Established in 1914, the Estonian Academy of Arts is the only public university in Estonia providing higher education in fine arts, design, architecture, media, visual studies, art culture, and conservation.
DESIGNER OF OUR OWN LIVING ENVIRONMENT
The EAA is striving to become a leading international centre of innovation in the field of visual culture. Currently there are more than 1 200 students enrolled in the Academy, with many participating in exchange programmes at international partner universities. In addition to active study and research activities, the Estonian Academy of Arts also offers lifelong learning opportunities through the Open Academy. The Estonian Academy of Arts collaborates with more than a hundred universities worldwide and belongs to several international higher education networks.
The lecturers and instructors are professionals in their field — internationally recognised artists, architects, designers, historians, and scientists. Visiting lecturers from universities in Estonia and abroad are regular guests.
The Estonian Academy of Arts has a rich academic library that is constantly expanding its collection, a newly renovated joint dormitory with the Estonian Music and Theatre Academy, and training grounds at Tamse in Muhumaa and Heimtal in Viljandimaa. Departments of the EAA regularly organise student, faculty, and departmental exhibitions in various locations in Tallinn and elsewhere.
The EAA actively publishes different types of publications, including faculty members’ books, textbooks, study materials, collections of articles, and advance reviewed works from the fields of art and science. In 2013/2014, there are 604 students in the Bachelor’s programme, 361 in Master’s programme, 46 in the Doctoral programme, and 243 students in the Open Academy.
While offering a wide selection of specialities, the Academy also offers unique, individualised study and personal mentorship by members of the faculty. The departments are strong bodies of competence on their own, while at the same time facilitating synergy and interdisciplinary studies. Many faculties have been operating for close to a century. They have lengthy experience and historical continuity, and also pioneer change in their field.
The Academy welcomes motivated people who are visually and socially sensitive and want to develop their thinking abilities, opportunities, and potential as creative people. The goal of the Academy is for graduates to be able to function successfully in society and work as independent creators and thinkers. That is why the curricula are formed in such a way as to develop the analytical ability and critical thinking of students. Every programme includes philosophy, history of art, aesthetics, and foreign languages.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Estonian Academy of Arts has been an important centre of Estonian art education. The Estonian Art Society founded the Tallinn Applied Art School in 1914, which offered general education and professional training in art and crafts.
Upon drafting the curricula, the St. Petersburg art school Stieglitz — which concentrated on teaching technical and practical skills — was used as a model. In 1924 the school became the State Applied Art School, providing education in all the traditional disciplines of applied arts, and visual arts disciplines were added to its programme in the 1930s. In 1932 the school moved to a new multi-stage school type, and it became possible to apply for a diploma of a specialist or applied artist.
The school was renamed the State Industrial Art School in 1938. In 1944 the school was renamed Tallinn State Applied Art Institute of the ESSR. As a result of the centralisation of art education system in 1951, all studies were transferred from Tartu to Tallinn, architectural studies were added, and the name was changed to the State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR (SAIE, Estonian abbreviation ERKI). In 1989, ERKI was renamed Tallinn Art University, and since 1995 its name has been the Estonian Academy of Arts.
The aim of the Academy is to be in the midst of life happening. That is why attention is paid to society and the professional world in broad terms.
EAA has close ties and cooperation agreements with more than 100 international universities and many international networks, through which student and faculty exchanges can be negotiated and apprenticeship opportunities can be expanded. EAA is a member of CUMULUS (International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media); EAAE (European Association for Architectural Education); ELIA (The European League of Institutes of the Arts), and through NORDPLUS is a member of many professional networks.
Since 1999 EAA has been a member of The European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme for Higher Education, Erasmus, under which more than 100 bilateral exchange agreements have been signed. In addition to the Erasmus programme, the Estonian Academy of Arts has entered into student and faculty exchange and cooperation contracts with ten internationally recognised art universities outside of the European Union.
Regular and intense contacts are maintained with the world outside academia through exhibitions and publishing work, through organising many events, and in cooperation with businesses and public institutions.
Foreign relations, faculty and student exchanges, advice on foreign apprenticeship opportunities, and grant information are coordinated by the International Relations Office.
COLLABORATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The EAA collaborates with universities, cultural institutions, artistic associations, local government bodies, and businesses in Estonia and abroad.
The Estonian Academy of Arts cooperates with many Estonian and international businesses in the field of science and development. The partners vary depending on the area of specialisation, and the Academy is able to offer a range of services from research and analysis to creating prototypes.
The Department of Development is the link between education and business. The services and solutions supporting EAA’s main activities are worked out, giving legal and entrepreneurial advice to staff and businesses for carrying out collaborative projects with the Academy’s departments. The Department of Development interacts actively with businesses in Estonia and abroad and carries out joint projects. Many students complete design tasks for Estonian companies in the public and private sectors and take part in international and local competitions during their studies.
The Department of Development organises training in the fields of entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, career planning, international apprenticeship, and project management. Students are advised in making business plans, and there are numerous resources available to EAA’s spin-off businesses (companies founded by students during their studies). The department coordinates interdepartmental development projects and, if necessary, carries out science and development projects. The Department of Development manages EAA’s local and international co-sponsored or joint projects.
This school offers programs in: