The rights of students are established by the Higher Education Act in Section 15 and also in the study organization of a specific higher education institution.

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In order to finance their studies, students acquiring higher education can apply for a student loan, national study grants or apply for various scholarships.
The purpose of study grants is to ensure access to higher education and to motivate full-time studying.
A student on academic leave is not entitled to receive a study grant during the period when they are receiving a study grant from a foreign government, an international or intergovernmental organization, or a representative of a cooperation program.

Needs-based study allowance can be applied for by a student:

  • who studies full-time and completes the curriculum’s requirements in 75% or studies full-time in the first semester;
  • whose family’s monthly income per family member is below 762.60 euros (updated in 2023).
  • who is a citizen of Estonia or resides in Estonia on the basis of a permanent or temporary residence permit;
  • who is not on academic leave;
  • whose period of study has not exceeded the standard period of the curriculum;
  • Doctoral candidates are not eligible for needs-based study allowance, they can apply for the doctoral allowance.
Average student income per family memberUp to 190,63 euros190,64 – 381,25 euros381,26 – 762,5 euros
The amount of the study grant440 euros270 euros150 euros

The applicant must submit the following documents:

  • A document concerning the composition of the family (NB! The document must have been no older than 6 months). The document must list the following family members:
    • parents of a student up to 24 years of age if the student is not married or a parent or guardian of a child;
    • minor sisters, brothers, half-sisters and half-brothers of a student up to 24 years of age if the student is not married or a parent or guardian of a child;
    • those sisters, brothers, half-sisters and half-brothers (up to 24 years of age) of a student up to 24 years of age (who is not married or a parent or guardian of a child) who are obtaining general secondary education in stationary studies or vocational education in stationary studies or full-time or higher education full-time and have not exceeded the nominal period of studies according to the curriculum;
    • the spouse of the student;
    • the minor child whose parent or guardian the student is.
  • A document that sets out the taxable income of the student and their family members in the calendar year preceding the academic year of applying for the needs-based study allowance (NB! The document must clearly set out the income in the period from 1 January to 31 December). If the applicant or their family member had no income in the calendar year preceding the academic year of applying for the needs-based study allowance, a corresponding certificate must be submitted. All income documents must have been issued by the tax authority of the applicant’s home country. Certificates issued by an employer and bank statements are not acceptable documents.
    • Tax residents do not have to add data on their income, the applicant must upload data on income of non-tax residents and non-tax resident family members when submitting the application.
    • If the applicant for a need-based study allowance is a non-resident or his or her family members include non-residents, the applicant needs to manually add data about his/her family members to the application (name, date of birth). As the average income of the student shall be calculated based on the incomes of the persons which are similar to the types of income specified in subsection (1) of § 5¹ of the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act, documents certifying such income need to be appended by the applicant as well. To convert your income into euros, please use Bloomberg currency converter.
    • When submitting the application, please upload all of the original documentation alongside their translation into Estonian or English (documentation needs to be translated by a translation bureau). They do not need to be affirmed by a notary.
    • The data on studies originate from the Estonian Education Information System. If a student finds that there is a mistake in the state portal in connection with the study volume completed by them or their study load, they must contact their educational establishment. If the study load and volume are not in compliance with the terms and conditions for applying, it will not be possible to file an application.
    • In the month of submission of the application, the allowance will be paid seven days after granting the application. Thereafter, the allowance will be paid within the first seven working days of each month. The allowance will be transferred to the student’s bank account indicated in the portal edu.ee.

Read more about the certification procedure on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research.

  • Need-based special study allowance is intended for those students who missed out on the need-based study allowance because their previous income exceeded the limit for receiving said allowance, but their income has recently decreased significantly. 
  • The amount of the need-based special study allowance is 135 euros per month
  • Need-based special study allowance is determined and paid by educational institutions, which ask applicants for additional documents if necessary. Different higher education institutions set their own conditions on the basis of which special needs-based study allowance is requested. Therefore, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the information on the website of your higher education institution. 
  • A student does not have the right to receive need-based study allowance and need-based special study allowance at the same time.

The doctoral allowance 660 euros per month is paid over 12 months in a year

A doctoral student is entitled to a doctoral student grant: 

  • if they have started studying before the 2022/23. academic year; 
  • if they have passed the certification under the conditions and procedure established by the university or who is a first-year doctoral student; 
  • if he is studying in doctoral studies either full-time or part-time, in the event that he is not required to reimburse study costs; 
  • if they have not exceeded the nominal duration of the study program.
  • Results-based grant 100 eurosApplications can be made starting from the second semester of the academic year of enrolment and thereafter twice a year. The application must be submitted to the education institution.
  • Speciality grant starting from 160 euros – The grant is 160 euros for teacher training specialties. The application process takes place via the Archimedes Foundation twice a year.

    For informatics and information technology curricula at the IT Academy, the amount of the grant is 160-300 euros. The application process takes place twice a year. Applications must be submitted to the education institution.

    Specialty grants for 86 curricula (chiefly in the fields of mechanics, manufacturing and technology, and informatics and information technology) are 160 euros per month. The application process takes place twice a year. Applications must be submitted to the education institution.

  • Special-needs student grantThe grant is available for the student with special needs from 60 to 510 euros. The amount of the grant depends on the type and severity of the disability. The application process takes place via the Archimedes Foundation twice a year.
  • Grant for young people raised in a substitute home or family 160 euros – The application process takes place via the Archimedes Foundation once a year.

You can find information about other possible scholarships on the website of your higher education institution and in Study in Estonia.

