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Estonia
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Estonia
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In Estonia, men are more likely than women to pursue a vocational track. In 2019, 67% of upper secondary vocational graduates were men, compared to 55% on average across OECD countries.
  • In Estonia, 55% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2020 compared to 33% of their male peers.
  • In 2018, Estonia invested a total of USD 8 466 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 10 454 on average across OECD countries. This represents 4.7% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2019, 91% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in Estonia, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
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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.

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    Attainment

    The level of below upper secondary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.4 %, rank 40/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of students in government-dependent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 19/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of students enrolled in school- and work-based programmes among all upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.7 %, rank 19/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    Among OECD countries and partner economies with available data, Estonia has one of the lowest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education before the age of 30. (31.7 %, rank 24/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Estonia has one of the lowest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education before the age of 30. (29.1 %, rank 21/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportion of men (excluding international students) expected to be first-time graduates from tertiary education before the age of 30 is relatively small. (20.4 %, rank 22/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportion of women (excluding international students) expected to be first-time graduates from tertiary education before the age of 30 is relatively small. (38.1 %, rank 21/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation

    The share of long first degree master's graduates in public institutions is relatively high in Estonia. (100 %, rank 1/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of first-time bachelor's graduates is relatively high in Estonia. (92.7 %, rank 5/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the share of first-time graduates in vocational programmes at post-secondary non-tertiary level is comparatively important . (100 %, rank 1/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (33.2 %, rank 37/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Among OECD and partner countries with available data, Estonia has one of the largest shares of women graduates from tertiary programmes. (63.1 %, rank 3/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively high. (58.6 %, rank 4/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of female graduates among post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes in Estonia is relatively high. (68.7 %, rank 4/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the share of female tertiary graduates in the field of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.7 %, rank 4/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of male tertiary graduates in the field of education is relatively low in Estonia. (1.7 %, rank 42/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the percentage of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (68 %, rank 21/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8 %, rank 2/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of business, aministration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.4 %, rank 33/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (52.2 %, rank 3/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is relatively low. (1.8 %, rank 21/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Estonia, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is relatively low. (6.4 %, rank 33/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (61.4 %, rank 33/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information among all national tertiary students in Estonia is relatively low. (6 %, rank 30/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia,the share of male among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of education is relatively small. (21.4 %, rank 32/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia,the share of male among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively small. (61.5 %, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of business, administration and law among all international or foreign tertiary students in Estonia is relatively high. (38 %, rank 3/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of health and welfare among all international or foreign tertiary students in Estonia is relatively low. (3.5 %, rank 31/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of services is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0 %, rank 33/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the percentage of international doctoral graduates in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.2 %, rank 33/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    In enterprises of ver 249 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (2.5 %, rank 5/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Adult participation in non-formal education

    In Estonia, the proportion of adults employed in the private sector and participating in job-related non-formal education and training not sponsored by the employer is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (2.6 %, rank 34/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Expenditure per student for ancillary services on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education in Estonia is comparatively low. (106 USD Equivalent, rank 25/26 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student for ancillary educational services on primary to tertiary education in Estonia is comparatively low. (272 USD Equivalent, rank 19/23 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Estonia, international expenditure as a percentage of GDP on primary to post-secondary non-tertiary education from initial source of funds is relatively high. (0.3 %, rank 1/28 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on primary to tertiary education is high. (1 USD Equivalent, rank 1/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure per full-time equivalent student on primary to tertiary education in Estonia is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4 %, rank 4/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on tertiary education is relatively large . (0.5 %, rank 1/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in the number of full-time equivalent student in tertiary education is one of the smallest in Estonia. (-6 %, rank 37/37 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure on tertiary education in Estonia is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.6 %, rank 3/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure per full-time equivalent student on tertiary education in Estonia is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10.2 %, rank 1/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    In Estonia, international expenditure from initial source of funds on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high. (9.9 %, rank 1/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The relative share of international expenditure on primary to tertiary education from initial source of funds is relatively large in Estonia. (17.4 %, rank 1/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the relative share of public expenditure from initial source of funds at primary to tertiary education is relatively low. (73.9 %, rank 21/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The relative share of international expenditure on tertiary education from initial source of funds in Estonia is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (31.9 %, rank 1/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the relative share of public expenditure from initial source of funds on tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (50.6 %, rank 25/26 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Nature of expenditure

