Schools register decline in student numbers

  • 2012-05-09
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - According to Statistics Estonia, the number of students in general education has decreased by nearly 20,000 during the past five years, reports LETA. While the number of students in the first grade will increase in the coming years, the number of students in secondary education will decrease.

At the beginning of the academic year 2011/2012, 142,983 students were acquiring general education. The number of students in general education has decreased from 161,961 to 142,983 during the past five years. As the birth rate has increased, the number of students entering the first grade will grow in the near future. In autumn 2011, 13,260 children started school, which is 1,200 students more than in 2006. At the same time, the number of students in secondary school will decrease, since the number of students who graduate from elementary school is declining.

In academic year 2011/2012, 27,046 students were studying at vocational education institutions. This is 966 students less than in the previous academic year. 11,471 new students were admitted to vocational education. Compared to the previous academic year, the share of girls in vocational education has slightly increased. More male students were admitted to vocational secondary courses based on basic education and more female students were admitted to vocational courses based on secondary education.

67,607 students were acquiring higher education. This number declined by 1,506 students compared to the previous year. The admittance to higher education decreased by 1,171 students, and the number of graduates increased by 378. Three times more students started studying in academic higher education than in applied higher education.
At the Bachelor’s level as well as in applied higher education, the most popular areas of study have been business and administration, but the interest in computer science is growing. In 2011, at the Master’s level the highest number of graduates was also in the study area of business and administration, but in teacher training and education science as well. The highest number of PhD graduates was in humanities, biology and physical science.