More than half of international students of TTÜ planning to stay in Estonia for work
According to a recent survey among the international students of Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ), more than half of the respondents are planning to find employment in Estonia after graduation, with as many as two thirds of the international Master students.
The rate is highest among the international students of the Faculty of Chemical and Materials Technology with 80% planning to enter the Estonian labour market to find employment in their field, followed by international students of the Faculty of Information Technology (66%), the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (64%), and the Faculty of Science (62%). A little over a third of the international students of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration would like to stay in Estonia after receiving their diploma.
TTÜ has the largest international student community in Estonia with 37% of the country’s international students pursuing their degree in the institution. Among Estonia’s international Master students, 48% attend TTÜ. Over a third of the international students of TTÜ are of Finnish origin, followed by those from Georgia (7%), India and Turkey (6% respectively).
According to TTÜ Vice-Rector for Innovation and Internationalisation Tea Varrak, most of the Indian and Turkish students wish to stay in Estonia for work after graduation. “Yet only 10% of the Finns plan the same and most of the Georgian students wish to return home after receiving their diploma,” Varrak says.
According to the study conducted in May, around half of the international students of TTÜ work during their studies – as allowed with a residence permit for study issued based on the Aliens Act. On the other hand, the students are required to ensure that their studies will not be affected by their work, which is also regularly checked.
According to Tea Varrak, 60% of the international students of TTÜ claim to study Estonian, which is considered a prerequisite to adapting to the local life. “42% of the respondents stated that Estonian should be a compulsory subject at the university,” she adds. “Estonian is offered as an optional subject in most curricula, yet this is not enough for a student starting on a beginner’s level to reach a required linguistic proficiency. TTÜ is unable to provide international students language training free of charge, yet not that many students are willing to participate in the courses for an additional pay.”
When choosing their country of residence, the international students of TTÜ consider the general quality of life the most influential factor (4.2 on a 5-point scale), followed by a general welcoming attitude towards foreigners and a good pay in their field. Climate and natural environment were regarded as least important (3.3 points). The international students evaluated Estonian quality of life with 3.5 points, followed by international environment and general welcoming attitude towards foreigners. Pay in their field was assessed as the lowest with 2.7 points.
The career survey of international students was conducted this May, with 399 Bachelor, Master and PhD students of TTÜ responding. The sample accounts for more than 35% of the international students of the university.