Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Working while studying – some legal and political questions affecting the right to higher education in Estonia
Kristi Joamets, Maria Claudia Solarte Vasquez

Last modified: 25-06-2019


This paper explores some of the social dimensions affecting higher education policies in Estonia, and in respect to the European Union (EU) institutional framework and priorities, and looking at higher education as a fundamental human right. From this perspective, the aim is to establish that understanding underlying phenomena becomes key to respond strategically, raise awareness and improve the development of academic policies at the national and institutional levels. The combination of work and studies is one of the most critical dimensions to factor into this assessment but it has been neglected in the practice. Lecturers and other faculty members intervene, developing independent academic policies and initiatives in the absence of a pre-concerted strategy, expertise, mandate and/or capabilities. Instead, universities should prepare for unorthodox engagements adapting to the students in need, and train their faculties to facilitate a shift towards less traditional learning environments. Responsive adjustments to the current social developments can be interpreted to be the proper way or the state to perform its duties and to better guarantee the exercise of the human right to education.

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