Today, the Ministry of Education and Science submitted a bill to the government to amend the Higher Education Act. When the change comes into effect, students should start thinking about their options better.
The current system allows free higher education studies to be started and interrupted multiple times. However, based on the analysis of the Ministry of Education, this brings additional costs to higher education institutions and the state. According to the Ministry, there are various ways to improve the system in the current system.
In the future, universities will be able to demand reimbursement of study costs from students under certain conditions. For example, they can do this if the student has previously studied at the same level of higher education.
Although the current funding principles remain in effect, i.e. higher education is free, the ministry wants to extend the time period after which a person can obtain a free higher education for the second time. If you currently have to wait three nominal periods, which means six years for a master's degree, then in the future you should wait ten years to acquire a new free education.
The possibility to enroll in free applied higher education after completing bachelor's studies and vice versa is also limited. Here too, you have to wait for ten years to pass after the end of your studies. If there is a greater labor demand in some fields, for example in health care, then higher education institutions can offer a second education for free.
According to the Minister of Education Tõnis Lukas Tõnis Lukas is an Estonian politician. , the change is planned so that people plan their activities better and in the meantime realize the education they have received at workplaces.
If currently a student can study for free half the nominal time and then start studies for free on a new curriculum, the ministry wants to change that too. Approximately 2.5 percent of students interrupt their studies before half of the nominal time is completed and continue on another study program.
The currently valid regulation allows students, if they wish, to interrupt their studies an unlimited number of times before the end of half the nominal period and to continue again free of charge on another study program. The amendment to the law aims to limit the resumption of free education after interruption. Those who have not studied at the same level of higher education for more than a year can study the new curriculum for free.
If the bill finds support, the changes would take effect in 2024/2025. of the academic year.