Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sixty percent of Estonian youths want to continue their education abroad

Of the 1,216 high school and trade school students, who were polled between October and March, only 10 percent believed that Estonia can offer them the higher education they desire. Since we can see that positive-minded about coming back, Estonia needs to, in the near future, actively think about how to secure appropriate opportunities at home to ambitious youths, said Dream Foundation representative Katriin Visamaa, who supports the Bring Talent Home project.It is not that Estonian youth think poorly of domestic univerisites, the poll finds, they just want to have new exciting experiences. Twenty-eight percent also believe a university degree from abroad will make them more competitve on the Estonian market. Still 32 percent say it is very unlikely that they would return to Estonia once they have left. Another 20 percent have not made up their minds.

Dream Foundation concluded that Estonian youths are more ambitious than they used to be. They apparently are not troubled by a potential culture shock, finding the right major, or becoming homesick. But the biggest obstacles are finances, for 61 percent, and studying in a foreign language, for 46 percent.Young people are mainly restricted by external factors over which they have no control, said Visamaa.Although the main destinations could be easily guessed - the UK and the US - students named a diverse list of 43 countries. Other popular destinations included Germany, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Holland, Australia,Austria and Finland. Most are attracted to countries where English is spoken. But a lot also set their sights on countries like Denmark, Sweden and Finland,where higher education is free.

Another interesting fact is that fields of interest often seem to clash.It was not unusual for a youth to be intersted both in economics and humanities or medicine and acting,said Visamaa. She said this can be interepreted as both versatility or indecisiveness. The most popular areas of study were economics and design, followed by art and law. Then came medicine, psychology,Mathematics, IT, architecture, business and languages.

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