The non-profit association Universities Estonia was established by six Estonian public universities on November 1, 2000. Estonian public universities are largely autonomous legal persons governed by public law.
The aim of the association is to contribute to the promotion of the fields of education, research and culture in Estonia through the representation of its members and the opinion formation concerning the issues of common interest. The articles of association specify that the Universities Estonia may include the founding members and those Estonian universities which provide bachelors, masters and doctoral programmes in at least three different fields of research. Other preconditions include carrying out continuous and successful research and defences of doctoral theses.
The Board of the association consists of the rectors of public universities:
Mart Kalm from the Estonian Academy of Arts,
Ivari Ilja from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre,
Mait Klaassen from the Estonian University of Life Sciences,
Tiit Land from Tallinn University,
Jaak Aaviksoo from Tallinn University of Technology and
Toomas Asser from the University of Tartu.
Starting with September 1 2018, the President of Universities Estonia is Mait Klaassen.