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Estonia
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Diagram of the education system



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Key

- Diagram of education system in country language

- Old diagram using ISCED 1997 classification

- General methodological notes for ISCED diagrams

Education system in Estonia

Estonia
Overview of the education system (EAG 2016)
  • With half of Estonia’s teachers over the age of 50, the country needs to attract new talent to the profession. Average earnings of tertiary graduates from teacher training programmes are among the lowest of all tertiary graduates.
  • Estonia has historically had a highly educated population, as shown by the high level of tertiary attainment of 55-64 year-olds (35%) compared to the OECD average (26%). However, if current patterns of completion persist, the attainment rate of future generations will likely decrease. In 2014, the completion rate for bachelor’s degrees in Estonia (51%) was the lowest among all countries with similar data available.
  • Vocational upper secondary education remains unpopular among upper secondary students. Only about a third of upper secondary students are enrolled in such programmes, compared to almost half of students on average across EU22* countries.
  • In 2013, capital expenditure accounted for 15% of total expenditure on educational institutions, the highest rate among OECD countries. The relatively high level of capital expenditure may be linked to ongoing heavy investment in school infrastructure as part of the current reform of the school network.
  • Women represent a higher share of tertiary graduates than men, but they earn only 70% as much as their male counterparts (slightly below the OECD average of 73%).
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

    Show indicators for which your country ranks among the top or bottom: Sort by:

    Educational outcomes

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (91 %, rank 5/43 ) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92 %, rank 3/43 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (35 %, rank 8/44 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate among 15-19 year-olds in Estonia is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (90 %, rank 10/41 ) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in sciences is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (46 %, rank 10/42 ) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    Classes are particularly small in lower secondary schools. (15 Students, rank 32/33 ) Download Indicator

    Classes are particularly small in primary schools. (17 Students, rank 30/33 ) Download Indicator

    The theoretical duration of primary and lower secondary education, in years, is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9 Years, rank 6/36 ) Download Indicator

    The number of instruction days per year for lower secondary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (175 Days, rank 27/35 ) Download Indicator

    The number of instruction days per year for primary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (175 Days, rank 29/35 ) Download Indicator

    Classes in public primary institutions are comparatively small in Estonia. (17 Students, rank 30/33 ) Download Indicator

    Classes in in private primary institutions are comparatively small in Estonia. (16 Students, rank 25/31 ) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary public institutions are comparatively small in Estonia. (15 Students, rank 31/32 ) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively small in Estonia. (13 Students, rank 29/32 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    The share of private expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2 %, rank 35/38 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2005 and 2012 in private expenditure on tertiary educational institutions is one of the smallest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (112 Index, rank 18/27 ) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in expenditure on educational institutions (from primary to tertiary level) as a percentage of GDP, excluding subsidies, is among the smallest of all OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (90 Index, rank 24/28 ) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions is comparatively big. (108 Index, rank 3/31 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Estonia. (619 Hours, rank 27/30 ) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of teachers aged between 30 and 39 in secondary schools is especially low. (17 %, rank 32/35 ) Download Indicator

    The share of teachers aged between 40 and 49 in secondary schools is especially low. (24 %, rank 30/35 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92 %, rank 8/42 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The ratio of primary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1 Ratio, rank 6/22 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1 Ratio, rank 7/22 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of upper secondary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1 Ratio, rank 10/22 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for teachers with minimum training in primary education are especially low. (14959 USD Equivalent, rank 28/33 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for lower secondary teachers with minimum training are especially low. (14959 USD Equivalent, rank 28/33 ) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for upper secondary teachers with minimum training are especially low. (14959 USD Equivalent, rank 29/33 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual pre-primary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13063 USD Equivalent, rank 20/20 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual primary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19322 USD Equivalent, rank 23/23 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19322 USD Equivalent, rank 23/23 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual upper secondary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19322 USD Equivalent, rank 23/23 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (134 Index, rank 33/37 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is quite low. (128 Index, rank 34/37 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (99 Index, rank 24/25 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (123 Index, rank 24/29 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a master's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (139 Index, rank 29/29 ) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • Labour market outcomes are better among the higher-educated: on average across OECD countries, the unemployment rate is 12.4% for adults with below upper secondary education, while it is 4.9% for the tertiary-educated.
    • In all OECD countries, earnings differentials between adults with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education are generally more pronounced than the difference between the earnings of those with upper secondary education and those with below upper secondary education. This suggests large earnings advantages for tertiary education. On average, adults with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree earn almost twice as those with upper secondary education across OECD countries, and those with a bachelor's or equivalent degree earn 48% more, while those with a short-cycle tertiary degree earn only about 20% more.
    • Adults with higher qualifications were more likely to report desirable social outcomes, including good or excellent health, participation in volunteer activities, interpersonal trust, and political efficacy.
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    • Across all levels of educational attainment, the gender gap in earnings persists, and although women generally have higher educational attainment, a large gender gap in earnings is seen between male and female full-time workers with tertiary education.
    • Across OECD_countries, tertiary-educated women earn only 73% as much as tertiary-educated men. This gender gap of 27% in earnings for tertiary-educated adults is higher than the gender gap for adults with below upper secondary (24%) and adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education (22%).
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    • In a majority of OECD countries, education now begins for most children well before they are 5-years-old. Some 71% of 3-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education across OECD countries.
    • Based on current patterns, it is estimated that an average of 85% of today's young people in OECD_countries will complete upper secondary education over their lifetime.
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    • Based on current patterns of graduation, an average of 36% of today's young people across OECD countries are expected to graduate from tertiary education at least once before the age of 30.
    • In 2014, a majority of first-time tertiary graduates (72%) earned a bachelor's degree, 12% earned a_master's degree and 16% earned a short-cycle tertiary diploma, on average across OECD countries.
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    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 493 per student per year on primary through tertiary educational institutions: USD 8 477 per primary student, USD 9 980 per lower secondary student, USD 9 990 per upper secondary student and USD 15 772 per tertiary student.
    • In 2013, OECD countries spent an average of 5.2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on educational institutions from primary to tertiary education, ranging from 3.5% in Luxembourg to 6.7% in the United Kingdom.
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    • The average primary school class in OECD countries has 21 students, and this average increases to 23 in lower secondary education. These figures represent a decrease when compared to the OECD_average class sizes in 2005.
    • The difference in average class size between public and private institutions in primary education varies substantially across OECD countries, but is considerably larger in partner countries.
    • There are 15 students per teacher in primary education, on average across OECD countries. The_figure increases to 17 students per teacher, on average, at the tertiary level.
    • On average across OECD countries, pre-primary teachers' actual salaries are 74% of the earnings of a tertiary-educated 25-64 year-old full-time, full-year worker. Primary teachers are paid 81% of these benchmark earnings, lower secondary teachers 85% and upper secondary teachers 89%.
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    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG for more details about the data collections.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.