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On January 1, 2005 the Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering was formed through the merger of the Faculty of Forestry, the Faculty of Land Engineering and the Forest Research Institute.
 
An institute is an academic unit of the University, which incorporates the study, research and development activities on specialities of a main field of research. The task of an institute is to guarantee the fulfilment of the main objectives of the University within its own field of activity. An institute operates in accordance with its own Statute, which has to be approved by the Council of the Institute, and approved by the Council of the University. Institute can consist, in accordance with its Statute, of departments, institutions, centres, laboratories and other subdivisions.
 
The Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering consists of 4 chairs: Cair of Geomatics, Chair of Forest Management Planning and Wood Processing Technologies, Chair of Rural Building and Water Management, Chair of Silviculture and Forest Ecology. The chair connects the lecturers and scientists who work in closely related fields and covers study, research and development activities in its area of responsibility.
 

The Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering is responsible for activities and research in six areas, all related to natural resources management and environmental planning or modelling: silviculture and forest ecology, forest management, forest industry, geomatics, rural building and water management.

The Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering monitors and organises the following Bachelor’s and Master’s level studies: natural resources management, forest management, forest industry, geodesy, land management and real estate planning. Two disciplines: civil engineering, hydraulic engineering and water pollution control, are taught at the integrated level combining both Bachelor’s and Master’s level. A new curriculum «Wood-processing technology» was opened at professional higher education level in 2015.

The Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering has a very good relationship with the representatives of employers – the Estonian Forest and Wood Industries Association, State Forest Management Centre and the Estonian Private Forest Union. They all support research activities through different projects and are involved in the study quality improvement processes.

The Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering is unique in Estonia in having a practical training base – Järvselja Training and Experimental Forest Centre. The Centre is equipped with the required infrastructure for student instruction – hostel, dining hall, rooms for seminars, a computer class, etc.