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Research and Education

Research and Education

World class education and research

Tartu is Estonia’s leading centre of education and research. Human capital has served as the driving force of Tartu’s growth over the centuries. Our well-functioning education system and high standard of R&D institutes are widely recognised.

Tartu has 11 higher education institutions, with a total of 15,400 local and 1,000 foreign students, conducting internationally recognised research and providing world-class research-based higher education. There are three higher education institutions with over 1,000 students: the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tartu Health Care College.

The University of Tartu, founded in 1632, is one of the oldest universities in North Eastern Europe and is ranked in the top 1,2% of the world’s best universities. The second largest, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, is one of the top 100 universities in the world in the field of agriculture and forestry.

Since 2001, Tartu has been the seat of the Ministry of Education of Estonia. The research institutions of Tartu practically represent all the trends and fields of science in Estonia. Tartu is the base for five centres of excellence and three competence centres.


Number of Higher Education Institutions in Tartu: 11

University of Tartu: 10,800 students

Estonian University of Life Sciences: 3,200 students

Five Centres of Excellence

Three Competence Centres

Number of Students in Tartu: 16,400


Foreign Students in Tartu in Percentages:

  • Finland 27%

  • Russia 11%

  • Ukraine 9%

  • Georgia 5%

  • Latvia 5%

  • Other 43%

Last changed 07.12.2020