According to information available to the universities, the Estonian government plans to increase teachers’ salary fund by 7.3% and the activity support for higher education by 3.2% next year.
This plan aggravates the gap between the salaries of universities’ teaching staff and teachers’ salaries, as well as widens the gap between higher education and other spheres of life in Estonia.
At our universities there are 633 academic staff members, whose salary is below the minimum teacher’s salary (1,412 euros); 112 of them hold a doctoral degree.
The salary of a third (33%) of all academic employees is less than the estimated average salary in general education schools (1,653 euros).
To maintain the motivation of teaching staff, the pressure to increase their salaries is very high – regardless of the amounts planned for the state budget.
Universities Estonia express disappointment at the government’s plan to increase the inequality between the funding of higher and general education in Estonia.
This will lead to a situation where universities are forced to withdraw from obligations stipulated in their administrative contracts, and begin to reduce tuition-free Estonian-taught studies.