Vocational education is funded from the state budget under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Research according to state-commissioned education needs. Funding is based on the base cost of a student place and the coefficients of curriculum groups. The multiplication of the base cost by the relevant coefficient gives us the cost of a student place in the given specialty. State, municipal and private vocational institutions are all funded through state-commissioned education.
In 2008, the state budget expenditure on vocational education study expenses increased by nearly 78 million EEK, or by 10%, compared to the previous year. As of 2008, the base cost of one student place in an institution of vocational education is 21,150 EEK, an estimated 14,445 EEK of which are the costs associated with the teaching staff and 1,000 EEK, the cost of purchasing study aids, with the remainder being economic costs. The base cost has increased by 17.5% compared to 2007.
Vocational education expenses amounted to 1.3 billion EEK in 2008. While the public sector education expenditure on vocational education increased by an average of 30% annually during the three last years, in 2008, the public expenditure dropped by 98 million EEK. The decrease is primarily related to the drop in investments funded from the resources of the European Union (EU). In 2007 (at the end of the 1st ERDF period), the investment expenses amounted to approximately 252 million EEK (including co-financing), while the investment expenses in 2008 were just one sixth of that figure. The active use of the European Regional Development Fund’s 2nd period resources started in 2009.
Public sector expenditure on vocational education by sources of funding (billions of EEK); changes by year.
The learning environment in vocational educational institutions has been modernized, primarily with the assistance of European Union structural funds. More than half of the vocational education investments made over the last three years have been funded by foreign aid. In 2008, the Government of the Republic approved the investment plan for modernizing learning environments in institutions of vocational education until 2015, which contains investments totalling 3.6 billion EEK. During the implementation period, support will be provided to further the completion of 93 objects in 29 institutions of vocational education throughout Estonia.