Instruction language in Estonian higher education


One of the main priorities of Estonian higher education over the past decade has been internationalisation, which has increased the share of English-taught programmes (ETP) at Estonian universities. At the same time, given the small population of Estonia, it is of critical importance that teaching in Estonian language continues and prospers. This research project focused on studying the views of university management and programme directors (curriculum leaders) on the current and future use of different languages in the context of higher education (HE). The qualitative study included interviews with vice-rectors of Estonian public (state-funded) universities as well as study directors of regional colleges in the dominantly Russian-speaking Ida-Viru county. At the level of study programmes, 22 specific programmes were selected for further analysis. These included English-taught, Estonian-taught and multi-language programmes. All the interviews aimed to map the challenges related to the use of different languages in the study context and to provide recommendations on how to better regulate the balance between Estonian and English language instruction.

Summary