  • The student loan is a long-term state-guaranteed loan for funding studying expenses. The student loan is granted to the citizens of the Republic of Estonia and to individuals who live in Estonia based on a long-term resident’s residence permit who are studying full time.
  • The maximum size of the student loan can be 3000 euros (updated 2023).
  • The student loan can be applied for once per year during the entire academic year from 15 September to 1 June. The student loan can be applied for in the extent of the standard period of study based on the student’s curriculum. The student loan is granted by banks and further information about the terms and conditions and application of the loan should also be inquired from banks.

Further information about the student loan can also be found from the website of the Ministry of Education and Research.

Estonian or foreign students and doctoral students (if they receive a doctoral student grant) have the right to health insurance.

Data on students studying in Estonia are submitted to the Health Insurance Fund (Tervisekassa) by the Ministry of Education and Science, which is also responsible for the correctness and timely submission of the transmitted data – the student does not have to submit his own data to obtain health insurance. The student’s health insurance ends three months after graduation from the educational institution. If the student has not graduated from the educational institution one year after the end of the nominal duration of the study program or has been expelled or exmatriculated from the educational institution, his health insurance will end after one month.

If a student takes an academic leave of his own accord and does not have health insurance through his workplace, he can register himself as unemployed, and health insurance is also valid while he is registered as unemployed.

The student is also covered by health insurance if he is forced to stay on academic leave for health reasons or in connection with joining the defense forces.

Anyone who does not have a general practitioner (perearst) can ask for help from the nearest family medicine centre (perearstikeskus).

You can check the validity of your health insurance on the state portal eesti.ee or by contacting the Health Insurance Fund:

E-mail: info@tervisekassa.ee
Phone: +372 669 6630.

Academic leave means a period for which a student is released from the obligation of undertaking study and research. Students are not transferred to the next year (course) during academic leave. The date of completion of a student’s studies is postponed by the period of time spent on academic leave. For the duration of the academic leave the student’s nominal period of study is suspended.

A student has the right to receive an academic leave in accordance with the procedure established by the higher education institution, generally up to one year, in addition up to two years for health reasons, up to one year in the case of military service, and to take care of a child until the child turns three years old. Several higher education institutions have revised their procedures to allow for a second voluntary academic leave if the need arises. However, the number of subjects that can be taken on academic leave is different in each higher education institution.

Student satisfaction and feedback is one of the criteria for institutional accreditation* of higher education institutions, so it plays a major role in the work and development of higher education institutions. 

Feedback is given by the students in the environment where the study is conducted within the subject or centrally in the school’s IT system, where the possibility of giving feedback must be ensured. 

Feedback not only helps the student to reflect on his learning experience, but also provides input for the development of the lecturer, the institute and the university as a whole. 

The student has the right to give feedback with the aim of making his opinion heard, the obligation to contribute to the development of the university, and the responsibility to follow good practice and ethics when giving feedback. 

*Institutional accreditation is an external evaluation, during which the compliance of the university’s management, work organisation, teaching and research activities, and the teaching and research environment with legislation, the university’s goals and development plan is assessed, and it is carried out by the Estonian Quality Agency for Education. You can learn more about the institutional accreditation from Tarktudeng’s video training on quality and from Tarktudeng’s subpage Students Quality Network.

Every student has the right to participate in democratic elections to the student council of their higher education institution.

Students, starting with their representatives, must be included in all decision-making processes and discussions involving the improvement of student life. 

The student unions exercise the students’ right to self-government and independently decide and organise issues of student life, based on students’ interests, needs, rights and obligations, and supporting the development of students into proactive and responsible citizens. 

Check out the Federation of Estonian Student Unions member student councils and the generally accepted principles of student elections!

Universities and libraries must ensure access to all mandatory study materials necessary for study. 

The Tallinn Central Library has opened access to the ELLU e-library and the international OverDrive environment to residents of Tallinn. There you can find Estonian, English and Russian literature, audio and e-books/magazines. 

Find out more about the possibilities offered by your university’s library on the website of the National Library of Estonia or the website of your university.

In addition to study and career counselling, psychological counselling also plays an important role in higher education institutions. This ensures that the student has a place to turn to for academic difficulties and personal problems. In addition, it is also possible to get help in the web-based environments lahendus.net and peaasi.ee

Although there are higher education institutions that offer psychological counselling, it is currently not mandatory according to the Higher Education Act. Nevertheless, it is important not to be alone with your worries and to seek help and support when necessary. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the possibilities of your higher education institution to offer psychological counselling, you can find relevant information on the school’s website. 

Your student council, which stands up for the well-being of its university students on a daily basis, will also help you find the necessary resources.

The student has the right to:

  • conditions necessary for studying, including to a safe study environment that supports the attainment of the learning outcomes;
  •  receive information needed for completing the study programme;
  •  receive study and career counselling;
  •  give feedback on the content of the studies, the quality of teaching and the organisation of the studies, and contest decisions concerning the organisation of studies;
  • elect representatives and be elected to the collegial representative bodies of the higher education institution;
  • every academic year get a holiday of at least two months, except in a professional higher education institution for national defence;
  • take an academic leave of absence in accordance with the procedure established by the higher education institution usually for up to one year, plus for up to two years for health reasons, for up to a year in the case of conscription or alternative service, and for taking care of a child until the child reaches the age of three years;
  • receive state scholarships on the conditions and in accordance with the procedure established on the basis of subsection 4 of this section.

The student is obliged to:

  • complete the study programme;
  • responsibly use the study facilities, including teaching materials and learning aids;
  • in the studies, follow the academic ethical principles and the good study practice;
  • follow other terms and conditions of organisation of studies established by the higher education institution.