Review TalTech's decision against the international students #taltechacceptus
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Dear Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) Senate,
We know that the recent weeks were as stressful for you as they were for us, the new international students. However, the final decision has been devastating for every one of us, and, to be honest, we were expecting a much more considerate decision from the Admission Committee. After discussing your decision, we saw that not even a single new student found it fair, and everyone showed their strong disagreement with this unjust and late decision. That is why we have decided to express our common opinion as every new student who signed this petition.
- Since the start of the admission procedure, TalTech communicated to the new students that they are considering options like online education due to the COVID-19 situation and will announce their decision latest by July 15. University also noted that it will issue the final admission letters when the Embassies are open
- We have to note that TalTech was quite considerate about the document/fee deadlines, and this supported students during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Many new students took English language exams, prepared their documents, sent them to Estonia and paid the tuition fee despite countless obstacles and hardships. Some of them even resigned from their job to prepare and sold their cars to pay for the tuition fee. However, still TalTech did not issue the final admission letters required for visa
- On 6 July Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia published their decision that students and workers from third countries will be able to enter Estonia if their quarantine, testing, and accommodation are provided by the host university. This was great news for new students and they hoped to receive their admission letter next
- However, on 22 July students who are directly affected heard about TalTech’s negative decision from a local news website and it took TalTech one more day to officially email students. The Senate decided “not to matriculate students arriving from high COVID 19 risk countries this intake” noting that “Senate is the highest decision-making body and this outcome is final”
- Being an extremely unjust and late decision, many students lost their opportunity to apply for other universities. Some of them even declined their admission offers from other universities because of TalTech and now they regret their decision
and are left without any other option to consider. This also means a huge financial and emotional burden for more than 300 students
- In their latest news, the University of Tartu announced that they are making their best “to ensure that all international students, regardless of their country of residence, can start their studies at the University of Tartu in autumn” meaning that they respect the hardships that the students suffer from and are ready to consider this. They have also mailed the new students saying that they will accept non-EU students and even provide transportation with a condition that the students must pay for their Covid-19 tests which is among the offers that we are going to make
- Several other Estonian universities also prepared alternative options for new students and TalTech is yet the only university that made such a sharp and negative decision
What do we offer?
- All of the students who signed this petition agree to cover the necessary costs such as the Covid-19 test, relevant accommodation (quarantine), and transportation. Please consider that we also care about the public health in Estonia and are willing to take every single required step to ensure safety
- The majority of students who signed this petition also agree to take part in online education for the first semester if they are unable to enter Estonia. This is another offer that you must consider
- If you cannot accept any of the above offers, the least you can do is to defer admission (and their tuition fee waivers) of the new students to the next semester or academic year
- In general, we just want to receive the same treatment as the University of Tartu students. If it is possible for another university in Estonia to solve the issue easily why TalTech should not?
Additional supporting points
- More than 1000 Estonian residents (!) signed up for a petition that calls for reserving the right of foreign students to come to Estonia with 14 days quarantine period assured. There are several other supporting points in this petition that is currently discussed in Riigikogu (Estonian parliament). Here's the petition: https://rahvaalgatus.ee/initiatives/6f423f98-7c97-4fd6-a0dc-4264a564b808?fbclid=IwAR0t_wcxVi2_FyqaHgVbzOuE9tMMEBBfY7AONpf7-LtMJ0FMxFmTFTID5to
- The decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that allows third-country nationals to enter Estonia for study purpose (the last bullet point): https://vm.ee/en/information-countries-and-self-isolation-requirements-passengers
We sincerely hope that the Senate will thoroughly consider our points and offers and will review their decision.
On behalf of all international students.
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