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A new Higher Education Act entered into force in Estonia in September. According to the Act, all Estonian universities have implemented the two-tier (bachelor–master) structure in their study programmes. Students starting professional higher education this fall will for the first time receive a bachelor's degree at the end of their studies. Graduates of “more practical curricula” have so far been given a diploma of professional higher education, while graduates of “more academic programmes” have received bachelor's degrees." Now, all those who start professional higher education this fall will equally receive a bachelor's degree upon graduation," Kristjan Oad, general manager of the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS), said.
It will mean easier mobility prospects for students of Estonian universities and a higher internationalization of Estonian universities of applied sciences. It should also simplify the recognition of degrees in the labour market.
This will positively feed into the European Council’s recommendation to promote the automatic mutual recognition of higher education and upper secondary education diplomas and the outcomes of learning periods abroad. Hopefully, this would make progress towards the ambitious target of the European Commission to make automatic recognition a reality in European higher education by 2025.