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Higher education

After graduating from secondary school, young people face several choices. One option is to enrol in a higher education institution. The higher education system in Estonia has three levels:

  • professional higher education and Bachelor’s study;
  • Master’s study;
  • Doctoral study.

Each student can decide whether to complete all three levels of education or finish studies after receiving a professional education diploma, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Usually, the acquired level of education and the field of education determine one’s career path.

Higher education statistics provide the following information:

  • how many higher education institutions there are in Estonia;
  • how many male and female students there are;
  • how many foreign students study in Estonian higher education institutions.

Higher education statistics also include information on educational institutions, study programmes, admitted students, graduates and dropouts. It is also possible to find out how many persons are acquiring higher education in Estonia, where they come from, and other interesting facts. These statistics are necessary for the state to make decisions about higher education.

Higher education institutions 18
0.0%
2021
Dropouts 5,968
-13.4%
2020
Higher education graduates 9,618
5.4%
2021
Number of students 44,611
-1.4%
2021
Foreign students 5,072
-3.1%
2021
Students by country of residence | 2016 – 2021
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Countries of Africa total 344 389 461 560 513 468
Countries of Asia total 924 1,105 1,482 1,757 1,620 1,492
Estonia 43,924 41,830 40,726 39,673 40,008 39,491
Countries of Europe (excl. Estonia) 2,420 2,563 2,770 2,790 2,595 2,465
Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean area total 84 108 148 175 137 138
Countries of Northern America total 79 112 137 135 129 164
Countries of Oceania total 6 10 15 20 21 20
Country/territory unknown 13 37 76 68 236 373

Acquisition of higher education | 2017 – 2021
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Levels of study total 46,154 45,815 45,178 45,259 44,611
Professional higher education 12,900 12,601 11,967 11,721 11,462
Bachelor's study 16,059 15,830 15,707 15,953 15,786
Integrated Bachelor's/Master's study 3,172 3,189 3,222 3,306 3,324
Master's study 11,533 11,783 11,966 11,962 11,686
Doctoral study 2,490 2,412 2,316 2,317 2,353