According to Gert Jervan, Dean of the School of IT, 675 IT students graduated last summer, which is the best result ever. He writes in his analysis that if we set aside the admission numbers of recent years and the academic success of current students, we hope that similar results is achieved in the coming years.
Despite the confusing times, we can say that our students are in line. They study at more or less the same pace as before, reach the end and new students start.
In the spring we had 675 graduates (including those who defended in August), which is again the best result ever. An important leap took place in bachelor's studies, where the results of the bachelor's study reform that took place during the accession to the IT College are clearly visible. More students will graduate and their graduation efficiency will be better. Students of the former applied higher education curricula of the IT College, of whom 67 graduated this year, also had the last chance to graduate. This number is comparable to the results of previous years, and the total number of graduates did not jump further.
If the admission numbers of recent years and the academic success of current students are set aside here, it will be possible to achieve similar results in the coming years.
Despite the fact that the university's operating grant has increased by a few percentage points, the number of graduates of our faculty has increased by almost 40 percent in the last four years. This result is extremely impressive and it is clear that it is impossible to underestimate the contribution of all of us in achieving this!
The previous year, 2020, was exceptional in terms of reception. Due to restrictions, many countries did not allow the admission of new foreign students, and therefore a significantly larger number of young Estonian students sought out Estonian universities. We saw a big leap in the number of applications as well as in the number of people studying. This year's reception was again the so-called in a normal rhythm and comparable to 2019.
There are a number of observations to make with regard to reception. The University of Technology has set itself the goal of accepting better and better entrants, so that students who have started once can also successfully complete it. Every dropout student is a waste of time and money in the context of already scarce resources. Therefore, we have consistently raised the bachelor's thresholds and the School’s thresholds are currently the highest at the university. Add to this the fact that every year the results of the state exam for broad mathematics are getting thinner (ie - there are fewer and fewer suitable candidates for us), then both the numbers of applications and the number of people studying show that we believe in the education we provide. Raising the thresholds has not substantially reduced reception.
However, there has been a significant change in the admission of master's studies. Because of both the COVID-19 epidemic and the university's GRE tests, international admission has more than doubled. At the same time, compared to 2019, the number of Estonian students has increased by more than 20 percent! We are seeing a great deal of interest in our in-service and retraining curricula, and most of our degree curricula are growing in number.
Looking at the topics of the administrative agreement negotiations between the university and the Ministry of Education and Research, the provision of Estonian-language higher education will play a significantly more important role in the future. As a result, we can assume that the share of foreign students will be in the range of 10-15%, and we will not go back to the numbers of a few years ago. At the same time, curricula may emerge aimed at exporting education and thereby earning additional funding for the university.
Given the stagnation of university operating grants, our only goal can be less, but better. It is not possible to grow indefinitely if, in reality, we have fewer resources than we had five years ago. There is no point in deceiving others or ourselves. We try to find the best student candidates, we work with them, we make them real tops in our field and we are proud of them!
Dean of the School of IT