The Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas gave a speech at EBS

23 February 2018

Dear staff of EBS!
Dear audience!

Jüri RatasThe week of celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia has reached its mid-term and there are just a few days left until the centennial of our dear Republic of Estonia. We will soon start off to reach the next milestones and need to take care of the development of the state and security of our people.

There are many festive occasions all over Estonia to celebrate important events in our way to becoming independent. For example, this morning 100 years ago our manifest of independence – Manifest to All the Nations of Estonia – was adopted.

The members of the Estonian Salvation Committee Konstantin Päts and Jüri Vilms set off towards Haapsalu with a copy of the Declaration of Independence in order to proclaim independence in public. During their trip they were informed that German troops had taken control over the town and it had become impossible to proclaim independence under the protection of the Estonian Infantry Regiment in Haapsalu.

The public proclamation of the Manifest of Independence had to wait for a few days.

Dear audience!

Nevertheless, every single event of the time still appears to be important today, and we may recall with gratitude those men and women who enabled to reach independence in those ground-breaking historic days.

There was a lot of uncertainty and unawareness with regard to future. Today we know very well that Estonia may be confident and is secured.

We will never forget the contribution of our fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers who created our Estonia, preserved it and restored its independence. Their work and devotion enable us to celebrate the centennial of the Republic of Estonia.

I do believe that our children, grandchildren and their children will preserve and love Estonia as much as all the generations before them.

Dear audience!

With regard to young- and future generations I will now touch upon education, the great work that you do daily with devotion and joy in this house.

The greatest challenges of our higher education are to provide our society with necessary specialists, ensure the quality of tuition and the conformity of study programmes to the fast changing knowledge and skills. The world is changing and we need to keep pace with the changes.

The expectations of the society with regard to the skills and knowledge of the graduates are changing fast. This certainly your competitive advantage, because smaller and more flexible private universities are able to respond much faster to the changing expectations.

EBS is a good example, because you certainly involve more entrepreneurs and practicians as lecturers than public universities. They also contribute to the improvement of study programmes on their behalf.

On the other hand, the social impact of EBS has certainly been significantly wider. You do not only try to meet the expectaions of the employers, but have also contributed a lot to the training of entrepreneurs.

I would even say that EBS has designed the entrepreneurial capability of a great deal of Estonian entrepreneurs and thus indirectly the whole entrepreneurial culture of Estonia.

Although economic growth is sometimes referred to as something natural occurring by itself, then the success of our economy is largely dependent on our entrepreneurs. It dependes on the new business opportunities and work places created by entrepreneurs. This is what creates the social expectation and reveals the skills required from employees.

Thus, it is in our common interests that Estonian companies would apply more of the new knowledge and technologies that enable to add value and increase profitability. EBS contributes to raising such awareness and creating relevant attitudes. We have recently tried hard to make the higher education in Estonia more international.

We attempt to support mobility, international collaboration and marketing of Estonian higher education abroad. We may also refer to the example of EBS in this field.   I would like to thank you for your devotion and work.

I wish you a nice centennial of the Republic of Estonia! All the success to Estonia!