Universities in Estonia have said they face funding shortfalls of several million euros if foreign students from third countries are barred from entering the country this autumn, as suggested by the Ministry of the Interior, reports ERR.
On Monday 25 May, Ruth Annus, head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration Policy at the Ministry of the Interior, said university students from third countries may not be allowed to enter the country for the start of the new school year. She said the second wave of coronavirus is expected in the autumn and several countries from which students will travel have high levels of coronavirus. Additionally, she said countries of origin of around half of students with residence permits include India, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which have a high immigration risk.
If students cannot enter the country, the state stands to lose millions of euros in income. A survey by Statistics Estonia has shown foreign students paid income and social tax of €8 million (US$8.9 million) to Estonia during the 2018-19 academic year. Universities will also lose millions in fees as a result. Approximately 67% of international students pay study fees, which range from €1,700 to €5,500 per semester.