The annual report of the University of Tartu continuing education for 2022 has been compiled. It reveals that the number of continuing education learners exceeded 45,000 last year, meaning that the university has more than three continuing education learners per student.
In 2022, 46,108 continuing education learners took part in 1,494 courses at the University of Tartu: 45,118 in continuing education programmes and 990 in degree study courses. Compared to 2021, the number of continuing education learners increased by 12%.
Nearly three quarters of participants in continuing education programmes did blended or online learning. Also, 187 internal training courses were organised, with 2,804 participations. As in last years, the duration of most courses was 27 to 80 hours, and courses of this volume also attracted the largest number of learners. At the same time, there was an increase in the share of larger continuing education programmes (more than 240 hours), mainly thanks to micro-credential programmes.
Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Tartu, is pleased that the university, in addition to its excellence in research and degree studies, is also a flagship in lifelong learning in Estonia. Our fast-changing labour market calls for shorter flexible learning paths and this is a direction where universities must respond to the needs of society.
"We are grateful to the learners and clients who put their trust in the university and upgrade their knowledge and skills at our courses. I would also like to thank all the staff who find the time to contribute to continuing education alongside their other tasks. In addition to increasing numbers of continuing education learners, what is even more important is that the university offers new and varied learning opportunities for different target groups, such as micro-credential programmes and MOOCs, which have also been well received," Valk added.
In 2022, for the third time, universities had the opportunity to offer free continuing education courses to working adults within the framework of state-commissioned continuing education. With the support of the project "Promoting adult education and broadening learning opportunities", 21 courses were organised during the year.
In addition, for the second year running, the university offered micro-credential programmes, in which learners can acquire an additional specialisation or competence in a narrow field of activity. These smaller yet integrated continuing education programmes have been well received by working people. In the autumn semester of 2022, nearly 300 learners started in these programmes.
The university also designs continuing education programmes based on the client's wishes and needs. In 2022, cooperation with public institutions and private operators continued, with training commissioned by ministries, public authorities, local authorities, health and education institutions and businesses.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) also took place, attracting more than 8,000 participants. As part of the university's continuing education, e-courses were offered to prepare secondary school students for exams and support their learning, and courses of the Youth Academy diversified pupils’ learning opportunities. Self-development opportunities were also offered by summer and winter universities. Programmes of the University of the Third Age for older people took place in 15 places across Estonia. International summer university programmes also continued.