From 2012, only institutions of higher education that have received a positive result in the assessment of their study programme groups and to which the Government of the Republic has granted the right to conduct studies may provide higher education in Estonia.

Evaluation of higher education studies (professional higher education, Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral studies) takes place per study programme group, with one group containing all of the study programmes in the same field of specialty.

There are 28 study programme groups in total: journalism and distribution of information; architecture and construction; biological and environmental sciences; natural sciences; humanities; informatics and information technology; personal service; languages and cultures; environmental protection; arts; mathematics and statistics; medicine; music and theatre; psychology; agriculture, forestry and fishery; national defence; internal defence; social sciences; social services; sports; machinery, production and technology; health care; transportation services; theology; veterinary science; law; teacher training and social education; and business and management.

Assessment may result in an institution of higher education being awarded an indefinite right to conduct studies or the right to do so for a fixed period, or it may not be granted the right to conduct studies at all:

  1. The indefinite right to conduct studies means that the committee assesses that the quality of studies has been ensured for the study programmes in the study programme group.
  2. A fixed-term decision means that the institution of higher education must find solutions to the problems highlighted by the committee and undertake the assessment again within three years. It is important to know that in different institutions of higher education the amount and extent of problems varies greatly.
  3. A negative decision means that the institution of higher education may no longer provide studies in the study programme group in question and that students cannot complete their studies there. The institution must ensure that the students can continue their studies at the same institution in a different study programme or at a different institution.

See more: Study programmes of Estonian institutions of higher education (including information about right to conduct studies).
All assessment decisions and reports can be found in the EKKA database (in Estonian).


  • Check the Study programmes of Estonian institutions of higher education for the assessment of the study programme group containing the study programme you wish to enrol in.
  • Take a closer look at the study programme, checking the goals of the study programme and the conditions for graduation and whether the programme contains the subjects you are actually interested in. The study programme will be available on the website of the institution of higher education.
  • Check in detail the knowledge and skills (learning outcomes) the study programme offers and compare them to similar study programmes offered by other institutions of higher education.
  • Check who the lecturers are in the study programme. The more information you can find about lecturers on the website of the institution or (especially for universities) the Estonian Research Information System the better.
  • Find out what language the studies take place in and whether any foreign language skills are required.
  • Find out which foreign institutions of higher education your institution of choice cooperates with and what possibilities there are for student exchanges.
  • If possible, ask graduates for feedback or search online for opinions posted earlier on the study programme of your choice on the website of the institution and the Internet.