Reports & publications

What is the secret of the education system with high rankings in many international studies? Take a closer look at both Estonian and international reviews of Estonian education, and get more in-depth information on various aspects of the Estonian education system. 

Estonia’s education system is well-regarded, with good performance and equity among students. According to PISA 2022 Estonian general education is 1st in Europe and among the best in the world and has shown high rankings in many international studies.

Key documents ​

The Education Strategy 2021–2035, which sets out key educational goals for the next 15 years.

Link: Education Strategy 2021-2035. Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia 

The strategy is the follow-up to the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020

Estonian curricula on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research, including national curriculum for basic and secondary schools and for preschool institutions.

Reports on Estonia

The book by Eve Eisenschmidt, Mati Heidmets, Maie Kitsing, Mikk Kasesalk, and Kätlin Vanari explores the factors behind Estonia’s success in the PISA assessment, analyzing key aspects of its education system. The case study was produced as part of a cross-system study of learning systems in high-performing jurisdictions, commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

Link: Aim High and Work Hard. Building a World-Class Learning System in Estonia

Education at a Glance is the authoritative source for information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances and performance of education systems across OECD countries and a number of partner economies. 

Link: Education at a Glance 2022: Estonia

European Union publishes descriptions of national education systems and comparative studies on specific topics.


The analysis overviews quantitative data on information and communication technology research, development, and education in Estonia from 2013-2022. It highlights trends such as increasing student enrollments and graduations, expanding women’s participation, significant growth in foreign students, and fluctuations in R&D funding and output in Estonia’s primary universities.

Link: Higher education and research and development activities in the field of ICT in 2022

The open access book compares and contrasts the results of international student assessments in ten countries, including Estonia. The book reflects the debates that typically follow the release of these results and focuses on the causes of differences between countries. 

Link: Estonia: A Positive PISA Experience

Te OECD country policy profile on education in Estonia is part of the Education Policy Outlook series, which presents comparative analysis of education policies and reforms across OECD countries.

Link: Education policy outlook in Estonia


For an in-depth understanding of Estonia’s skills governance and anticipation system, OSKA, read Cedefop’s comprehensive review which outlines key achievements and a forward-looking action plan.

Link: Skills anticipation in Estonia

The governance of skill systems is very complex. Thus, evidenced-based decision making requires reliable data. However, establishing and maintaining an integrated information system is challenging and requires commitment of different stakeholders. Estonia is one of the few countries that successfully established and maintains a digital, online and encompassing database that brings together data on important parts of the education system such as schools, pupils, teachers, exams and qualifications. This chapter analyses the Estonian Education Information System (Eesti hariduse infosüsteem) and looks at its history, how data enters the systems and how it is used for policy making.

Link: Case Study: EHIS

The study examines information and communication technology (ICT) education in order to gain a better overview of the teaching of digital skills (knowledge and skills related to ICT and technology education) in Estonian general education schools and kindergartens.

Link: ICT education in Estonian Schools and Kindergartens

Estonia in international comparison

In its 2022 cycle, PISA measured 15-year-old students’ creative thinking for the first time. This was defined as the capacity to produce diverse and original ideas, as well as to evaluate
and improve upon others’ ideas.

Estonian students demonstrated high performance, ranking among the top ten globally.

Link: PISA 2022 in focus. Creative Thinking: can students think outside the box?

Related articles

NCEE have asked Geoff Masters, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and an international expert on educational assessment, to take a broad look at the learning systems in a small set of jurisdictions — British Columbia, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong and South Korea —that have long performed well on the OECD’s PISA survey. 

Link: Building a World-Class Learning System. NCEE, 2023

Finland, Norway, Denmark and Estonia, followed by Sweden and Ireland, with nearly identical scores, are at the top of the Media Literacy Index 2022 ranking of the European Policies Initiative (EuPI) of Open Society Institute – Sofia Foundation.


The open-access book compares and contrasts the results of international student assessments in ten countries, including Estonia. The book reflects the debates that typically follow the release of these results and focuses on the causes of differences between countries. 

Link to the book: Improving a Country’s Education. PISA 2018 Results in 10 Countries
Link to Estonia’s chapter:
Estonia: A Positive PISA Experience

The Education and Training Monitor 2021 presents European Commission’s yearly evaluation of education and training system across Europe. The report brings together the latest data, technical papers and studies, as well as examples of policy measures from different EU countries.

It offers a cross-national and thematic analysis as well as 27 individual country reports.


Global education monitoring report, 2021, Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia: inclusion and education: all means all.


The authors of the report interviewed in total around 150 key stakeholders from five states: Belgium, Estonia, Italy, Greece and Poland. The main aim of the study was to better understand the existing challenges all actors involved in remote education faced, but also to reflect on the reshaping of education systems and allow them to become more resilient for the future.


The first five years of a child’s life is a period of great opportunity, and risk. The cognitive and social-emotional skills that children develop in these early years have long-lasting impacts on their later outcomes throughout schooling and adulthood. The report sets out the findings from the International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study in Estonia. 


Due to COVID19 pandemic the schools in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway, as well as high school level in Sweden were closed during spring 2020, causing children and young people to participate in school work over digital channels. Homeschooling via digital channels presented both a set of challenges and opportunities for children, parents, schools, teachers and local municipalities.

The purpose of this study by Telia Company is to better understand how the children have experienced the period they have studied online from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.


CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) assessed European countries’ performance in digital learning and found that Estonia, the Netherlands and Finland excel in the digitalisation of education.


A comparative report by the Finnish National Agency for Education gives an overview of basic education in the Nordic region, in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The report describes and provides statistical data on central features such as governance, structures, expenditure, accessibility and equity, quality assurance, support for learners and teachers. 

Link: Basic Education in the Nordic Region. Similar values, different policies

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is an international, large-scale survey of
teachers, school leaders and the learning environment in schools. This note presents findings based on the reports of lower secondary teachers and their school leaders in mainstream public and private schools.


Data & Statistics

The public visual educational statistics database HaridusSilm (Education Eye) consists of the statistical data about education, research and development, language policy and youth field in Estonia. In Estonian

Statistics Estonia publishes education data to be used both in Estonia and internationally. Education statistics and international comparisons of education indicators are a basis for the national education policy. They allow comparing trends in Estonian education policy with those in other countries and using this information for better decision-making.



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