Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics is located around 20 km north of the town of Viljandi. The school started operating in 1914 in the Kõo manor as the Alexander Lower-Agricultural School, which in 1917 was turned into an agricultural high school. In 1920 the school continued in Olustvere under the name Estonian Alexander Agricultural School. Under various names, the school has operated to this day.
Today, the school is an agriculturally oriented vocational school managed by the Ministry of Education and Science. The school also owns the most fully preserved manorial estate, which includes 29 buildings, in the Baltic States. The school’s main objective is to offer secondary and post-secondary vocational training, as well as continuing education and retraining for adults.
The school has three main areas of specialization: agriculture, service and food processing. The school unites three areas of rural life into one unified food product chain, starting with producing the raw material, continuing with processing and preparing the food and ending with service.
The school has a study farm, which was created in 1994. The school owns 507 hectares of land. In addition to that the stady farm also uses about 330 hectares of rented farm land. The farm has contemporary technical equipment for applied study. In 2010, a modern food industry and kitchen were built to teach food processing. Processing internships take place in the finest companies in Estonia, and if possible, in other countries, too.
Curriculum groups include:
- Tourism, catering and accommodation service
- Food processing
- Business services
- Design and handicraft
The school is ready for cooperation with businesses and has suitable infrastructure, staff and ability to give out certificates. Time frame: shortest amount of time for preparing a new course (not a degree course) is one week. Minimum amount of students: 6-10. If the company needs a degree course then it has to be confirmed in Ministry of Education and Research and that takes at least one year.
Competence Centre of Food and Fermentation Technology has carried out activities related to product development in the dairy, meat and drinks area in the school´s study industry. Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economy, in cooperation with AS Valio, has conducted several dairy training courses for company employees and management. A half-year training course for apprenticeship was also provided at the company’s request.