Estonia - higher education system

Estonian Flag  is a tricolour featuring three equal horizontal bands of blue, black and white
Country: Estonia
Population (mln): 1,34
Official language/s: Estonian
Internet TLD: .ee
Calling code: +372
Member of the EU from: 1st May 2004
Unemployment rate Sep 2011 (%): 11.4
Unemployment rate under 25 years Sep 2011 (%): 26.0
Unemployment rate Sep 2012 (%): 9.6
Unemployment rate under 25 years Sep 2012 (%): 18.8
Population statistics 20-29 age group 2011 (%): 15,6
Country codes in education system: EE
Expected duration of education (years): 17,9

The objective of Estonian higher education policy in the last decade has been integration with the European higher education space and carrying out structural reforms necessary to that end. The preparation and enforcement of reforms has been implemented in close cooperation between various parties and with significant help from European structural funds.

The Estonian higher education strategy for the years 2006–2015 approved by the parliament on 8 November 2006 establishes the objectives of the higher education sector as follows:

  • to ensure the internationally competitive quality of higher education offered in Estonia;
  • to ensure that both study and research activities are better targeted towards the needs of the development of the Estonian economy and society;
  • to ensure a capacity of higher education study that reflects the needs of the Estonian society, taking into account both the preferences of students as well as the needs of the labour market;
  • to develop an effective higher education structure through ensuring that educational institutions offer the fields of study that take into account the needs and resources of Estonia;
  • to ensure that Estonian-language higher education studies continue and develop within the European open education space;
  • to promote the social dimension of  higher education through enabling students an equal access to higher education and dedication to studies.

In Estonia, the higher education system has two branches: study is carried out in theacademic and the professional higher education branch. Since the academic year 2002/2003, the general structure of academic study hasthree cycles. The first cycle is Bachelor's study and the second cycle is Master's study. The third and the highest cycle is Doctoral study

Source: Eurydice,
Eurypedia - The European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems , Eurosta,, Agency for Science and Higher Education Croatia, Department of Education and Skills Irelan,  Ministry of Education and Culture - FINLAND
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