VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Estonia  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research 

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Current VET/HRD research

So far the number of researches conducted in Estonia in the field on VET/HRD has not been significant, but the completed studies have had a remarkable impact on the policy process. This can be seen by the fact that the study 'Arrangement of the VET network with respect to regional aspect of specialization (educational needs') as well as the employment forecasts by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication were both taken into account at the division of funds between different training fields. The research is mainly project based, which leaves sufficient flexibility for reacting to different needs. However, the separation of analytical competence in the field between different research institutions could be seen as a negative aspect, as there is no research institution that could analyse the situation of VET by using data of critical mass.

Future VET/HRD research

In Estonia, the research and analyses have the function of feedback mechanism for assessing the effectiveness of the education system. Therefore the Ministry of Education and Research is planning several projects to analyse the success of graduates and drop-outs of vocational and higher education institutions on the labour market (the issues observed include the annual salary after graduation/dropping out, the possible difference in salaries of graduates and drop-outs, the changes in salary in the course of years, the sector of employment, etc.) or to assess the employment demand in a specific region in order to propose the content and quality of education.

In 2005, an analysis was commissioned by the University of Tartu to observe which are the arguments of basic school graduates for making their choices to pursue education (including the conditions on which the interest in vocational educational institutions is more significant). One of the objectives is to develop a system of regular research for assessing the operation and effectiveness of educational institutions as well as to offer the potential decision-makers as much information as possible on the perspectives of the labour market. On the other hand, analysis is needed to decide on the strategic planning and the priorities of the Structural Funds.

On the subjects mentioned above, research has been started on the level of tertiary education and plans are made for expanding the studies to the level of vocational education. For better planning of student places in the future, it might be useful to pay more attention to the analyses related to the content and quality of education (including the high rate of drop-outs in certain sub-sections of the system) and to granting access to the subjects. However, it is too early to speak of specific plans. In perspective it is necessary to assess the influence of policy measures already taken by the Ministry of Education and Research (administration of vocational education institutions according to the form of ownership, cost-effectiveness of teaching Estonian to learners of educational institutions of Russian language, etc.).

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