Estonian University of Life Sciences

emu eesti maaulikool
emu eesti maaulikool

The Estonian University of Life Sciences is one of the top 100 universities in the world in the field of agriculture and forestry, ranked 51 to 100. Estonian University of Life Sciences is the only university in Estonia whose priorities in academic and research activities  provide the sustainable development of natural resources  necessary for the existence of Man as well as the preservation of  heritage and habitat.

According to QS World University Rankings by Subject (2016), The university also belongs to the top 1% most cited research facilities in the world, with our plant physiology professor Ülo Niinemets being the most cited Estonian researcher altogether.

  • One of the 6 public universities in Estonia
  • 4th in size among public Estonian universities
  • 4th in the number of foreign students

The academic structure is composed of research and development institutes or institutions, centres and other structural units. Currently, teaching and research is carried out in five institutes.​

Bachelor studies 1600
Integrated studies 600
Professional higher education studies 100
Master’s studies 800
Doctural studies 200
…including foreign students 200

The opening of Tartu University – Academia Gustaviana was a momentous event in the educational and cultural history of the Estonian nation. At the opening celebration of the University in 1632 Johan Skytte, a Swedish politician and the founder of the University wished that “… even the peasants of this country could get their share of the watering springs of educational wealth.” This was the beginning of agricultural education in Estonia.

In 1951 an independent university – the Estonian Academy of Agriculture – was founded comprising the University faculties of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science.

Till the end of 2004 the University had six faculties (Agronomy, Agricultural Engineering, Economics & Social Sciences, Forestry, Rural Engineering, and Veterinary Sciences) and eight institutes (Estonian Agribiocentre, Estonian Plant Biotechnology Research Institute EVIKA, Forest Research Institute, Institute of Animal Science, Institute of Environmental Protection, Institute of Experimental Biology, Institute of Zoology and Botany and Polli Institute of Horticulture).

Since 2005 the Estonian Agricultural University has a new structure. Teaching and research is carried out in five institutes: Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Institute of Technology and Institute of Economics and Social Sciences.

Since November 2005 the Estonian Agricultural University has been called The Estonian University of Life Sciences.

The University promotes collaboration between the areas of academic responsibility concentrated in six focal areas – agriculture, environment, forestry, food and health, engineering and technology and rural economy, and brings considerable expertise in the academic structural units to bear. Thus, when managing study and research funds, it is possible to build upon the needs of the working group as a whole better, reduce the negative impact of project-based approach, place the responsibility in research and development activities and the management of research-based teaching on the focal area leaders and academic staff and deem them responsible for ensuring the status, competitiveness and consistency of the respective field. The involvement of researchers in teaching, as well as the optimisation of the teaching load of the academic staff will pave the way for an increase in the volume of research, which will result in improved efficiency of post-graduate research and guarantee successors in research and teaching. Internationalization increases and the success rate in project application and implementation will grow and the range of research services on offer will be expanded.

The Estonian University of Life Sciences will be developed into an attractive University with a plentiful new generation of researchers and teaching staff, whose specialties are in high demand and whose graduates have a good competitive position in the labour market.


The University creates and shares knowledge to the promotors of bio-economy for the best of Nature and Man.


The University is an internationally recognized research university in the field of bio-economy.

Core Values


The University remains objective, ethical, honest, responsible, fair and professional in its activities. The University cares about its students and academic staff and ensures the continuity of academic consistency and traditions. The University fosters a sustainable and environment-friendly way of thinking.

Academic freedom

The members of the Estonian University of Life Sciences community may present their views and research findings freely without external constraints and regulations, and contribute to knowledge development and serve the society as best as they can.


Estonian University of Life Sciences is open to cooperation and knowledge transfer. The University creates and promotes the atmosphere of tolerance and synergy and adheres to the principle of equal opportunities.


The University is innovative and open to new ideas. The University develops a creative environment that supports the academic curiosity of the academic staff and students.

Estonian language and culture

The University values ​​the preservation and development of national culture, the creative development of research terminology in the Estonian language, as well as university education in our mother tongue. The university does its best to ensure the sustainable development of Estonia through providing high-quality research and education and serving the society.

Strategic areas and goals and objectives for 2025

The University have defined long-term goals, and objectives necessary for achieving them in five strategic areas.

1. Research and development

Target: Internationally recognized research.

Objective: The University is listed in at least one internationally recognized university ranking table.

2. Teaching

Target: Highly rated university education, graduates in high demand on the labour market.

Objective: The satisfaction rate of the students and alumni is at least as high as that of other Estonian universities.

3. Members of the University community

Target: Advancing, motivated and united members of the University community.

Objective: Motivated and competent students and staff, internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff.

4. Society

The main target to encourage development in its areas of responsibility. Estonian University of Life Sciences supports the economic, cultural and social development. and the objective is the first and preferred choice for its partners in its areas of responsibility.

5. Organization

The organization main target to supports the main activities of the members of the University. It is a modern and attractive learning and working environment. The University has the optimum structure for attaining the set objectives.

Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences

Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences is composed of 10 departments. It performs high-level modern teaching and research and development activities in many fields, such as animal nutrition, animal production, including aquaculture, animal genetics and breeding, reproductive biology, biotechnology, food hygiene, food technology, and many other subject areas related to animal science and veterinary medicine.

Veterinary studies are integrated long-cycle studies that last for six years. Completion of the study programme proovides a qualification corresponding to the MSc. There is also an Animal Clinic by the University which participate in the studies by educating new generations of veterinarians.

Institute of Technology

Institute of Technology is composed of 5 departments. It is possible to focus on either energy application engineering, production engineering or ergonomics. A popular speciality from the energy application curricula is the area of renewable energetics.

Institute of Technology focuses on responsibility areas and academic activities such as agricultural engineering and energetics. Main fields of research include solutions of integrated renewable energetics, modelling of energy processes, technologies and machinery of animal farms and ergonomics of biotechnical systems, etc.

The institute provides education on Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D degree level.

Tartu Technical College

Tartu Technical College is the only unit of the university providing professional higher education in several fields, i.e. biotechnological systems and technotronics.

Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is composed of 11 departments and 3 research centres.

This institute is the largest of the five institutes comprising the Estonian University of Life Sciences, attracting 5% of Estonian research financing. Aside from profound selection of Bachelor’s level curricula, the international master’s program taught in English, Landscape Architecture, is coordinated here. The academic activities of the 11 departments include plant cultivation, grassland cultivation and feed production, horticulture, plant protection, soil science and acrochemistry, etc. The institute provides education on Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D degree level.

Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering

Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering consists of 8 departments.

The major task of the Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering is to prepare specialists with academic degrees for Estonian forestry, environmental institutions construction and water management sectors. The institute provides education on Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D degree level.

The responsibility areas of academic activities of the institute are silviculture and forest ecology, forest management, forest and wood processing technology, water management, geomatics and rural building.

Institute of Economics and Social Sciences

Institute of Economics and Social Sciences is composed of 5 departments.

The institute is responsible for high quality studies in accounting, financial management, economics, and entrepreneurship both at Bachelor’s as well as Master’s level. Research is mainly done on the following fields: agricultural economics and policy, agricultural market and marketing, agricultural accounting and finance, rural sociology, co-operation, rural entrepreneurship and environmental economics.

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