Academic leave

Academic leave means a period for which a student is released from the obligation of undertaking study and research. Students are not transferred to the next year (course) during academic leave. The date of completion of a student's studies is postponed by the period of time spent on academic leave. For the duration of the academic leave the student's nominal period of study is suspended.

 

When to take the academic leave

You can go on academic leave at any time, but please keep in mind that when taking academic leave having studied half or more of a given semester, the semester is considered a "studied semester" and you are expected to complete 30 ECTS by the end of that semester. It is therefore advisable to take academic leave for a semester or academic year as this enables you to continue studies after academic leave in the most structured and best way. The start and end dates of academic leave will be visible in the SIS under the menu of absences. 

 

TRP during academic leave

International students of bachelor and master's programmes who have temporary residence permits for studies should be aware that the residence permit for studies will be revoked during academic leave that is taken at student's own request or for health reasons (excluding for taking care of a child) unless you study full time during academic leave (take the courses for the value of 22,5 ECTS per semester). PhD students are allowed to maintain their residence permit for studies during academic leave. Further information on TRP.

 

Types of academic leave

You can apply for academic leave at your own request once per stage of study. This type of academic leave must be a single uninterrupted period. You cannot apply for academic leave for 6 months, then study for a semester and then apply for academic leave again for 6 months.

You can go on academic leave at your own request within the nominal period of study; you cannot go on academic leave at own request leave during the extension of your study period. You also cannot apply for academic leave at your own request at the first study level during the first semester of the first year.

You need to specify the duration of academic leave in the application. You can choose the length of the period. You can go on academic leave at your own request for up to one year. If you have taken academic leave for a shorter period, you can apply for an  extension of leave bringing the total to one year before the expiry of the leave.

While on academic leave, Estonian students do not have health insurance from their student status.

You can apply for academic leave for health reasons at any time on the basis of a medical certificate. Your application needs to be accompanied by a certificate on which the doctor has determined the duration of your academic leave.

You can go on academic leave for health reasons multiple times, but the total duration of leave must not exceed 2 years.

If you are called upon to perform compulsory military service, the Defence Resources Board will send you a notice calling you up. On the basis of this notice and an application you can go on academic leave for up to one year.

Female students have the right to apply for academic leave to care for a child as of the 30th week of pregnancy until one month after the due date. After the birth of a child the parents can, with a copy of the birth certificate of the child, apply for academic leave lasting until the child turns three. You have to submit the appropriate application for academic leave.


Both parents (with a copy of the birth certificate / certificate of registration of the birth of the child) can go on academic leave to care for the child (after the birth of the child).

 

 

Submitting the application

In order to apply for academic leave you need to submit a due application and, where necessary, respective annexes. The application needs to be submitted at the latest one day before the start (or cancellation) date of adacemic leave. Academic leave cannot be formalised retroactively. It is possible to submit the document signed on paper or signed digitally. Based on your application, the vice-dean/director of your college will issue an order, and a notice granting academic leave will be sent to your e-mail address, and to your messages mailbox in SIS. The application must be submitted to:

In order to interrupt academic leave before the final date of the academic leave, you need to submit an application to interrupt academic leave.

If you are on academic leave for health reasons, you need to annex a medical certificate to the application.

Since the 2019/20 academic year it has been possible to study during academic leave. The university will cancel course registrations of students who go on academic leave, except those courses that the student indicates on the application for leave that he/she wishes to preserve. 

Be aware that international students at the 1st and 2nd study levels who hold a residence permit for studies (TRP) cannot have a residence permit during academic leave that is taken at student's own request or for health reasons, unless they study full time during academic leave (i.e. attend courses to the value of 22,5 ECTS per semester). Maintaining TRP during academic leave is possible without the study load limit for the students with a moderate, severe or profound disability or parents/guardians of a disabled child of up to and including 15 years of age, or for the students who take academic leave to take care of a child. 

If a student obtains a fourth negative result in the same course (or a third negative result in the Faculty of Medicine) while on academic leave, the student will be deleted from the matriculation register at the end of the semester.

The tuition fees for the standard period of study, and for the period spent on academic leave, are calculated separately with the amount dependant on the time at which the student goes on academic leave:

  • full-time students studying an Estonian curriculum or students with tuition-waiver student place must pay their study expenses when they go on academic leave in the middle of the semester based of the number of credit points by which they fall short of the threshold prescribed in the previous semester. If academic leave ends in the ongoing semester there is no obligation to pay the tuition fee if you have paid the fee for the semester studied before the start of academic leave. If the student is on academic leave for less than ten study weeks (less than 70 days) in a semester, the semester is considered a studied semester. Then the tuition fee for the semester must be paid in the following semester if the study load was smaller than required; 
  • part-time students studying an Estonian curriculum will be required to pay their study expenses if academic leave starts after the due date. If academic leave ends before the due date, the tuition fee must be paid for the current semester, while no tuition fee must be paid for the current semester if academic leave ends after the due date. If the student paticipates in studies during academic leave, the tuition fee must be payed;
  • students studying in a non-Estonian curriculum without a tuition-waiver student place will be required to pay their study expenses if academic leave starts after the due date. If academic leave ends before the due date, the tuition fee must be paid for the current semester, while no tuition fee must be paid for the current semester if academic leave ends after the due date. If the student paticipates in studies during academic leave, the tuition fee must be paid, whereas there is no need for additional payment if academic leave starts after the due date, except when defending a graduation thesis or taking a final exam, when the student has not paid semester fee for that semester yet;
  • part-time doctoral students will be required to pay their study expenses if academic leave starts after the due date. If academic leave ends before the due date, the tuition fee must be paid for the current semester, while no tuition fee must be paid for the current semester if academic leave ends after the due date. If the student paticipates in studies during academic leave, the tuition fee must be paid.

If the student is on academic leave for less than ten study weeks (less than 70 days) in a semester, the semester is considered to be a studied semester. Thus, the student must be careful with regard to the dates of academic leave. It is recommended to take academic leave for a whole semester or academic year.

The due date of the tuition fee in the autumn semester is 20 October, the spring semester 20 March, and the first semester 20 September.

Payment of tuition fees while on academic leave is regulated by the Conditions of Reimbursement of Study Costs in Degree Study.

 

 Taking academic leave is regulated by the Higher Education Act and the Study Regulations of the University of Tartu

 

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