Estonia has been a Governmental Member of EQAR since 2008.

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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Can higher education institutions choose a suitable EQAR-registered agency?

Yes, under certain conditions:


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

  • Conditions for the agencies’ work (e.g. criteria to be used):
    the agency has to have experience in assessing study programmes or higher education institutions, it must have an international assessment committee (review team) and the assessment procedures should be transparent and in line with the ESG.

  • Recognition of reviews carried out by foreign agencies:
    treated in the same way as the evaluations carried out by the national QA agency (EKKA).

Can higher education institutions use the European Approach for the Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes?

Yes, under certain conditions:

The European Approach could be used subject to the general conditions for recognising QA results of EQAR-registered agencies, as described above.

Further Information

Registered agencies based in Estonia

Registered agencies operating in Estonia