Estonia´s plan to reform PhD studies - in better support for study and work

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Tags: PhD reform in Estonia

The Estonian state has been looking for possibilities to make doctoral studies more attractive and ensure better engagement of the students in their studies. The core of the plan is that instead of a stipend, the doctoral students engaged full time with their studies would start getting a wage equal to the local average wage. Two more options would remain open for more flexibility in organising one´s work and studies.

For many years, the stipend for doctoral students in Estonia has been rather low, counting €660 at the moment. Additionally, the stipends do not count for future pensions and ensures only very low parental benefits. Therefore, to make ends meet, many students have needed to work in parallel with their studies. Too often, this has caused long extentions of the studies, as well as quite high drop-out rate.