Four autumns later, glasses were joyfully struck together – on 3 November 1995, EBS received a license from the Ministry of Culture and Education to provide a university education in business. In the first issue of the student newspaper, published that November, Madis Habakuk said that the students, faculty and all personnel feel much better, but that the new status is also accompanied by greater responsibility.
While the first 22 daytime students completed EBS in 1995, receiving Bachelor’s level degrees in international business management, that autumn the evening Bachelor’s study programme was opened. A few years later, a student who had begun his studies in the evening programme described his expectations and those of his classmates in the EBS yearbook as follows:
Here we are! Around 70 young people, who are very similar, but at the same time so different. We have one goal – to find the Plan for Finding a Bright Future from the school.
There were many who were searching for that bright future plan, and EBS enriched the selection of searchers with subsequent new opportunities. In 1996 the first students were accepted for an evening Diploma study in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. In that same year the first entirely English language Bachelor’s study group began working. The 20 students who came to study had arrived from outside of Estonia – nearly 15 people from Finland, some from Russia and elsewhere, with Estonia represented by a few students possessing the requisite language skills.
1996 was once again an important milestone: the Doctoral studies programme began, with the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration serving as the partner. The first Doctoral thesis was defended at EBS in 2001, by Monika Salu, and it was also the first Doctoral thesis defended in the history of private higher learning institutions in Estonia.
1996. In the autumn of 1996, the complete higher education package was represented at EBS: diploma, Bachelor’s study, Master’s study and Doctoral study. Studying was possible in three different languages: Estonian, Russian and English, and the forms of study offered were daytime, evening and distance learning.