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Higher Education at a Crossroad: The Case of Estonia

Edited By Ellu Saar and René Mottus

In Estonia, many of the educational transitions that have taken place in developed world over decades have been condensed in just less than two decades. This book describes these transitions and addresses the current state of tertiary education from the point of views of both learners and teachers. It presents an overview of the strategy documents that steer Estonian higher education policy. The study has focused on various aspects of the learning process and learning environment. Various aspects of the teaching process were investigated from the point of view of teachers. The book has addressed the transition from higher education to the labour market. It benefits from contributions from a range of scientific disciplines, including educational sociology, educational sciences, psychology and econometrics.


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9 Foreword This is a very timely publication, coming as it does during a period of continuing changes in higher education landscape and policies in Estonia. While much has been written about different aspects of higher education in Western European countries, less is known about the developments within this sector in the new European accession countries, such as Estonia. What are the challenges for higher education in Estonia? Is the sector experiencing similar or different challenges from other countries? This volume provides the reader with a useful understanding of some of the issues confronting the Estonian higher education sector today, as well as providing an insight into how institutional processes and practices shape the lives of students within these institutions and beyond. Higher education in Estonia has a long history. In 1617, during the Swedish- Polish war, Estonia became incorporated into a Swedish province called Livonia and came under the rule of the Swedish king, Gustav Adolf II. Following the foundation of Uppsala University, in 1632, the Academia Gustaviana was estab- lished in Estonia as the second university founded in the Swedish Empire. At that time, the only students were of Swedish and Finnish origin and the Academ- ia Gustaviana was not open to Estonian students. However, the Academia Gus- taviana was to be the predecessor of the University of Tartu, which is now rec- ognized as one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. Over the centuries, the Estonian education landscape has been shaped and re-shaped by the turbulent...

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