In 2020, the number of continuing education learners of the University of Tartu increased by almost 11% compared to the year before. There were nearly three continuing education learners per student. According to the 2019 data of the Ministry of Education and Research, the University of Tartu is the largest continuing education provider in Estonia.
In 2020, 40,493 continuing education learners took part in 1,216 courses at the University of Tartu: 39,721 of them in continuing education programmes and 772 in degree study courses. Nearly three quarters of participants in continuing education programmes took entirely or partially web-based courses and almost a third gained knowledge in 21 massive open online courses (MOOCs). Also 161 internal training sessions were organised, involving 2,624 university staff members. Statistics show that the duration of most courses was 27 to 80 hours and courses of this volume also attracted the largest number of learners.
Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu Aune Valk was content that despite an exceptional year when a large part of continuing education had to be quickly reorganised and courses transferred online, the number of students increased. “This was made possible by good cooperation within and outside the university and the great contribution of both academic and support units,” said Valk. She pointed out that the share of courses serving society and open to all has increased – these include both free courses offered at the request of the state and MOOCs opened on the initiative of the university. “It is a pleasure to see that there is great interest in learning and the university is trusted as a training provider,” said Valk.
The university also draws up continuing education programmes according to the wishes and needs of contracting entity, and in 2020, the university continued its cooperation with both public sector institutions and private companies. Among others, the courses were commissioned by the Financial Supervision Authority, the Government Office, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, the National Institute for Health Development, the Agency of Medicines, the Environmental Board and the Supreme Court, several other state authorities, companies, health care institutions and numerous educational institutions.
In 2020, for the first time, universities had the opportunity to offer free continuing education courses within the framework of state-commissioned continuing education. Supported by the project “Promoting adult education and broadening learning opportunities”, eight free courses for employees of small and medium-sized enterprises were organised during the year.
Further information: Tiia Ristolainen, Head of the University of Tartu Lifelong Learning Centre, 501 5584, tiia.ristolainen [ät] ut.ee