Estonian Higher Education Policy: Courageous or Random
Praxis policy debate on the topic of Estonian higher education policy took place on 9th of December 2009. The representatives from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, public and private higher education institutions, youth -and student organizations, members of the Parliament and researchers in the field of education addressed the question of equitable opportunities for access and participation in higher education.
The key importance of the subject internationally and equitable access to quality higher education as an influential factor in Estonian Higher Education Strategy, 2006-2015, offered a great platform for a discussion on the significance, indicators and action plan of equitable access to higher education.
PRAXIS’ analysts Laura Kirss and Eve Mägi introduced a policy brief on accessibility and affordability of higher education in Estonia and in international perspective. It is indicated that current Estonian education policy may have indications of tendencies which don’t necessarily promote equitable access to higher education. In addition, the political agenda and indicators regarding the future developments on this topic are not clearly defined. , It also remains ambiguous what is the exact purpose and value of social mobility and equitable access for the State .The discussion was aimed at bringing various parties to debate on these questions.
The discussion chaired by prof. Mati Heidmets (Tallinn University) was divided as follows:
1. The importance of equitable access to higher education for Estonia . A short introduction was provided by prof Mati Heidmets.
2. What elements in higher education policy are considered crucial in order to support social mobility? A short introduction was provided by Heli Aru (Estonian Ministry of Education and Research).
3. What should be the next steps to promote equitable access to higher education? Maris Mälzer from Estonian Student Organization presented Estonian tertiary students’ views and expectations which were discussed with policymakers and other experts present.
Unfortunately, the policy brief and other materials are available only in Estonian. For more information please contact the project coordinator Maiu Uus Maiu.Uus(at)praxis.ee or the education policy program analysts Laura Kirss Laura.Kirss(at)praxis.ee and Eve Mägi Eve.Magi(at)praxis.ee