This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2021.
The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process. The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:
- Early childhood education and care
- School education
- VET and Adult learning
- Higher education
- Transversal skills and Employability.
Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.
Overall national education strategy and key objectives
Estonian Education Strategy 2021–2035 (adopted in November 2021 by the Government) guides the most important developments in the area of education. It is the basis of priority setting and funding decisions, and for the development of implementation programmes that support the achievement of strategic goals.
The Education Strategy plays an important role in achieving the general objectives of the national long-term development plan ´Estonia 2035´. The strategy builds on the principle that to achieve the future goals of education in Estonia, it is necessary to maintain and further develop its strengths and to address bottlenecks.
The strategy is implemented through the 3-year implementation programmes and is monitored based on a set of indicators.
Overview of the education reform process and drivers
The Ministry of Education and Research leads the strategic development of the fields of education, research and development, youth, and language policy.
The strategy process begun with idea gathering, preliminary analysis and drafting of vision papers. In spring 2018, the MoER commissioned groups of experts to create vision papers for education, research, youth and language field for the years 2021‒2035. The vision papers focused on three themes: values and responsibilities; prosperity and cohesion; and competitiveness.