Skip to content

Estonia Is Helping Uganda Create A National Qualifications Framework


Uganda ESTDEV cooperation
Led by the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV), Estonia has begun a qualifications framework development project, which is intended to increase the competitiveness of education in Uganda.

This week, the Ugandan working group for the creation of a national qualifications framework visited Estonia to learn from the Estonian experience and to get to know the industry trends. Uganda is reforming its education system and at the end of 2022, a roadmap was created for the development of a national qualifications framework. The European and Estonian frameworks are used as an example and now the aim is to identify the approach most fit for Uganda’s circumstances and strategic objectives for the country.

The qualifications framework helps the country to keep the education provided by the state in line with the needs of the labor market and creates preconditions that the acquired education would also be internationally recognised.

“The qualifications framework is key to the reform of national education and training systems and an important reference point for cross-border comparison of lifelong learning and qualifications. Today, Uganda does not have a national qualifications framework that would enable the development, classification and recognition of knowledge, skills and competences at agreed levels of education. The qualifications framework is also an important tool for reducing the age-old gap between labor market expectations and education both in Estonia and in the world,” said Kristi Kulu, Programme Manager for Education and Entrepreneurship at ESTDEV. “The Estonian qualifications framework has been unified with the European framework, which makes Estonian qualifications internationally comparable,” she added.

An 8-level qualifications framework applies in Estonia, which ranks the learning outcomes and certificates of general, vocational and higher education. It encompasses all national qualifications, which are provided within formal education and training and outside of it.

“I am very glad that Estonia was ready to host us and help us in developing the qualifications framework. For example, how to determine and describe different levels and learning outcomes, how different parts of the framework support each other, how the movement to higher levels takes place – Estonians’ knowledge is very necessary for all this. The purpose of the current visit was to get to know the Estonian context, how this framework was created here and how it works. We got a lot of new ideas to consider in the next steps,” concluded Joseph Kikomeko, Head of the Working Group for Uganda’s Qualifications Framework.

“Qualification frameworks are used to compare education systems and vocational qualifications within countries and also between different countries, to help make different qualifications, certificates and diplomas more mutually comparable and comprehensible. An important goal of these frameworks is the recognition of non-formal and informal education results. This helps students and workers who wish to move to another country switch jobs or continue their studies in their home country in a different education facility,” explained Külli All, Head of Skills and Qualifications Policy at the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia.

Qualifications frameworks support lifelong learning (learning activities which persist throughout life), which aims to improve knowledge, skills and competences from a personal, civic, social and/or employment perspective.

The visit was held with the help of the European Commission’s TAIEX tool. TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange) is a European Commision tool, which supports public sector institutions in the harmonization, application and enforcement of EU legislation and mediates the sharing of EU member states’ best practices.