The higher education system is regulated primarily by the Universities Act, the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act and the Private Schools Act.
In addition to the above, the higher education system is also regulated by the following legislation:
- Organisation of Research and Development Act;
- Study Allowances and Study Loans Act;
- Adult Education Act;
- Higher Education Standard (regulation of the Government of the Republic);
- Conformity of the Qualifications of the Republic of Estonia and the Qualifications of the Former Soviet Union Granted before 20 August 1991 (regulation of the Government of the Republic).
One of the most important framework documents in addition to the acts and regulations listed above is the Higher Education Strategy for 2006−2015 approved with a resolution of the Riigikogu on 8 November 2006, which defines the development trends in Estonian higher education until 2015. The aim of the strategy is to ensure the internationally competitive quality of the higher education offered in Estonia, a volume of higher education that corresponds to the needs of Estonia and the development of education and culture in the Estonian language. The strategy seeks to develop a functional structure of higher education in Estonia, to develop the social dimension of higher education and to guarantee that higher education serves Estonia’s developmental interests and innovation.
On 2 August 2007, the Government of the Republic approved the Higher Education Strategy Implementation
Plan for the Years 2008−2010, which proceeds from the activity trends set out in the Higher Education Strategy by outlining the activities required for the achievement of the goal with their deadlines, responsible persons and budgets.
All acts and regulations governing this field can be reviewed through the electronic version of the State Gazette (https://www.riigiteataja.ee/ert/ert.jsp).