University Life Scores Above Average Marks From International Students
8 May (ERR)
A global survey of international students has revealed that 90 % of respondents are satisfied with higher education in Estonia, although satisfaction with the academic side of things is three percentage points under the worldwide average. That figure was 82% compared to 85% for other countries, said the Ministry of Education and Research.
The iGraduate survey, conducted by the British firm International Insight Group since 2005, found that three specific areas were lagging: career opportunities, organisation of research and the faculty members' foreign language proficiency. The results were interpreted to mean that Estonian colleges and universities would need to devote attention to improving teachers' English ability and the content and organisation of coursework. However, respondents did indicate satisfaction with the multicultural atmosphere and the "general academic environment."
The living environment was viewed most positively, with 89% favourable views compared to 85% on average across all countries. Safety issues were also deemed to be in order, and respondents indicated that Estonia was generally a very good country for living in. Reasonable cost of living and recreational opportunities also got good marks. But opportunities for working on the side and career counselling in general did not score as high.
Support services for students got a high rating as well - 89% as opposed to 87%. That appeared to be the result of a good perception of dedicated international student organisation and advising, as well as accommodations and financial support services. Some room for growth exists in health care services, the survey revealed.
International students in the formal higher education system number 1 600 in Estonia. There are also around 800 Erasmus exchange students each year. iGraduate surveyed 700 students in Estonia.
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