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Higher Education at a Crossroad: The Case of Estonia

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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PART 1: LEARNING AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION

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PART 1 LEARNING AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION 73 Chapter 3. Does a research-oriented university really have a negative effect on students' self-evaluations? Karin Täht, Liina Adov, Mari-Liis Mägi, Olev Must Introduction Modern cultures stress the importance of education both for individual and for societal development. In order to prepare their children for top universities, par- ents attempt to put them into é��������������������������������������������������� a talented child�s prospects for getting into the best colleges, a step on the way to the most sought-����������������������������������� ���������������������������� students gain a lifetime advantage if they get into a prestigious university or col- lege which has a high proportion of research active academic staff, laboratories with vigorous research programmes and impressive campus facilities. Research evidence demonstrates something different – that graduates of élite universities do not earn more and they are not more satisfied with their jobs compared to graduates from ������������������������������������������������������������������ Ter���������������������������������equivocal support for the belief that studying at a prestigious university gives an advantage later in life. We were interested to find out how undergraduates of the relatively more prestigious universities felt about themselves, as well as how – if at all – their self-evaluations differed from students from relatively less prestigious higher education institutions. Traditionally this controversy – selective schools and low student aspirations – ������������������������������������������������������������������� Big-Fish-Little-����� ������� �������� ������������ ��������� ��� ������ ���� ������� ������� ��� ��������� ��eoretical scheme to look at how the process might ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� the dominant role in the formation of self-evaluation of comparisons in the im- mediate local environment. This paper investigates differences in students’ self- evaluations in a �����������������������������������a highly selective universi- ��������������������������������ssional higher education...

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