be closed and the Virtsu School, which is to have just four grades, preliminary legal protection. The municipality has now challenged the latter ruling and plans to do the same for the other schools.

Estonia only EU country not to participate in Osaka's World EXPO 2025

30.05.23 NEWS ... Estonia will be the only European Union member not represented at Japan's 2025 World EXPO. Politicians are split over the decision made by Minister of Economic Affairs and IT Tiit Riisalo (Estonia 200) to withdraw due to high costs and want the government to further discuss the issue.

Estonia is a pioneer, yet science-based entrepreneurship is scarce

30.05.23 NEWS ... The process by which university research is transferred to a company, which then develops a service or product for society is commonly referred to as knowledge transfer. A researcher from the University of Tartu surveyed the collaboration practices between Estonian scientists and entrepreneurs.

Estonia's private schools raise financial concerns with education minister

29.05.23 NEWS ... According to a letter sent by Estonia's private schools to Minister of Education Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), their economic situation has become more difficult. With the first signs of potential closures becoming visible, schools now want to consult with the ministry in order to find a solution that would bring subsidies into line with the reality of the situation.

Tallinn City merchant archives added to UNESCO heritage list

23.05.23 NEWS ... Last week, historical documents of the Hanseatic League, including a merchant's archive from the early 15th century from the Tallinn City Archives, were added to the UNESCO documentary heritage register.

President Karis presents awards to Estonia's young scientists of the year

23.05.23 NEWS ... Estonian President Alar Karis handed out the prizes to the winners of this year's best young scientists of the year at a ceremony in Tallinn on Tuesday. Kaspar Tootsi was given the prize for best young scientist, while Kuno Kasak was named young environmental scientist of the year and Dmytro Fishman took home the award for 2023's best young IT scientist.

DNA study looks at how height and fertility are connected

19.05.23 NEWS ... As women have children later in life, fertility becomes a hot topic. A study looks at how DNA and lifestyle determine fertility and menopause age.

Medieval shipwreck discovered in Tallinn continues to confound the experts

19.05.23 NEWS ... A late medieval shipwreck found during the course of construction work in central Tallinn has continued to bring surprises to archaeologists.

Sanctions exception made for Russian students, doctors, scientists

18.05.23 NEWS ... The government has approved an exception to sanctions that allows Russian and Belarusian students, doctors and researchers to apply for a new residence permit.

Estonian satellite to enter lunar orbit by 2029

17.05.23 NEWS ... The first Estonian student satellite, ESTCube-1, was launched ten years ago this month. While ESTCube-2 awaits its chance to enter low earth orbit, Tartu Observatory at the University of Tartu is already working on a third and fourth lunar satellites. The first of the satellites in development could reach lunar orbit by 2029.

Entomologist: A good year for mosquitos

16.05.23 NEWS ... While the development of mosquitos was postponed by a cool spell in early May, the mosquito season in Estonia is still off to an earlier than usual start. Entomologist Urmas Tartes recommends getting used to the bloodsuckers instead of frantic efforts to fight them off.

'Unique' almost 300-year-old mass grave found in Narva

15.05.23 NEWS ... A "unique" almost 300-year-old mass grave has been discovered in the center of Narva during renovation work. Researchers called the find "unexpected".

Scientists to solve major cowslip blossom mystery with new citizen campaign

15.05.23 NEWS ... Over the course of four years, citizen scientists have made over 900,000 observations of cowslips and provided specialists with data on the number and types of cowslips they encountered in the field. This has led to an unexpected discovery.

Minister: Paid doctoral studies and part-time higher education discussed

14.05.23 NEWS ... Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) said the new government will make it easier to request payment for higher education in certain circumstances. The minister said the details will be decided through negotiations with rectors.

Swedish superpower's loose grip gave Baltic German nobility a free hand

14.05.23 NEWS ... The near-constant conflicts between the Swedish empire and its neighbors pushed the organization of local life in seized lands to the background, allowing Baltic German nobility in Livonia to consolidate its power. Surprisingly, a doctoral thesis defended at the University of Tartu suggests that in the first half of the 17th century, local nobility attempted to shield peasantry from excessive state burdens.

Education minister: Teacher had right to wear anti-Putin t-shirt

12.05.23 NEWS ... A Narva teacher who has stepped down after a backlash over her public statements on Russian leader Vladimir Putin was exercising her right to free speech, Minister of Education Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) says.

Belonging to Europe means understanding its colonial past

09.05.23 NEWS ... The authors of a study on the relationship between colonial heritage and art argue that if we identify with Europe and appreciate its benefits, we should also understand how we relate to the peoples colonized by European countries and critically reflect on the role of colonizers.

