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DORA (Doctoral Studies and Internationalisation Programme)

General InformationTypes Of Cooperation ActivitiesTarget GroupsFinancing
Country Code: P149
Name of Programme: DORA (Doctoral Studies and Internationalisation Programme)
Organisation responsible for the programme: ARCHIMEDES FOUNDATION
Type of organisation: Foundation
Country: Estonia
Web Link:
Starting Date 2008
Ending date 2015
Joint initiative involving more than one Ministry? (if applicable)

Programme Description
General and specific objectives
The general aim of the programme is to achieve a knowledge-based society. This requires a large number of highly qualified employees, whose knowledge, skills and experience guarantee the society’s continuing development and competitiveness. The specific objectives of the programme are:
• to improve the competitiveness of Estonian higher education in the Baltic Sea region, by raising the international profile of our higher education institutions and thereby making study and work in Estonia internationally attractive (Activities 1 and 9);
• to increase the number of researchers and engineers holding PhDs, especially in areas that are crucial for improving the quality of living in Estonia and the competitiveness of Estonia’s economy (Activities 3 and 4);
• to facilitate an active participation of Estonian universities in the international circulation of knowledge (Activities 2, 4–8);
• to improve the quality of Estonian research and higher education by increasing the involvement of highly qualified international specialists (Activities 2, 4, 5);
• to foster R&D cooperation between universities and businesses, and thereby to increase the RD&I intensity of businesses (Activity 3).

Priority actions
The programme combines a variety of activities specified in the implementation plans of national development strategies. These activities share a common set of goals and thus require proportional and coordinated implementation. Activities are:
• Activity 1. Promoting Estonia as an excellent place for study and work;
• Activity 2. Improving the quality of higher education by supporting the employment of international teaching staff;
• Activity 3. Strengthening research cooperation between universities and businesses;
• Activity 4. Expanding the pool of specialists holding PhDs by supporting the enrolment of talented international students in PhD programmes of Estonian universities;
• Activity 5. Facilitating international research cooperation by supporting short-term research projects of visiting PhD students in Estonia;
• Activity 6. Developing international cooperation networks by supporting the mobility of Estonian PhD students;
• Activity 7. Strengthening the international dimension in higher education by supporting the mobility of Master’s students;
• Activity 8. Supporting the participation of young researchers in the international exchange of knowledge;
• Activity 9. Increasing the attractiveness of Estonia as a study destination by supporting the enrolment of talented international students in Master’s programmes of Estonian universities.

Management and coordination
The programme is coordinated by the Centre for Higher Education Development, Archimedes Foundation. The Archimedes Foundation is an institution working in the jurisdiction of the Ministry for Education and Research. Higher education institutions are invited to participate in the implementation of the programme as partners.
The implementation of the programme is supervised by the Steering Council for the Internationalisation of Estonian Higher Education and Research, the advisory body convened by the decree of the Minister for Education and Research. The council consists of representatives of the Rectors’ Conference, students, the Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Education and Research.
The programme is funded by European Social Fund through the Ministry of Education and Research (73% EU Social Fund, 9% Estonian government, 18% contribution of participating universities).
Difference selection procedures are in use. For Activity 1 all activities are coordinated and carried out by Archimedes. For Activities 2-3, a central selection committee is used. For the activities 4-9 the individual grants are distributed between the partners, selection of students is made by the partner institutions.

Expected or achieved outputs, outcomes and impacts
The programme indicators set for the entire programme period are:
• Number of international full-time professors employed (funding for 4-5 year contracts) - 35
• Number of full-time PhD students actively engaged in enterprises (funding for 4 years of study) – 35
• Number of international full-time PhD students (funding for 4 years of study) – 70
• Number of short-term research projects of visiting doctoral students in Estonia (funding for 1-10 months) – 400
• Number of Estonian PhD students’ short-term research projects abroad (funding for 1-5 months) – 800
• Number of Estonian Master’s students’ study periods abroad (funding for 4-6 months) – 400
• Number of conference and library visits abroad (funding for 3-21 days) – 3900
• Number of international full-time Master’s students (funding for 1 academic year) - 225
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