Education in Estonia
|Ministry of Education and Research|
|Minister of Education and Research||Jaak Aaviksoo|
|National education budget (2006)|
|Budget||4.12 billion EEK|
The history of formal education in Estonia dates back to the 13–14th centuries when the first monastic and cathedral schools were founded. The first primer in the Estonian language was published in 1575. The oldest university is the University of Tartu which was established by the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf in 1632. In 1919, university courses were first taught in the Estonian language.
Today's education in Estonia is divided into general, vocational and hobby education. The education system is based on four levels which include the pre-school, basic, secondary and higher education. A wide network of schools and supporting educational institutions has been established. The Estonian educational system consists of state, municipal, public and private educational institutions. There are currently 589 schools in Estonia.
Academic higher education in Estonia is divided into three levels: bachelor’s studies, master’s studies, and doctoral studies. In some specialties (basic medical studies, veterinary, pharmacy, dentistry, architect-engineer and a classroom teacher program) the Bachelors and Master’s levels are integrated into one unit. Estonian public universities have significantly more autonomy than applied higher education institutions. In addition to organizing the academic life of the university, universities can create new curricula, establish admission terms and conditions, approve the budget, approve the development plan, elect the rector and make restricted decisions in matters concerning assets. Estonia has a moderate number of public and private universities. The largest public universities are Tartu University, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonian Academy of Arts, and the largest private university is the International University of Audentes.
The Estonian Academy of Sciences is Estonia's national academy of science. The IT industry of Estonia in late 1950s as the first computer centers were established in Tartu and Tallinn. Estonian specialists contributed in the development of software engineering standards for different ministries of the Soviet Union during the 1980s.
Basic Comprehensive education 
The basic compulsory educational system in Estonia is the nine-year comprehensive school (Estonian põhikool, "basic school"), for which school attendance is mandatory (homeschooling is allowed, but rare).
First three grades of primary school are called Algkool which can be translated as "beginning school" and can be confused with primary school. In some low density population areas Algkool is the only school available and students enter primary school in bigger town.
- 1st grade: 7–8 years
- 2nd grade: 8–9 years
- 3rd grade: 9-10 years
- 4th grade: 10–11 years
- 5th grade: 11–12 years
- 6th grade: 12–13 years
- 7th grade: 13–14 years
- 8th grade: 14–15 years
- 9th grade: 15–16 years
See also 
- Ministry of Education and Research
- List of schools in Estonia, (English)
- "National summary sheets on education systems in Europe and ongoing reforms: Estonia". Eurydice. February 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Implementation of Bologna Declaration in Estonia
- A. Kalja, J. Pruuden, B. Tamm, E. Tyugu, Two Families of Knowledge Based CAD Environments. In: Software for Manufacturing (North-Holland), 1989, pp 125-134
- H. Jaakkola, A. Kalja, Estonian Information Technology Policy in Government, Industry and Research. In: Technology Management: Strategies and Applications. (Vol. 3, No. 3), 1997, pp 299-307
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