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Universities in Tallinn, Estonia

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Tallinn is a coastal city, located on the Baltic Sea. It is the country's cultural hub, and maintains the majority of its old town charm to this day.

Tallinn is the capital and most populous city in Estonia, a northern European country with a rich heritage and history. With a population of just under 450,000 residents, Tallinn is home to stunning mediaeval buildings and cultural landmarks.

In recent years, Tallinn has become a hub for entrepreneurship and the city has the highest number of start-ups per person in all of Europe. In fact, many world-leading companies including Skype and Bolt were founded in Tallinn, and the city is constantly ranked among the world’s top digital cities.

With over 60 percent of Tallinn residents speaking English, international travellers find it easy to communicate and explore the city. Tallinn consistently ranks well in living standards polls, with residents particularly satisfied with the city’s excellent public transportation and environmental standards.

Top Universities in Tallinn

University of Tartu

A two-hour drive south of Tallinn will bring you to Tartu, Estonia’s second largest city and the home of the University of Tartu. Consistently ranked as one of northern Europe’s best universities, it was established in 1632 and has since become a leading centre for research and teaching. The University of Tartu is a member of the prestigious Coimbra Group, an organisation of centuries-old European multi-faculty universities committed to world-class research and teaching.

The University of Tartu is Estonia’s only official provider of degrees in medicine, and offers over 160 degree programmes across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The university is home to over 12,000 enrolled students, of which nearly 1,000 are international students. The university offers many courses in English across disciplines.

The University of Tartu operates over 30 research institutes, many of them in partnership with the Tallinn University of Technology. These include the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Cell Engineering and the Centre of Excellence for Genomics and Translational Medicine.

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)

Founded in 1918 and originally known as the Tallinn College of Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology is Estonia’s only technical university and is primarily located in the Mustamae region of Tallinn. TalTech is home to over 9,000 enrolled students including nearly 1,500 international admits.

Today, TalTech offers 90 degree programmes across 16 faculties. Located on a 140-acre campus, the university has excellent residential areas, parks, sporting facilities and restaurants on campus for international students.

TalTech is well-known for its advanced research and operates multiple partnerships with world-leading companies. The university’s campus also houses the Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, where more than 200 tech companies, including Skype, operate. You will have plenty of opportunities to secure world-class post-graduation employment offers at TalTech because of the university’s strong ties with private companies as well the high quality of research you will be able to participate in.

Tallinn University

Tallinn University was established after a merger between several colleges in Tallinn in 2005, and is located near Kadriorg Park in the centre of the city. Alongside its primary campus, Tallinn University also operates additional satellite campuses in the nearby towns of Haapala and Rakvere. 

Tallinn University is home to nearly 7,500 full-time enrolled students of which nearly 1,500 are international students. The university offers especially well-regarded courses in humanities subjects, and is known for its world-leading Film and Media School which offers plenty of courses in English. Tallinn University places special focus on providing international students with a multidisciplinary learning experience as part of their degree programmes.

Estonian University of Life Sciences

Originally founded in 1951 as the Estonia Agricultural University, the Estonian University of Life Sciences provides top-ranked courses in a variety of life sciences subjects including agriculture and sustainable development.

Home to nearly 2,300 enrolled students of which 300 are international admits, the university is primarily located on an urban campus in Tartu. The university operates multiple exchange programmes every year, allowing international students to conduct life sciences research and learning in top-ranked universities all over the world.

Estonian Academy of Arts

Primarily situated in central Tallinn, the Estonian Academy of Arts has been one of the region’s leading public universities for fine arts and related subjects since its founding in 1914. 

The Estonian Academy is home to nearly 1,200 enrolled students including nearly 100 international students. The academy’s design and fashion divisions maintain technical partnerships with many world-leading companies, and you will have the chance to design world-class products as part of your research & innovation work at the university. 

International students at the academy have constant opportunities to study abroad through the Estonian Academy’s participation in programmes such as Erasmus+ and Nordplus.

Tallinn Universities World Ranking 2025

Below are the top-ranked Tallinn universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2025 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2025Times Higher Education Ranking 2024
University of Tartu358301-350
Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)621-630601-800
Tallinn University1,001-1,2001,001-1,200

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Tallinn

In addition to the five top-ranked Tallinn universities for international students, the city and its nearby regions also offer a variety of specialised institutes providing degrees and vocational training in a variety of fields including IT and business. A few of the top-ranked institutes in and around Tallinn for international students are:

Tuition and Living Costs in Tallinn

Generally, top-ranked Estonian universities charge international students between 1,700 and 7,500 US Dollars per year as tuition fees. Specialisations such as medicine and law courses may cost slightly more at 12,000 US Dollars and upwards per year. A few Tallinn universities offer scholarships for international students, and may charge minimal tuition fees for international students from the European Union region.

As for living costs, the Estonian government states that international students will require between 350-550 US Dollars per month. This relatively affordable budget includes 150-250 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 200-250 US Dollars for food expenses, and another 80-100 US Dollars for utilities and entertainment expenses. Tallinn’s well-connected public transport network can be used by international students free of charge.

Current Estonian student visa rules allow international students to work up to fifteen hours per week during the semester and up to forty hours every week during academic breaks. Many international students identify and secure internships and part-time work in Tallinn using online job search platforms in order to offset their academic and living expenses.

Life in Tallinn for International Students

Situated by the Baltic sea in north-western Estonia, Tallinn is excellently located for international students to frequently travel across Europe’s tourist-favourite cities. Capital cities such as Riga to the south, Stockholm to the west, and Helsinki in the north are all only a few hours away by road or ferry.

Tallinn itself is home to more than 60 world-class art museums and galleries. Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the city’s biggest tourist attraction and shows the best of Estonia’s culture and rich heritage. The city also has a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene where you can socialise with fellow students and Tallinn residents, especially during the weekends.

Below are a few of the Estonian capital’s must-see destinations for international students:

  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
  • Kadriorg Art Museum
  • Kumu
  • St Olaf’s Church
  • Tallinn Town Hall
  • Estonian Open Air Museum
  • Lennusadam
  • Tallinn TV Tower
  • St. Nicholas’ Church & Museum
  • Toompea Castle
  • Tallinn Zoo
  • Estonian Maritime Museum
  • Kadriorg Park
  • Telliskivi Creative City
  • Viru Gate
  • Tallinn City Museum
  • Danish King’s Garden
  • Tallinn Botanic Garden

International students can travel from their home countries to Tallinn Airport via most major European hubs including Berlin and Amsterdam. You can even use weekends and academic breaks to plan exciting road trips all over Europe from Tallinn. The Estonian city is an excellent university destination for international students looking for a world-class education in an affordable European city.

See all universities in Estonia.

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