Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Ongoing reforms and policy developments


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

Last update: 19 October 2022

This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2020.

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:

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.

Overall objective of the strategy:

to equip the population of Estonia with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare people to fulfil their potential in personal, occupational and social life and contribute to promoting the quality of life in Estonia as well as global sustainable development.

The overall objective is underpinned by three strategic goals:

  1. Learning opportunities are diverse and accessible and the education system enables smooth transitions between levels and types of education
  2. Estonia has competent and motivated teachers and heads of schools, a diverse learning environment and a learner-centred approach to learning and teaching.
  3. Learning options are responsive to the development needs of society and the labour market.

The Education Strategy 2021–2035 is a follow-up plan to the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020 that established objectives for the education sector for the past 15 years. The strategy outlines further steps towards lifelong learning and flexibility of learning pathways, varied and accessible learning opportunities, and diverse learning environments. It also strives to ensure that the next generation of qualified school and university teachers, educators, and support specialists have flexible opportunities to enter the profession, as well as professional development opportunities throughout their career. The strategy focuses on the role of the teacher, who is increasingly expected to take a supporting role in the development of self-directed learners. Due to the rapid changes taking place in the labour market, by 2035, the education system is expected to support the swift upskilling and reskilling of all age groups and provide education that meets the requirements of the labour market.

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.

See the summary of the vision papers

The vision papers served as an input for the strategy task forces. In addition to the vision papers of the expert groups, numerous proposals to promote education, science, youth and language were collected during conferences, brainstorming sessions and other thematic events. Stakeholders and wider public have been involved in the strategy development through an (e-)consultation process. The strategy development has moved in the same time frame as other important strategic processes in Estonia, such as the all-encompassing Estonia 2035 (Estonia’s long-term development plan; also the basis for planning the use of the next period’s EU funds).