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International student admissions in Estonia – the impact of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine

A total of 1484 international degree students were enrolled to Estonian higher education institutions (HEIs) this academic year, which is 15% less than last year. Likewise, the total number of international degree students who currently study in Estonia dropped from 5 072 to 4 873 students since last year due to the global health crisis and the war in Ukraine.

The annual statistics suggest that the enrolments dropped for the top sending countries such as Russia (-68%), Latvia (-35%), and Azerbaijan (-34%) compared to last year. By contrast, the number of international students from Ukraine (+222%) significantly increased.

Most degree students coming to study in Estonia are from Finland (17% of all international degree students), followed by Ukraine (11%), Russia (9%), Nigeria (6%), India (4%), and Azerbaijan (4%).

Most popular fields of study taught in English are business, administration and law (1 414 students), followed by humanities and arts (784 students) and information and communication technology (671 students). In this academic year, the number of international degree students admitted to information and communication technology and service programmes increased the most.

"Estonia remains an attractive country for international students, but the mobility of international students this year has been affected by the war in Ukraine," commented Eero Loonurm, the head of International Marketing for Higher Education at the Estonian Education and Youth Board (HARNO). “International students coming to study in Estonia is proof of a competitive higher education and learning environment.”

For more details, see article by Study in Estonia