In light of the upcoming Estonian parliamentary elections on 3 March 2019, the ETUCE member organisation, the Federation of the Estonian Universities, Institutions of Science, Research and Development (UNIVERSITAS), calls on the Estonian political parties to insert the Science and Higher Education sustainable development strategy on the agenda as an emergent demand.

Among a number of pending issues, UNIVERSITAS highlights:

  • low prestige attached to the work in higher education systems;
  • exclusion of the Estonian language from science and higher education;
  • delay in achieving the 1% GDP public funding for Research and Development stipulated in the national R&D and Innovation Strategy [TAT-strat];
  • continued decline in the share of technology funding as a result of the reforms in the science field in the years 2006 and 2013.

Asking for support from its sister organisations, UNIVERSITAS has issued a petition, stating that “There is a continuing decrease in number of researchers in Estonia. According to UNESCO statistics, this decline started in 2012 and the number has fallen 1.5 times below the EU core countries”.

Recalling the key demands set out in the ETUCE Campaign “Shape the Future of Europe with Teachers”, which include the call for increased sustainable public funding in education, ETUCE supports UNIVERSITAS in its petition.

In view of the upcoming elections in Estonia and the importance of supporting UNIVERSITAS’ petition, ETUCE encourages its member organisations to demonstrate solidarity with colleagues in Estonia and sign the petition.

ETUCE continues monitoring the situation.