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%
2023
Dropouts 5,692
-8.0%
Higher education graduates 8,837
0.0%
Number of students 44,628
1.1%
Foreign students 4,340
-10.9%
Acquisition of higher education by field of study | 2023
Students by country of residence | 2016 – 2023
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Countries of Africa total 344 389 461 560 513 468 408 287
Countries of Asia total 924 1,105 1,482 1,757 1,620 1,492 1,437 1,325
Estonia 43,924 41,830 40,726 39,673 40,008 39,491 39,236 40,223
Countries of Europe (excl. Estonia) 2,420 2,563 2,770 2,790 2,595 2,465 2,645 2,366
Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean area total 84 108 148 175 137 138 167 167
Countries of Northern America total 79 112 137 135 129 164 179 167
Countries of Oceania total 6 10 15 20 21 20 17 14
Country/territory unknown 13 37 76 68 236 373 42 79

Acquisition of higher education | 2019 – 2023
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levels of study total 45,178 45,259 44,611 44,131 44,628
Professional higher education 11,967 11,721 11,462 11,246 11,262
Bachelor's study 15,707 15,953 15,786 15,929 16,503
Integrated Bachelor's/Master's study 3,222 3,306 3,324 3,287 3,413
Master's study 11,966 11,962 11,686 11,377 11,167
Doctoral study 2,316 2,317 2,353 2,292 2,283

Please note: On 29 May, the customer support of Statistics Estonia is not available by phone. We apologise for the inconvenience.