Nõgene: University of Tartu could open a college in Ukraine

06.05.23 NEWS ... Former Vanemuine Theater director, Tallink CEO Paavo Nõgene proposed at the Tartu Vision Conference on May 5 opening a University of Tartu college in Ukraine once the war ends.

Coalition does not oppose Russian students staying in Estonia

03.05.23 NEWS ... Education Minister Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) supports Russian students studying in Estonia continuing their studies or relocating to Estonia to work, whereas the majority of the coalition supports only those students who can speak Estonian remaining in Estonia.

Rectors want students from Russia to continue their studies in Estonia

03.05.23 NEWS ... The Council of Rectors appealed to the three ministers to permit Russian nationals enrolled in Estonian higher education institutions to conclude their current studies here and then continue their education further or remain in Estonia to work.

Kohtla-Järve wants to give public schools to state, state is not interested

03.05.23 NEWS ... The city government of Kohtla-Järve wants to transfer all municipal schools to the state. The minister of education does not consider this proposal practical.

Tallinn Botanic Gardens exhibitions sheds light on lichens in Estonia

02.05.23 NEWS ... The Tallinn Botanic Gardens (Tallinna Botaanikaaed) have dedicated the whole of May to an exhibition on lichens, ERR's science portal Novaator reports. One or two new lichen species are identified every year in Estonia.

It will take at least two years to introduce e-exams

02.05.23 NEWS ... The Ministry of Education and Research and the Education and Youth Board say that it will take at least another two years to develop the e-examinations system, with more surveys and user testing in order first. Electronic high school examinations will have to be ready by 2027.

King and Queen of Sweden to visit University of Tartu on May 4

27.04.23 NEWS ... King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit the University of Tartu on Thursday May 4, during a state visit to Estonia.

University of Tartu accepting doctoral studies applications from May 1

27.04.23 NEWS ... From May 1, the University of Tartu is accepting applications for its next intake of doctoral students. 179 places will be available on the university's doctoral programs, with most also combined with junior research fellow positions.

Schools facing difficult choices over Ukrainian students' progress

25.04.23 NEWS ... School leaders are debating how to move forward with Ukrainian students who study in Estonian language schools as many children have struggled this year. The Ministry of Education says it will be possible to repeat a school year.

Estonia moves to digitize state exams by 2027

25.04.23 NEWS ... Estonia's state exams will gradually become electronic by 2027 under new plans drawn up by the Education and Youth Board (HARNO).

Estonia's high school students start state exams on Monday

24.04.23 NEWS ... State exams for school leavers in Estonia get underway on Monday, starting with the Estonian language exam.

EU funds earmarked to develop Ida-Viru County lifelong learning curricula

21.04.23 NEWS ... Educational institutions in Ida-Viru County are set to benefit from new curricula developed with support from the EU's Just Transition Fund.

Gallery: Toomas Asser reelected as University of Tartu rector

20.04.23 NEWS ... Professor Toomas Asser has been returned to a second term as rector of the University of Tartu following a vote on Thursday. Asser saw off challenges from Raul Eamets and Jaak Vilo in the process.

Estonian Minister of Education hires 19-year-old adviser

18.04.23 NEWS ... The new Estonian Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), has hired 19-year-old Daniel Kõiv as her adviser.

Estonia Explained part seven: Why are you here?

18.04.23 NEWS ... In the podcast series "Estonia Explained," historian and ERR journalist Maarja Merivoo-Parro provides an insider's view into topics that might seem bewildering to people who are not from this neck of the woods. Part six comments on why Estonians are perplexed by expats.

Estonian written language sparked controversy even 400 year ago

18.04.23 NEWS ... A native Estonian readership did not emerge until the school network and literacy skills were established, whereby giving writing in Estonian a completely new significance, Kristiina Ross, the lead researcher at the Estonian Language Institute (EKI), writes in the "Keeleminutid" ("Language Minutes") column.

Tintinnabuli and the sacred: A view from Arvo Pärt's archives, 1976-77

16.04.23 RESEARCH-EDUCATION ... Scholars from around the world have traveled to Laulasmaa, Estonia, to study the musical diaries of Arvo Pärt, the most performed living composer. In an interview with ERR News, Kevin C. Karnes, a professor and associate dean for the arts at Emory University, discusses his experience working in the archives and his understanding of Pärt's process of creating music.

