Estonia vocational graduates to gain bachelors degrees

Estonia vocational graduates to gain bachelors degrees

Changes in the law in Estonia will see professional or vocational graduates awarded bachelors degrees, as opposed to receiving only a diploma of higher education, states a report from Estonian public broadcaster ERR.

The Higher Education Act, which comes into force this September, will align Estonian tertiary education with Germany and Switzerland, according to a spokesperson from the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS).

EUAS, sometimes referred to as Mainor school, is one of the institutions that will be affected by these changes.

Kristjan Oad, general manager at EUAS, said that currently graduates in practical subjects were awarded diplomas, whereas bachelors degrees were awarded to graduates in more academic subjects: “Now, all those who start professional higher education this fall will equally receive a bachelor’s degree upon graduation.”

“The law caught up with life,” Oad continued. “There is no difference between bachelor’s studies and professional higher education studies other than professional higher education courses are more practical, more tied to the labour market.”

New system to help Estonia vocational graduates access jobs globally with bachelors degrees

In the past, the twin-track system had led to issues for Estonian graduates seeking employment in the international job market.

Oad states the change for Estonia vocational graduates will help with that: “The matter is clearer now, a uniform bachelor’s degree is more easily understandable outside Estonia.”

“Under the new act, the same requirements apply to professional and academic higher education, though one point differs, namely that a student of professional higher education acquires not only basic knowledge, but also the skills to work in a certain field, which makes the life of those students starting out in life a bit easier in reality.”

“In Germany, it is even possible to acquire a doctoral degree at some professional higher education institutions.”

The new, simplified system will affect those starting their higher education studies this September. It will enable Estonian graduates of professional and vocational studies to more easily find work worldwide after graduate with a bachelors degree.

Photo: Brett Jordan

Hari Srinivasan - Managing Editor, Global Education Times (GET News)

Hari is the Managing Editor of Global Education Times. Hari has clocked nearly a decade working as a communications professional with a focus on the education sector. He has also had stints in journalism and advertising in a career which has seen him live, study, and work, in three countries.
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