image/svg+xml Map of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Map of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) A blank map of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and countries fully surrounded by the EHEA. Every country has an id which is its ISO-3116-1-ALPHA2 code in lower case. Members of the EU have a class="eu", all EHEA countries have a class="europe", non-EHEA countries have a class="nonehea". Image based on by Júlio "Tintazul" Reis and Marian "maix" Sigler. Made by Colin Tück, EQAR, 2017 Released under CreativeCommons Attribution ShareAlike (
  • Governmental membership
    Estonia has been a Governmental Member of EQAR since February 2008.

    Map: EHEA countries by governmental membership

  • General information on higher education

    Estonian higher education institutions include universities and institutions of professional higher education.

  • National external quality assurance requirements

    Higher education institutions have to successfully undergo an external quality assessement in order to be able to issue study certificates recognised in Estonia.

    • Quality assessment of study programme groups
      Obligatory periodic assessment (every seven years) of all the study programme groups in which a higher education institution has been granted the right to conduct studies.

    • Institutional accreditation
      Once in every seven years higher education institutions must undergo institutional accreditation.

    • Initial assessment of study programme groups
      An educational institution is granted the right to conduct studies by the Government of the Republic of Estonia in a specific study programme group and in a specific academic cycle (professional higher education, bachelor degree studies, master degree studies, doctoral studies). This allows the HEI to issue state-recognised diplomas under all programmes contained in the corresponding study programme group. Before such right is granted, the study programme group must undergo initial assessment, which the Ministry of Education commissions from EKKA.

  • EHEA key commitment

    Fully aligned with the ESG

    A fully functioning quality assurance system is in operation nationwide, in which all higher education institutions are subject to regular external quality assurance by an agency that has successfully demonstrated compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) through registration on EQAR

  • Cross-border quality assurance

    Recognising foreign agencies based on their own framework/requirements

    • Eligibility requirements for foreign agencies: the agency must be approved by the Estonian Higher Education Quality Agency (EKKA)' council and EQAR registration is preferable.

    • Conditions for the agencies’ work (e.g. criteria to be used): The higher education institution must submit a request to EKKA two years prior to the expiration date of its current accreditation. The foreign QA agency has to have experience in institutional evaluations/accreditations. After approval a tripartite agreement will be concluded between the foreign QA agency, the higher education institution and EKKA. (see link below: Guideline for Institutional Accreditation) Expenses related to the institutional accreditation by the foreign QA may be covered from the state budget, as long as they are the same to the costs of a national accreditation (see §38(6) of the Higher Education Act, linked below).

    • Recognition of reviews carried out by foreign agencies: The review report prepared by the foreign agency is submitted to EKKA who takes a decision on accreditation.

    Map: recognition of cross-border quality assurance

  • European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes

    European Approach available to some higher education institutions or only under specific conditions

    The use of the European Approach is possible as a simplified procedure for both initial and re-assessment of joint study programmes, under certain conditions i.e. the joint programme has previously undergone an assessment by an EQAR registered agency or the other higher education partners have the right to provide instruction in the corresponding study programme group and academic cycle. EKKA will assess if the eligibility criteria are met and if no substantial shortcomings have been identified in the assessment report. See the requirements listed under points 37.2.1-37.2.4 on joint study programme (see linked guideline below). 

    Map: availability of the European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes

Registered agencies operating in Estonia