Education System in Estonia


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
MiddlePõhikool (Basic School)197169Basic School Leaving Certificate (Põhikooli löputunnistus)
SecondaryGymnasium (General Secondary School)101216193Secondary School Leaving Certificate (Gümnaasiumi lõputunnistus)
SecondaryVocational Education Institution (Basic school based)  16193Certificate on Acquiring Secondary Vocational Education Based on Basic Education (Tunnistus põhihariduse baasil kutsekeskhariduse omandamise kohta)
VocationalVocational Education Institution (post-secondary)  1922  Certificate on Acquiring Secondary Vocational Education Based on Secondary Education (Tunnistus keskhariduse baasil kutsekeskhariduse omandamise kohta)
TertiaryBakalaureus studies    33-4 years
TertiaryMagister studies    11 to 2 years
TertiaryDoktor studies    3The nominal length of studie is three to four years
TertiaryTertiary - University      

Primary Education

Estonian Education dates back to the 14th Century when monastic and cathedral schools were founded. Today the education system is divided into 4 hierarchical phases including pre-primary, basic, secondary and higher education with provision for academic or vocational schooling within the system. Basic schooling takes 9 years from age 7 to age 16. At the end if this period, successful pupils receive a Basic School Leaving Certificate or Põhikool löputunnistus.

Secondary Education

The 3 years of secondary school education that follow provide opportunities in 2 different streams. General academic education completes with a secondary school completion certificate called a gumnaasiumi loputunnistus, while completing secondary vocational education achieves a certificate on acquiring secondary vocational education based on basic education tunnistus pöhihariduse baasil kutsekeskhariduse omandamise kohta.

Vocational Education

Students may go on from vocational secondary school to a post-secondary vocational institution, where they may qualify for a certificate on acquiring secondary vocational education based on secondary education (tunnistus keskhariduse baasil kutsekeskhariduse omandamise kohta) in a wide variety of subjects.

Tertiary Education

Estonia EducationTertiary university education in Estonia is spread across 3 levels, namely bachelors, masters and doctoral studies. Universities enjoy a fair degree of autonomy too, with rights to establish their curricula and admission requirements.

The oldest, largest and highest-ranked university is the University of Tartu that was established by the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in 1632. It has an extensive range of faculties, and its students enjoy exchange opportunities with many other fine universities around the world.


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