University of Tartu continues as the most reputable higher education institution in Estonia, survey says

  • 2020-07-19
  • Kaja Karo

According to a Kantar Emor survey conducted in May this year among Estonian residents aged 15–74, representatives of all age groups consider the University of Tartu to be Estonia’s most reputable higher education institution. In addition, 65% of the respondents pointed out the University of Tartu’s contribution to fighting the coronavirus, primarily research studies.

Estonian residents consider the University of Tartu – the university with the longest history – to be the most reputable university in Estonia: so said 84% of the nearly 1200 respondents. 92% of the respondents spontaneously mentioned the University of Tartu most frequently; for six people out of ten, it was the first choice.

Responses to the survey show that the University of Tartu’s reputation relies, above all, on high-level education and research, and the high value of diploma in the labour market. In addition, respondents regard the University of Tartu as trustworthy, because the education it offers meets their expectations. Internationalisation and active student exchange are seen as the university’s great, although less perceived, advantages.

According to Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu, good reputation is very important for the university. “I’m pleased that young people have given particularly high evaluation to the University of Tartu compared to other higher education institutions in the survey. In education, and schools more broadly, reputation and satisfaction are closely connected – it is important what the university can do to provide good education, and also how these efforts are perceived,” Valk said.

The vice rector for academic affairs added that knowing your weaknesses is certainly also helpful. “The practicality of university education was rated lower than other aspects in the survey. I can assure you that from the autumn semester, all the university’s curricula will contain a practical training module and hopefully we move in the right direction. The university also needs to further clarify the issue of graduates’ salaries; for example, in which specialisations taught by the University of Tartu the salary is either considerably higher or at the same level as that of other higher education institutions,” the vice rector explained.

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s reputation survey also inquired how Estonian higher education institutions helped to fight the pandemic. In the responses, once again the University of Tartu stood out the most – 65% of the respondents pointed out the COVID-19 studies and research of the University of Tartu.

The goal of the universities’ reputation survey by Kantar Emor was to identify the general reputation of Estonian higher education institutions among the population. For the first time, the survey included questions about the role of universities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.