    The percentage of capital expenditure on tertiary education is relatively in Estonia. (17.5 %, rank 4/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of current expenditure on tertiary education is relatively in Estonia. (82.5 %, rank 28/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively low in Estonia. (592 Hours, rank 31/32 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in lower secondary school is especially low. (174 Days, rank 26/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in lower secondary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (82.3 %, rank 5/40 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (82.8 %, rank 3/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially low. (43.4 %, rank 37/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of lower secondary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially low. (37.1 %, rank 35/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of upper secondary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially low. (40.9 %, rank 34/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially low. (41.1 %, rank 36/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers older than 50 is especially high. (49.9 %, rank 4/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in general upper secondary education in Estonia is relatively large. (77.4 %, rank 3/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in lower secondary education is especially high in Estonia. (84.2 %, rank 2/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in upper secondary education is especially high in Estonia. (72.6 %, rank 3/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The average actual pre-primary teacher's salary among teachers aged between 25-64 is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23605 USD Equivalent, rank 21/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Upper-secondary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is low in Estonia. (1.17 Ratio, rank 18/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average pre-primary school heads' actual salary is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (33695 USD Equivalent, rank 16/18 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average primary school heads' actual salary is one of the lowest in Estonia relatively compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (37991 USD Equivalent, rank 20/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average lower secondary school heads' actual salary is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (37991 USD Equivalent, rank 21/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average upper-secondary school heads' actual salary is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (37991 USD Equivalent, rank 21/22 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the vocational upper secondary level is especially high in Estonia. (17.6 Ratio, rank 5/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the lower secondary level in government-dependent private institutions is especially low in Estonia. (8.4 Ratio, rank 17/19 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the lower secondary level in independent private institutions is especially low in Estonia. (3.6 Ratio, rank 23/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the secondary level in government-dependent private institutions is especially low in Estonia. (9.5 Ratio, rank 16/18 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    In Estonia, the average intended instruction time, in hours per year, for primary students is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (661 Hours, rank 27/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, total intended instruction time for primary and lower secondary students is relatively short. (6431 Hours, rank 26/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, total intended instruction time for lower secondary students is relatively short. (2468 Hours, rank 28/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The average hours per year dedicated to intended instruction time for lower secondary students in Estonia is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (823 Hours, rank 27/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Class size

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively small in Estonia. (14 Students, rank 30/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In government-dependent private institutions at primary education level, classes are relatively small in Estonia. (16 Students, rank 16/19 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In independent private institutions at primary education level, classes are one of the smallest in Estonia among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6 Students, rank 20/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In government-dependent private institutions at lower secondary level, classes are one of the smallest in Estonia among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15 Students, rank 18/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In independent private institutions at lower secondary level, classes are one of the smallest in Estonia among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6 Students, rank 20/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (85.5 %, rank 34/36 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is compartively high in Estonia. (68.1 %, rank 4/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (78.6 %, rank 5/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    In Estonia, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-olds with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low. (13.9 %, rank 36/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The earnings of adults without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of adults with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education. (89 Index, rank 4/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    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. (129 Index, rank 33/37 , 2019) 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. (88 Index, rank 29/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (140 Index, rank 31/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (107 Index, rank 25/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (96 Index, rank 28/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (138 Index, rank 33/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full and part-time workers with tertiary education are comparatively low. (127 Index, rank 34/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time with a short cycle tertiary education are comparatively low. (88 Index, rank 28/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a Master's, doctoral or equivalent education degree are comparatively low. (138 Index, rank 32/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings, gender and educational attainment

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (51.9 %, rank 5/27 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The earnings of men without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of men with an upper secondary education. (91 Index, rank 4/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (among 25-64 year-olds without an upper secondary education with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (58.5 %, rank 37/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (among 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary education or post-secondary non-tertiary education and income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (65.3 %, rank 36/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Neither in education nor employed

    Among 15-29 year-olds, the share of youth without an upper secondary degree who are neither employed nor in education or training in Estonia is relatively low. (8.9 %, rank 35/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Social outcomes

    In Estonia, the proportion of adults without an upper secondary education who reported being interested in politics is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (21.9 %, rank 21/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the proportion of adults with an upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education who reported being interested in politics is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (29.1 %, rank 24/28 , 2018) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • One in five adults across the OECD has not attained upper secondary education.
    • In 2020, the unemployment rate of adults that had not completed upper secondary education was almost twice as high as those with higher qualifications, and 27% of these adults earn only at or below half the median on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2019, at least 10% of school-aged youth were not in school in about a quarter of OECD countries.
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    • In 2019, women made up 55% of new entrants to tertiary education on average. If current patterns continue, it is expected that 46% of young women will graduate with a tertiary degree for the first time before they turn 30, 15 percentage points more than men.
    • Women also earn on average about 76-78% of men’s salaries regardless of educational attainment, although the gender gap narrowed by 2 percentage points between 2013 and 2019.
    • Women are less likely than men to enter a STEM field of study, and the average share remained generally stable between 2013 and 2019.
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    • On average across countries, expenditure on educational institutions amounted to approximately USD 9 300 per student at pre-primary level; USD 10 500 at primary, secondary and post-secondary non tertiary level; and USD 17 100 at tertiary level.
    • The public sector funds 90% of total expenditure on primary and secondary institutions on average, often compulsory in most OECD countries, compared to 83% at pre-primary level and 66% at tertiary level.
    • In 2018, the OECD countries spent on average 4.9% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on primary to tertiary educational institutions.
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    • In 2019, less than 5% of pre-primary teachers were men, compared to 18% at primary level, 40% at upper secondary level and more than 50% at tertiary level on average.
    • Between 2005 and 2020, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data for all reference years, the statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications increased by 3% at primary level, 4% at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 2% at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • Attracting male teachers to the profession can be difficult: While the average actual salary of female teachers is equal to or higher than the average salary of other full-time, tertiary-educated women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 76% and 85% of the average earnings of other full-time, tertiary-educated men.
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    • On average across OECD countries, 87% of children aged 3-5 are enrolled in education on average across OECD countries compared to 25% for children below the age of 3.
    • There are 15 children for every teacher at pre-primary level on average across OECD countries.
    • Half of children enrolled in early childhood development services and a two-thirds of pre-primary children attend public institutions on average across OECD countries
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - Estonia

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    Key
    Country Reviews for Estonia

    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 averages. 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 2021 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

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