Changes in the law will see bachelor’s degrees awarded to graduates of professional or vocational subjects. Previously such studies had culminated in a diploma of higher education.
The Higher Education Act, entering into force in September, will bring Estonian tertiary education more in line with that of Germany or Switzerland, according to a spokesperson from on of the institutions affected by the changes, the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS).
Kristjan Oad, general manager at EUAS, sometimes referred to as the Mainor school, told BNS that whereas graduates in more practical subjects received diplomas, bachelor’s degrees were awarded to graduates in more academic subjects.
“Now, all those who start professional higher education this fall will equally receive a bachelor’s degree upon graduation,” Oad said, according to BNS.
“The law caught up with life. There is no difference between bachelor’s studies and professional higher education studies other than professional higher education courses are more practical, more tied to the labor market,” Oad continued.
Oad also noted that the twin-track system had led to issues for Estonian graduates, internationally in particular.
“The matter is clearer now, a uniform bachelor’s degree is more easily understandable outside Estonia,” Oad said.
“Under the new act, the same requirements apply to professional and academic higher education, though one point differs, namely that a student of professional higher education acquires not only basic knowledge, but also the skills to work in a certain field, which makes the life of those students starting out in life a bit easier in reality,” Oad added.
“In Germany, it is even possible to acquire a doctoral degree at some professional higher education institutions,” Oad added.