Estonia's Russian-language schools face tough choices over new curriculum

13.04.23 NEWS ... The new Estonian language school curriculum, which comes into effect in the fall, will present heads of Russian-language schools in the country with a difficult choice. The number of lessons being taught in Estonian is set to increase significantly, however, the shortage of suitably qualified teachers means some "group teaching" will have to be dropped.

Incoming minister: Coalition wants schools with over 30 pupils to stay open

12.04.23 NEWS ... The new Estonian government plans to change the funding model for schools, in order for local authorities to keep those with up to six classes and at least 30 pupils open, according to Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), who has been nominated as the new Minister of Education.

Wrong Estonian-language education deadline listed in coalition agreement

11.04.23 NEWS ... While the newly inked coalition agreement between the Reform Party, Estonia 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) states that early childhood education will transition to being fully Estonian-language in 2027, incoming education minister Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) confirmed that this was a mistake in the agreement and that the transition will nonetheless in fact be taking place in 2024 already as previously planned.

Risk, emotions and hospitality in 13th century Estonian sauna

09.04.23 NEWS ... Estonia celebrates the Year of the Sauna in 2023, which coincides with the 800th anniversary of a Christian miracle story that happened in a sauna in 1223. Wojtek Jezierski, associate professor at the University of Stockholm, talks to ERR News about the significance of the story and his recently published book on the Christianization of the Baltic Rim.

Estonian grassland disproves German hypothesis on diversity vs productivity

06.04.23 NEWS ... German researchers have found that a plant community with a higher variety of species results in a lusher growth. Estonian researchers who studied local grasslands discovered that this correlation does not hold. Their study ultimately raises the question of the value of life, as the abundance of plant species does not necessarily lead to a higher biomass productivity.

Ida-Viru County schools welcome potential teachers during open days

05.04.23 NEWS ... Starting from the next academic year, Estonian-speaking teachers in Ida-Viru County will receive higher salaries than those working elsewhere in Estonia. A week of trial days is currently underway in Ida-Viru County, where those wishing to become teachers in the region can familiarize themselves with the county's schools.

Scientists call for more action to reduce pharmaceutical residues in water

04.04.23 NEWS ... Estonia has lower amounts of pharmaceutical residues in its waters than other more populous countries. However, scientists say the country should nevertheless develop a strategy to further reduce these levels.

State to invest millions to improve Russian teachers' Estonian proficiency

03.04.23 NEWS ... Estonia hopes to receive €4.5 million from the European Social Fund over a period of seven years in order to improve the Estonian language skills of teachers in Russian schools. Once the funding is in place, teacher education for teachers will be just beginning.

Experts: Estonia needs a unified waste collecting strategy

30.03.23 NEWS ... In Estonia, 30 percent of household waste goes to the recycling, while 55 percent must be recycled in the European Union by 2025. Currently, local governments in Estonia independently decide how to organize their waste management, but experts say a nationwide consistent approach would be required.

Thousands of young people test for Tallinn's top upper secondary schools

28.03.23 NEWS ... There are thousands of applicants for the most popular upper secondary schools in Tallinn, with seven to eight young people applying for a place. There are also pupils who take examinations to test their knowledge and do not intend to go to one of these schools. Statistics show that about 3,600 upper secondary level pupils need places in Tallinn.

Research: Estonians are too selective when it comes to sustainable behavior

28.03.23 NEWS ... The willingness of people in Estonia to make environmentally friendly choices on a daily basis has declined over the past year, according to a survey commissioned by Orkla Group. Grete Arro, a research fellow at Tallinn University, said that it is dangerous when a few of Eco-friendly practices create a false sense of security.

Municipality of Rõuge suspends plans of reorganizing school network

28.03.23 NEWS ... The municipality of Rõuge withdraws its proposal to reorganize the education sector. According to the mayor, the decision was triggered by the communities' vehement opposition and conflicting views on the reorganization plan.

Scientists seek quicker ways to identify chemical and biological weapons

27.03.23 NEWS ... Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) researchers hope to find a way to quickly detect dangerous chemical and biological compounds, being the first Estonian university to participate in a European Defense Fund project. In circumstances comparable to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, it would be possible to get a quick first impression of what happened at the scene.

Tartu University rector candidates favor nationalization of student loans

24.03.23 NEWS ... Toomas Asser, Jaak Vilo and Raul Eamets, candidates for the position of rector at the University of Tartu, agree that restructuring student loans is needed and that nationalizing student loans would be one alternative.

Läänemets urging municipal leaders to wait on school closure decisions

23.03.23 NEWS ... Minister of the Interior and Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Lauri Läänemets urged local government leaders on Thursday to postpone any decisions about school closures at least until Estonia's next government coalition is formed.

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