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Estonia  [3]  Issues and themes of VET/HRD projects 

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The general objective of VET/HRD research in Estonia is to improve the quality of VET by analysing the weaknesses of the VET system. The aim is to find solutions for eliminating the deficiencies of the system. Some of the research projects also include specific policy proposals to change and develop the state regulation in the field of VET/HRD.

The research has been centred on a wide range of issues in 2005. Several researches on adult education, employment, labour market and more general subjects were prepared. The research projects can roughly be divided in 2 categories: 

  • CVET and adult education
In the field of CVET and adult education 2 surveys can be outlined in 2005. 'The Study on Further Education Quality Factors' was focused on the factors indicating the quality of different educational institutions that provide further education courses in Estonia. The existing professional qualification system constituted the basis for this study. One of the most important outcomes of the study were the policy proposals and suggestions to change/develop the state regulation of the specific field in order to improve the quality of further education. 

The other survey 'Developing alternative funding models for adult education' aimed to analyse the need for funding professional education and training of adults, give an overview of relevant experiences and solutions of other countries, analyse the possibilities of funding adult education and decide the schemes for funding adult education. An important background study was made in the course of the survey, and possible models for funding adult education and training (in-service training and re-training) were proposed.

  • Relations between VET and economy needs
In the field of relations between VET and economy needs, many important research objectives were set in different projects. The aim of the project 'The Methodology for Anticipating the training needs over different sectors of economy' was to compose a comprehensive methodology including a complete set of techniques for carrying out expert groups in selected sectors. The objective was also to define key occupations in order to predict the share of them in the sector workforce. 

In the study 'Matching of Educational and Occupational Structures' the whole workforce was analysed from the point of educational background (levels, fields etc) and their employment in the sectors of the economy and occupation, in order to find out educational fields with narrow possibilities on the labour market. 

The analysis 'Knowledge based economy and ICT-related education' aimed at contributing to the development of the knowledge-based economy in Estonia. It was specifically concentrated on higher and vocational education relating to information and communication technologies and on the opportunities of enhancement of these technologies. In brief, the analysis found an answer to the following question: Which active education policy measures derive (or should derive) from the Estonian R&D strategy and other related strategies? In discussing the various functions of the education system, its connection with the needs of processing industries and service sector constitutes the central criterion. Within the scope of the research project, suggestions for developing the ICT-related education system were put forward.

As there is a gap between the demand and supply of specialists of different technologies on middle management level in enterprises, the main task of the research project 'Insights of applied higher education in fields of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Tartu and Southern Estonia' was to find the optimal model for applied higher technical education in Tartu and South Estonia region and to work out the ways to implement it. It was decided that the development of applied higher technical education in Tartu and Southern Estonia must originate from the need of a specific region and development plans agreed for the coming years. Future changes to provide applied higher technical education in region must be accepted by the stakeholders.

 
ANNEX: Selection of ERO Base projects

Study on Further Education Quality Factors

http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/projects_networks/ero/prj_view.asp?theID=662

Anticipating the training needs over different sectors of economy

http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/projects_networks/ero/prj_view.asp?theID=664

Insights of applied higher education in the fields of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Tartu and Southern Estonia

http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/projects_networks/ero/prj_view.asp?theID=405

Knowledge-based Economy and ICT-related Education: Overview of Current Situation and Challenges for the Educational System until 2008

http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/projects_networks/ero/prj_view.asp?theID=407

Matching of educational and occupational structures

http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/projects_networks/ero/prj_view.asp?theID=408

 
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Estonia (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO