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Estonia

Administration, Finance, & Educational Research


Administration at the National Level: The Parliament passes laws and resolutions including those that impact education. Three tasks regarding education are assigned to Parliament only. One is the establishing of principles regarding the formation, operation, and development of the education system. Another is setting the fees for studies in public institutions of education and in public universities. The final task is determining the foundation, merging, splitting, and termination of a public university.

Since independence in 1991, the Parliament has passed several acts regarding education. The Child Protection Act establishes the right of a child to an education, freedom of study, and the principles of instruction. The Education Act defines the different types of education, including basic education, the principles of organization and management of the educational system, the forms of study, and compulsory school attendance, and also determines the types of institutions. The Basic and Upper-Secondary Schools Act determines the legal status and organization of a basic school under state or municipal ownership, as well as the organization of instruction and education at a school. The Private School Act regulates the same issues in a private school.

The Government of the Republic implements these acts, and all the state programs of education, through the Ministry of Education.


Administration at the Regional Level: The Preschool Institutions Act and the Basic and Upper-Secondary Schools Act mandate that the governor of each county act as the manager of the educational system on a regional level. The task of the county is to compose regional development plans on the same basis as the county development plans of education are composed.


Administration at the Local Level: The Education Act determines the authority of local governments in the general administration of education at the local level. The local authorities:

  • Administer and implement education programs at the local level
  • Establish, reorganize, and terminate municipal educational institutions within the limits established by legal acts and keep the register of the educational institutions in the area of administration
  • Provide the economic and financial oversight of the educational institutions
  • Appoint and dismiss the heads of the educational institutions
  • Keep the register of children of the age of compulsory school attendance and support children in fulfilling the obligation of compulsory school attendance by providing financial aid, transportation, medical services, or meals at school
  • Provide vocational counseling for students
  • Keep the register of people with special needs and provide instruction for them.

The executive body of the local government establishes a structural unit or appoints a person who is responsible for the implementation of the education development plans of the local authorities.


Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceEstonia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education