Survey among UT international students: 97% would recommend UT for studies

The Marketing Office of the University of Tartu conducted a survey among international degree students in summer 2017. The purpose of the survey was to help understand how current international students made their decision to come to study in Estonia.

Total number of respondents was 176, 84% of whom were master’s and 16% bachelor’s students.

Most of the respondents came from Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Finland, USA, Nigeria, Germany, Latvia or Azerbaijan. 

Applying to the University of Tartu

98% of students said that they had no problems with the application system (DreamApply).

The most important reasons for choosing the University of Tartu:

·         Suitable study programme
·         High-quality education of UT
·         Scholarships
·         High ranking of UT
·         Affordable living costs and/or tuition fee
·         UT staff is very helpful
·         Dorm place was ensured

Students thought that the following reasons were the least important when choosing UT:

·         They weren’t admitted to their first choice university.
·         Estonia is close to home.

“Professor Marlon Dumas without a doubt. I would say tuition-waiver scholarship was also a big factor in all honesty. I cannot put one above the other. If one of the two were missing I most probably wouldn’t have come to the University of Tartu.”

Biggest obstacles students had to overcome before choosing UT

Issues that were brought out also included visa problems and distance from family. 8 students said that they had no issues.

Coming to UT

101 students out of 176 said that UT was very welcoming and everything was good.

“The information that was provided by UT is so helpful and very welcoming people in Estonia. Beyond my expectation. :)”

Students suggested to improve the integration between international and Estonian students, tutor programme and give more info about dorms, health care system, extra-curricular activities and different courses.

Financing studies

72% students have received the tuition waiver scholarship, 6% another scholarship to cover the tuition fee and 22% are paying the tuition fee.

How do you finance your studies and/or living costs?

Average monthly living costs (incl. rent) are approximately 301-400 EUR (37%), 24% of students spend less than 300 EUR and only 9% over 600 EUR. Most of the students live in a dorm (72%).

54% of the students who live in an apartment said that it was easy for them to find it. Problems encountered while looking for an apartment were language barrier, high prices and landlords preferring Estonians.



Are you currently working?

Those students who are looking for a job said that the main obstacle has been Estonian language, followed by the lack of part-time jobs and nothing interesting being available.

41% of students would like to stay in Estonia after graduation to work, 8% would like to continue studying in here, 33% hadn’t decided and 18% would not stay. Students who would like to leave wish to return to their home country (39%), move abroad (26%) and 13% said that they do not believe that they will find a job in Estonia and therefore have decided to leave. Other reasons for leaving included low salaries in Estonia, studying abroad and conditions set by the scholarship the student had received (requires moving back to home country).

Living in Estonia

93% of students feel safe or very safe in Estonia, 6% were neutral and only 1% feels unsafe. Nobody felt very unsafe; however, some students mentioned that they have felt discrimination.

The biggest problems that the students currently have are the closed main library and the lack of job opportunities available to students. They would also like the university to offer cheaper options to do sports.

Satisfaction with studies at UT

86% of students said their study programme has met their expectations. Those who weren’t happy said that:

·         Some courses were not well-organised and/or pointless for them.

·         Lecturers did not speak good enough English.

·         There was a limited choice of core courses.

·         Workload between semesters was not equal.

·         More practical work is needed.

98% of students said that they are happy with the University of Tartu in general. 2% of students brought out that the library has been closed for a long time, the university is too laid-back and the programme quality has not met their expectations.

Lastly, we asked students whether they would recommend UT for studies. 97% said yes.


Contact: Eveli Soo, Head of International Marketing, +372 532 4831, eveli.soo [ät]