At its session on 26 May, the University of Tartu senate elected Garri Raagmaa as the Director of Pärnu College. He has been the director of the college since 2018. Raagmaa's new five-year term of office starts in July.
According to Associate Professor Eva Piirimäe, chair of the expert committee and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Raagmaa's vision for the strategic plan of Pärnu College in the coming years was the most specific of the three candidates, and it is good that he can continue to implement his ideas. Raagmaa has also proven his ability to initiate new projects. "One of Raagmaa's strengths as director of the college is his versatile research background and successful cooperation with local government and businesses," Piirimäe added.
"For the development of the college, it is important to promote the quality of our academic staff and to encourage and support junior lecturers to defend the doctoral degree. It is important to increase the research capacity and create an attractive environment for people with academic potential also from outside Pärnu," said Garri Raagmaa.
In his next term of office, Raagmaa wants to work even more with local authorities and businesses to be ready for the changes related to energy capacity in Western Estonia and Rail Baltic. "These changes are already impacting population growth and business activity, so the college needs to keep pace with the changing structure of the economy. We have been cooperating with the Pärnu County Development Centre on this, and we will continue to do so in the future, "Raagmaa added.
Garri Raagmaa defended his doctoral degree in human geography at the University of Tartu in 2000. He has worked at the University of Tartu as a lecturer (1996–1997), research fellow (1998–2001 and 2010–2011) and since 2011, as an associate professor. Raagmaa led Pärnu College from 2001–2009 and 2018–2023. He has a strong background in research and teaching: he has authored 97 research publications, supervised two doctoral theses and 13 master's theses, and currently supervises five doctoral students. Over the past five years, he has been involved in several applied research projects.