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Estonia:Funding in Education

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Overview Estonia

Contents

Estonia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Estonia:Historical Development

Estonia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Estonia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Estonia:Political and Economic Situation

Estonia:Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Estonia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Estonia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Estonia:Organisation of Private Education

Estonia:National Qualifications Framework

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Estonia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Funding in Education

Estonia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Estonia:Higher Education Funding

Estonia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Estonia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Organisation

Estonia:Teaching and Learning

Estonia:Assessment

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Estonia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Higher Education

Estonia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Estonia:First Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Bachelor

Estonia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Estonia:Second Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Estonia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Estonia:Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Estonia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Estonia:Main Providers

Estonia:Main Types of Provision

Estonia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Estonia:Teachers and Education Staff

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Management and Other Education Staff

Estonia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Estonia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Quality Assurance

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Educational Support and Guidance

Estonia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Estonia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Estonia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Estonia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Mobility in Higher Education

Estonia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Estonia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Estonia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:National Reforms in School Education

Estonia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Estonia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Estonia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Estonia:European Perspective

Estonia:Legislation

Estonia:Glossary

Financing of educational institutions depends on the ownership of the institution. There are state, municipal and private educational institutions. All expenses of  state owned schools are covered from the state budget (central government as school owner). Municipal educational institutions are financed from the local government budgets, but the central government allocates support. In addition, support, receipts from legal persons in private law, income from paid services etc. may be considered both in the case of state and municipal educational institutions. Assistance from the European Union structural funds represents a large proportion of the money.  

The owner of the private educational institution covers expenses of  of a private educational institution and, in certain cases, local government and central government allocate support.  Support from the state budget is allocated to private preschool child care institutions to cover the in-service expenses of teachers and to private general education institutions to cover labour and in-service expenses of teachers and heads, and expenses of teaching and learning materials and school lunch of students. Until 2015, investments were also funded.  The state budget covers also the expenses of state commissioned student places of private vocational schools and private institutions of higher education. All private educational institutions are entitled to establish tuition fees, and it is established by the owner of the private school and they must not be amended during an academic year. Tuition fees may be increased by 10% between academic years, unless the contract between the private institution owner and the student provides otherwise.

The majority of the children attending preschool child care institutions, 96%, attend municipal preschools and the rest private preschools; the ratio of municipal preschool child care institutions among all preschool child care institutions is somewhat smaller – 91% in the academic year 2015/2016. The expenses of the institution are generally covered by the owner and partly by parents; support for preschool child care institutions’ teachers' in-service training and for project based investment expenses is allocated from the state budget. In addition, at a request of the local government, support is allocated for Estonian language training for children whose native language is other than Estonian. Most of the government sectors' preschool education expenditures (211.8 mln euros) are covered by local municipalities (data from 2014). In 2014, the government expenditure on preschool education as a share of GDP was 1.06%. 

Out of students of basic schools and upper secondary schools, 92% study in municipal schools; 4% study in private and 4% in state schools. 85% of schools are municipally owned, 6% are state schools and 9% are private schools (2015/2016). The expenses of the schools are covered by the school managing body (i.e. generally local authority or, with private schools, legal person in private law), support from the state budget covering the labour and in-service training expenses of teachers and heads, and expenses of teaching and learning materials and school lunch of students to both municipal and private schools. Until 2015, support was granted also for investments. In addition, the state allocates money to support boarding school facilities. Out of the government sector’s general education expenditures (428.3 million euros), 46% is covered by local municipalities and 54% from the central government. In 2014, the government expenditure on general education as a share of GDP was 2.15%. 

Vocational education is offered by a total of 42 institutions, out of which 5 are professional higher education institutions and the rest are vocational schools. 81% of the institutions are state owned, 12% are private and 7% municipal schools (academic year 2015/16). Financing of state and municipal institutions operates on the same grounds – state budget resources are allocated for covering of operating costs through state commissioned education and for investments on project basis. Financing of student places from state commissioned education can be applied also by private educational institutions providing vocational education. Nevertheless, the role of fulfilling state commissioned education by private schools is very small, amounting to approximately 0.8% of the total volume of state commissioned education. An educational institution offering vocational education may also earn from economic activities (sale of goods and services during work practice), providing payable services related to the main activity of the school as well as use other funding sources. Therefore, all educational institutions offering vocational education can also admit students to payable student places. However, most of such students study in private vocational schools. To sum up, 84% of vocational students study in state schools, 14% in municipal schools and 2% in private schools. The central government’s contribution accounts for 99% and the local governments’ contribution 1% of the government expenditure on vocational education (84.2. million euros) (data from 2014). In 2014, the government expenditure on vocational education as a share of GDP was 0.42%.

In Estonia there are 24 schools which provide studies based on higher education curricula, 8 of these are private schools, 6 state universities and 10 state vocational educational institutions or state institutions of professional higher education. The higher education schools are mainly financed from the state budget (activity support for covering study costs, administrative costs, investments and targeted financing) and with the money received from the reimbursement of study costs of students; universities also earn revenue from the provision of services related to the main activities for a charge and from the research and development activities.  In 2014, the government expenditure on higher education was 219.5 million euros. The government expenditure on higher education as a share of GDP was 1.1% in 2014.  

An adult learner can acquire basic and general secondary education in the form of non-stationary studies that are provided free of charge (the expenses are covered by the local government and the central government similarly to the funding of general education). Vocational educational institutions offer possibilities for studying in the framework of state commissioned education in both the form of school-based and workplace-based study. In higher education part-time study is payable for learners.   Work-related training is paid by the learner him- or herself, by his or her employer, or some courses are funded by the EU structural funds. Covering of the formal education expenses directly related to employment and service relationships is not regarded as fringe benefits, i.e., the employer does not have to pay fringe benefit tax on the formal education costs of an employee covered by the employer.

The responsibility for state financed training is divided between three ministries: training courses for the unemployed are financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs; training courses in enterprises are financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and all the other training courses of the adult population are financed by the Ministry of Education and Research.  For people employed in the sector of agriculture, limited resources for education and training support exist in the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture. Non-formal education is payable for learners but the Ministry of Education and Research supports the operation of non-formal education training centres from the state budget.

In 2005-2014, the Estonian government expenditure on education as a share of GDP was between 5.6 to 7.2%, while in 2014, it was 5.6%. According to the budget of 2017, expenses on education increase by 3% compared to 2016 (based on the budget, the expenses on education in 2017 total 1385.8 million euros), 20% of which is related with preschool education, 42% with general education, 7% with vocational education and 31% with higher education costs and expenses on research and development in education. According to Statistics Estonia, the household spending on education was in 2015, on average, 61.2  million euros.