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  • SDG4
  • SDG8
ESTDEV Embu University

Education is out of reach for millions of children and young people around the world. COVID-19 and the deterioration of the rights of girls and women have pushed millions of students even further out of the educational system. High-quality education supports the social and economic development of our partner countries, which is why education is one of the main priorities of Estonian development cooperation.

Estonia has been widely recognised as having one of the top educational systems in the world, as shown by the country’s recent PISA scores. ESTDEV aims to empower partner countries to implement educational reforms and develop innovative solutions by drawing on Estonian experience.

The gap between what the education system offers and the needs of the labour market inhibits individual prospects and a country’s broader economic development. If education is to contribute to the economic development of our partner countries, then the skills taught in schools must correspond to the needs of the labour market. Our work pays particular attention to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, whose lack of access to the formal education system reduces their social and economic opportunities. ESTDEV also supports the citizens of our partner countries as they further their studies in Estonia by giving scholarships for master's or doctoral studies to students from priority countries.

Thematic priorities:

  • Design educational policies and national qualification frameworks
  • Support the implementation of educational reforms and improve access to quality education
  • Develop teacher training programmes and provide consultation on curriculum reforms
  • Introduce the principles of inclusive education and current teaching methodologies, including digital pedagogy
  • Develop educational information systems
  • Support educational innovation, including the creation and implementation of digital solutions and the development of digital skills

Estonia aims to contribute to systemic change in the educational systems of partner countries. To achieve this goal, ESTDEV cooperates with international organisations and initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), OECD and UNICEF, in addition to other donor countries. Estonia’s public sector, private sector and civil society also collaborate openly to achieve the goals of Estonian development cooperation.

Regional priorities

EU Eastern Neighbourhood

  • Moldova — Support the digital revolution in education, including the creation of educational digital applications, learning materials and solutions; organise supportive business competitions, such as intellectual competitions and accelerators, for general education schools; develop future skills, including digital skills and entrepreneurial competencies.
  • Armenia — Support the professional development of teachers.
  • Georgia — Develop a high-quality general education system and support the professional development of teachers by introducing current teaching methodologies.
  • Ukraine — Modernise early childhood education by providing examples of best practices in effective process management, learning environments and teaching methodologies and tools; support vocational education reform through the creation of an internal evaluation system for vocational schools; develop a vocational education management information system; promote the higher education system; develop skills, including digital skills and entrepreneurial competencies, to improve employment rates and competitiveness of young people and women.


  • Kenya — Improve teacher education and introduce current teaching methodologies; develop digital skills and talent partnerships with the IT field.
  • Uganda — Provide consultation during the development of the Education Qualification Framework.


Global education

Global education is a pedagogical approach that addresses how global issues affect the daily lives of individuals, communities, and societies and how each of us can have an impact on the world. It is a learning process that moves from awareness of problems to personal responsibility and informed action and from there to international cooperation and sustainable human development.

In the Declaration on Global Education in Europe to 2050, created in Dublin in 2022, global education is defined as education that enables people to understand the world and their role in it critically, to open their eyes, hearts and minds to the realities of the world locally and globally. It empowers people to understand, imagine, hope and act to create a world of peace, solidarity, justice and equality by encouraging environmental sustainability and international understanding. This includes respect for human rights and diversity, ensuring a decent life for all, now and in the future. Global education includes formal, non-formal and informal learning; it is a lifelong process that extends beyond a classroom’s four walls.

The Estonian Global Education Report from 2019 provides an overview of the state of global education in Estonia. The report analyses the current state of global education in Estonia from the perspective of development cooperation, formal education, youth work and civil society and gives recommendations for better integrating global education into formal and non-formal education and improving general awareness. The report was peer-reviewed by GENE (Global Education Network in Europe) and is available in full in English; a short version is also available in Estonian.

To support the addition of a global dimension to the competencies outlined in the curriculum and to relate them to the learning outcomes of different subjects, ESTDEV supported the development of the World Citizen Competency Model in 2022.

ESTDEV aims to improve awareness of the importance of development cooperation through its global education activities. For example, ESTDEV awards special prizes to school children whose inventions support the planet's sustainable development and promote a sustainable way of life at Estonia’s national competition for student inventors.

ESTDEV's cooperation partners in the field of global education are the Ministry of Foreign Affairsthe Ministry of Education and Research NGO Mondo and Mondo Maailmakoolthe Development Cooperation Round Table and the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO.

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