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The number of students in general education is decreasing

News
Posted on 4. May 2012 11:00

According to Statistics Estonia, the number of students in general education has decreased by nearly 20,000 during the past five years. While the number of students in the first grade will increase in the coming years, the number of students in secondary education will decrease.

At the beginning of the academic year 2011/2012, 142,983 students were acquiring general education. The number of students in general education has decreased from 161,961 to 142,983 during the past five years. As the birth rate has increased, the number of students entering the first grade will grow in the near future. In autumn 2011, 13,260 children started school, which are 1,200 students more than in 2006. At the same time, the number of students in secondary school will decrease, since the number of students who graduate from basic school is declining.

In academic year 2011/2012, 27,046 students were studying at vocational education institutions. It is 966 students less than in the previous academic year. 11,471 new students were admitted to vocational education. Compared to the previous academic year, the share of girls in vocational education has slightly increased, while the share of boys has decreased. More male students were admitted to vocational secondary courses based on basic education and more female students were admitted to vocational courses based on secondary education.

67,607 students were acquiring higher education. This number has declined by 1,506 students compared to the previous year. The admittance in higher education has decreased by 1,171 students, and the number of graduates has increased by 378. Three times more students started studying in academic higher education than in applied higher education. At the Bachelor’s level as well as in applied higher education the most popular areas of study have been business and administration, but the interest in computer science is growing. In 2011, at the Master’s level the highest number of graduates was also in the study area of business and administration, but in teacher training and education science as well. The highest number of PhD graduates was in humanities, biological and physical science.

Enrolment, pupils/students and graduates by level of education*
Level of education Enrolment Pupils/students Graduates
2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011
General education 23 813 23 653 145 939 142 983 23 672 23 073
basic education 12 648 13 260 112 640 111 955 13 259 12 993
secondary education 11 165 10 393 33 299 31 028 10 413 10 080
Vocational education 11 319 11 471 28 012 27 046 7 631 8 155
Higher education 18 404 17 233 69 113 67 607 11 450 11 828

*For graduates the given year shows the end of the academic year, in other cases the beginning of the academic year.

The data originate from the Estonian Education Information System administered by the Ministry of Education and Research.

On 22 June, the phone lines of Statistics Estonia’s customer service are open until 13:00. The phone lines are closed on 23 and 24 June. Happy Midsummer!