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Estonia:National Reforms in Higher 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

2017

More stable funding for higher education institutions

Definition of policy development: regulation and legislative document.

Policy domain concerned: Higher Education.

Authority responsible: Ministry of Education and Research.

Time frame: adopted – 20.12.2016; entry into force – 01.01.2017. The amendments to the Universities Act entered into force the 1st of January 2017.

Reasons/aims/objectives of the reform: The aim of the amendments were:

  • to increase stability of financing for HEI-s;
  • to focus more on HEI-s quality, efficiency and role in society.

Main actions and measures: amendments to the Universities Act.

Expected impact and changes
A new component – baseline funding – is introduced to the higher education funding model.

Operational funding is divided in two:

  • baseline funding (at least 80%) based on the last 3 years average operational support to the institution and 
  • performance funding (up to 20%) based on fulfilling performance indicators (17%) and fulfilling the performance agreement signed with the ministry (3%).

In performance funding all public HEI-s (public universities and state professional HEI-s) will be competing with each other. Institutions with better results will get proportionally more performance
funding. Performance indicators are directly linked to the higher education objectives, such as employment rates of graduates, the number of graduates pursuing further studies, student mobility and the share of graduates who have completed their studies within the nominal length of study.

2013

Simplifying the arrival and short-term stay or settling in Estonia of top specialists, students and researchers

Definition of policy development: regulation and legislative document.

Policy domain concerned: Higher Education.

Authority responsible: Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Time frame: adopted – 2013; entry into force – 2013.
The amendments to the Aliens Act entered into force the 1st of September 2013.

Reasons/aims/objectives of the reform: The aim of the amendments were to simplify the process of commencing the studies of students from third countries in Estonia as well as enable them to work during studies and acquire employment in Estonia after graduation.

Main actions and measures: amendments to the Aliens Act.

Expected impact and changes: One of the important amendments to the law is the abolition of the requirement to apply for work permit by these students who already have been issued residence permit for study. Upon extension of a temporary residence permit for study for the last study year the temporary residence permit may be extended for longer than one year but not for longer than six months after the completion of studies. The notion of a top specialist and establishing of special conditions gives an employer an opportunity to easier include top specialists from all over the world in their team.  

References:
Aliens Act
Police and Border Guard Board


Higher education reform in Estonia 2012+

Definition of policy development: regulation and legislative document.

Policy domain concerned: Higher Education.

Authority responsible: Ministry of Education and Research.

Time frame: adopted – 2012; entry into force – 2013.
In 2012, the Riigikogu adopted amendments to the Universities Act.

Authority responsible: Ministry of Education and Research.
Budget: 6,1 million 2013;  18,8 million 2014; 33,0 million 2015.  Needs-based study allowance will double the budget of allowances by 2016 (increase by € 8,8 million).

Reasons/ aims/objectives of the reform:
To increase capacity of a higher education institutions to respond to labour market needs and widen access and increase the effectiveness of higher education, change higher education funding system and introduce performance contracts to set goals and support institutions of higher education in strengthening their areas of responsibility, internationalisation, entrepreneurship training, PhD studies,  development of practical training systems etc.

Main actions and measures:  

  1.  Providing free higher education: all students who fulfil the requirements of their curricula can study for free in Estonian-medium curricula.
  2. Reform of study allowances system: allowances are more needs-based and support students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Also, a new type of scholarships is introduced to motivate students to study in STEM areas (e.g. smart specialisation). Reformed higher education institutions funding system provides more autonomy to higher education institutions and allows state to address shortages in certain areas by establishing performance contracts. Adjusted funding system facilitates supporting nationally important areas of development.


Expected impact and changes: Needs-based study allowances and free study possibilities have increased the access to higher education. The new financing system facilitates state´s capacity to specify the functions and areas of activity of the institutions of higher education, reduce duplication, and provide support for nationally important areas of development.

References:
Universities Act