Eesti in brief - 2011-03-31

  • 2011-03-30

Tartu University will inject 6.1 million euros over the next five years in three projects with “international potential,” reports Postimees Online. No university in Estonia has supported research projects with such investment levels before, says the university. With the help of the support, a European Union-Russian studies center, a translational genomics center and illness models’ center will be created by Tartu University. The projects were chosen from among 23 candidates, the university’s PR senior specialist Kadri Kirst said. She said that such practices are very common in many U.S. and European universities, but in Estonia such a big money injection in a university takes place for the first time. Tartu University rector Alar Karis said that the university has created a special development fund to give breakthrough spheres a chance, and that great hopes are connected with the chosen projects. The fund will support the projects for up to 5 years.

The Estonian Market Research Institute (EMRI) consumer confidence index gained one point in March but was still negative, reports National Broadcasting. In January the index was +1 after being negative since August 2007. In February it was -2 and in March -1. EMRI said that out of four components of the indicator, three improved. In March, 44 percent of the polled hoped that the economy of the state would improve over the next year, 29 percent believed it would stay unchanged and 15 percent said that it would deteriorate. As to a family’s economic situation, 23 percent believed it would improve, 43 percent that it would stay unchanged and 19 percent said that it would deteriorate. Both these were an improvement over February. Evaluations of labor market developments were better in March than in February too, while the evaluation on the families’ ability to save over the next 12 months fell.

Around 41 percent of men and women in Estonia do not plan when and how many children they want to have, show data from Sexual Health Association, reports ERR. “The small percentage who found that only women should care for it were mostly men with a low level of education, living in the countryside,” gynecologist Kai Haldre told ETV. Dr. Haldre pointed out that in the study, over 80 percent of both men and women said that preventing a pregnancy is the responsibility of both partners. If only 15 years ago, the number of abortions in Estonia was quite high because of the prevalence of unprotected sex, the pendulum has now swung to the opposite end, as the younger people do the utmost to prevent parenthood before being financially stable and well off, said Haldre. The poll involved 500 respondents with the two targets groups being women and men aged 18 to 46, and mothers aged 18 to 35.