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Estonia’s use of education data sets example for OECD countries

12. February 2015 - 14:43
Marc Tucker, keynote speaker of the conference
Marc Tucker, keynote speaker of the conference

The Estonian Education Information System ( represents a form of cooperation with other registers that is unique in the world. This cooperation enables a number of services to be offered automatically. The Ministry of Education and Research is sharing its experience on the use of the information system with education experts from OECD countries at an international conference being held in Tallinn.

Minister of Education and Research Jevgeni Ossinovski, who opened the conference, says he is gratified that Estonia’s education data register has earned international recognition and that others are willing to learn from our experience. “Having actual data in real time means everyone’s able to make better decisions when they’re needed in education management, whether they’re teachers, school directors, local governments or the ministry,” he said.

According to Aune Valk, the head of the ministry’s Analysis Department who is showcasing the Estonian Education Information System at the conference, the personalised data in the system is mainly used in making financing decisions. “Using the solutions offered by the X-road to submit data to state agencies or credit institutions enables to offer needs-based study allowances, for example, or to apply for a student loan or activate an ID ticket discount without the person applying having to get a verification document from their education institution,” she explained.

Estonian Education Information System is linked to more than 20 other information systems, with around 45 services connected to the register. The register gathers information both in real time and at periodic intervals about all of the education institutions, students, teachers and lecturers, graduation documents, textbooks and curricula in Estonia. It is used and updated by 2000 institutions connected to the field of education.

Those attending the OECD conference will be debating how education data supports and influences the management of education. The keynote speaker at the event is Marc Tucker, president of National Centre of Education and Economy in US. He also advises the US federal government on education. The working groups at the conference will be discussing trust issues related to the collection of data, explaining how data can be used to help to monitor and analyse every student’s learning process and examining the gathering and use of data in different countries. There will also be a separate workshop dedicated to the further development of Estonian Education Information System.

The OECD conference ‘Education governance: the role of data’ is being held on 12-13 February at Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn. There are almost 100 representatives from different countries and international organisations.

A live stream of the conference can be followed on the Ministry’s website from 9:30-13:00 on 12 February and from 9:30-10:30 on 13 February.

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