The current Estonian educational system consists of pre-school education, basic education, general secondary education, vocational education and higher education.
Basic education is the compulsory educational minimum which is provided by basic schools (grades 1-9). Children reaching the age of seven have to attend school.
On completion of basic education, studies may be continued in an upper-secondary general school (grades 10-12) or in a vocational institution.
Vocational education is offered by upper-secondary vocational school and post-secondary professional school. Post-secondary professional school gives a vocational higher education.
Higher education is divided into two parallel sectors, applied higher education (diploma studies) and the academic higher education (bachelor’s, master's and doctorate studies).
Estonia has the following types of higher educational institutions:
- public universities;
- private universities;
- public institutions of applied higher education;
- private institutions of applied higher education.
There are six public universities in Estonia. The universities are autonomous to the extent determined by the law of universities. This autonomy means that universities have the right to independently determine their academic and organisational structure, content of teaching and research work, course curricula, requirements for admission and graduation, etc.
Higher education in Estonia is both academically and practically oriented. Teaching is carried out in various forms such as lectures, seminars, group work, laboratory work and independent studies. In the process of learning, the students' responsibility and individual performance are considered important and the grades obtained reflect not only the results of the final examination but also the participation in the course.
Science degrees may also include laboratory and practical work requirements. A significant feature in all teaching and studying at the Tallinn University is the use of modern technology that is conveniently accessible to all staff and students.
For further interest on Estonian educational system please check www.studyinestonia.ee.