October 1st marks the start of World EXPO Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The event aims to showcase the achievements of countries around the world. Over the course of six months, the Estonian Pavilion will be showcasing our digital society with an emphasis on our education, science, innovation and education technology solutions.
According to the Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna, Estonia is known for its strong and equitable education system and its flexible e-state. “This is reflected in our results in the PISA tests, the OECD Equity in Education report and our high level of readiness for distance learning,” she said. “World Expo provides a unique opportunity to set an example for increasing the quality of education around the world and shows how to make it as accessible as possible.”
Estonia’s Ambassador-at-large for education, Birgit Lao explains that one of the main goals of Estonia’s education export is to showcase the cooperation between the state and companies. “We’re showing other countries and companies that effective educational solutions have to reach everybody by being personalised,” she explained. “Such flexibility can only be achieved through cooperation between the public and private sectors.”
World EXPO Dubai marks the first time that Estonian education is receiving such global attention. The Estonian pavilion’s education programme is structured around themed days and weeks, and our education will be presented to the wider world during Knowledge and Learning Week from 12-18 December.
Minister Kersna will be visiting EXPO and participating in the international RewirEd conference from 12-14 December. The conference will discuss improvements and the need for innovation in education. Alongside the minister, representatives of Estonian public universities – the University of Tartu, Tallinn University, TalTech, the Estonian Academy of Arts, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Estonian University of Life Sciences and a representative of the Estonian Business School will be taking part in education week events.
With global interest in Estonia’s digital education growing, the education technology solutions created by companies like Eliis, Clanbeat, SpeakTX, Opiq, Schoolaby, TutorID, DreamApply and MobiLab will be presented at EXPO and debates will be held on the topic of what the student-focused and high-quality education of the future should be like. The Estonian pavilion, which tells our digital success story to the world, also features a sample classroom depicting a modern learning environment. An education business forum will also be held in cooperation with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, which will focus on effective business solutions and discuss future developments.
Research in Estonia, the international marketing program of the Estonian Research Council, will be demonstrating how Estonia can contribute to resolving global issues and looking for new opportunities to do so even more efficiently through international cooperation. Business and science cooperation is sought in four fields: education; personalized medicine; the circular economy; and smart cities. Estonian science is represented by the best in the field.
The world’s largest business fair, EXPO features pavilions from more than 190 countries and expects to receive more than 25 million visitors. Estonia’s representatives in Dubai are looking for opportunities for cooperation in a range of sectors.
EXPO 2020 Dubai opens on 1 October and will continue through to the end of March 2022. Its main theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, is based on the idea that to create the world of the future, we must work together and get everyone involved. Visitors will see the latest innovations of mankind, but there is also room for culture, with the fair offering the chance to try the national cuisines of around 50 countries.
Covering 4.38 square kilometres, the EXPO site in Dubai houses a sustainable city of the future. Estonia’s blue pavilion is at the heart of the EXPO 2020 site, in the Mobility area by the main square.
Estonia’s first official participation in a world fair was in Paris in 1937 when it shared a pavilion with Latvia and Lithuania. More recently, Estonia has had pavilions at EXPO in Hannover, Germany (2000); Shanghai, China (2010); and Milan, Italy (2015).
Additional information about the education programme at EXPO can be found on the Education Estonia website, which is constantly updated.