In Estonia, only those higher education institutions that have passed the evaluation of quality of studies are allowed to offer higher education. The higher education institutions with the right to conduct studies receive feedback on the management, functioning, study and research activities of their institutions through institutional accreditation and thematic assessments. Until September 2019, the external assessment system also included quality assessment of study programme groups.

The external assessment of higher education is conducted by the Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education (EKKA).

Institutional accreditation

Institutional accreditation is an external assessment which assesses the compliance of the higher education institution’s management, work procedures, teaching and research activities and the study and research environment with legal acts, the aims and the development plan of the university. Educational institutions must pass the institutional accreditation at least once every seven years.

Tallinn University underwent institutional accreditation for the first time in 2014. The EKKA Quality Assessment Council confirmed the decision concerning the institutional accreditation of Tallinn University for the next seven years on 9 June 2014.

EKKA Quality Assessment Council decision

A new higher education assessment system was implemented in September 2019. Higher education institutions are evaluated by twelve standards. The assessment focuses on the main processes of the university – education, research, development and creative activities and resource management. A certain number of study programmes based on a sample are also assessed during the accreditation.

The institutional accreditation of TLU based on  the new system took place in spring 2021. For carrying out the assessment, the Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education established an international assessment committee consisting of 12 members. Because of SARS-CoV-2 conditions, the university’s assessment visit took place virtually 15. -19.03.2021. On the basis of the assessment report of the expert committee, EKKA Quality Assessment Council for Higher Education decided on June 7, 2021, to accredit Tallinn University for seven years with a subsidiary condition. Please read the decision of the EKKA Quality Assessment Council for Higher Education, TLU’s self-evaluation report and the assessment committee’s report here.

Thematic assessment

Thematic assessment is a part of the new system for the external assessment of higher education. The aim of the assessment is to support development in fields that have required improvement based on the results of earlier assessments. Tallinn University took part in a pilot assessment in 2018 "Teaching and learning of international students in the Estonian higher education institutions".