Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education

Contact Information

Street name: Toompuiestee 30
Postal code and City: Praha 1, 118 12
Country: Tallinn 10149
Phone/Fax: +372 696 2424/ +372 640 0455
Contact person: Liia Lauri
Function of contact person: Information Manager of EKKA
Founding date: 2009 (predecessor agency 1997-2008)

Legal Bases/ Membership

Q: What is the legal basis for your agency (non-profit organization, for-profit organization, foundation, association etc.)?
A: EKKA is a structural unit of the Archimedes Foundation, the founder of which is the Republic of Estonia with the founder`s rights being exercised by the Ministry of Education and Research. EKKA is supervised by the Supervisory Board of the Foundation Archimedes. EKKA is independent in developing its principles and procedures for quality assessment and in adopting assessment decisions.

Q: Who are the members of your agency?
A: N/A

Services Provided

Q: Is evaluation/accreditation by your agency a national requirement? What procedures are mandatory – if any and what are chosen voluntarily/additionally?
The key responsibilities of EKKA are stated in Universities Act:

  • organising and conducting institutional accreditation in educational institutions providing higher education and quality assessment of their study programme Groups. Higher education institutions must undergo institutional accreditation and quality assessment of study programme group at least once every seven years.
  • performing other functions assigned to it by legislation, including providing accreditation of study programme groups in vocational education and training and offering expertise for initial assessment of study programme groups in higher education.

Q: Is the agency involved in programme or institutional evaluation/accreditation or both? What are the consequences of evaluation/accreditation outcomes?
A: In higher education the quality decisions of EKKA Quality Assessment Council for Higher Education are final and they are not directly connected to administrative sanctions. Based on the accreditations decisions of EKKA Quality Assessment Council for VET the Ministry of Education and Research is making the decision for licencing on non-licencing the institutions.

Q: Please describe the structure and the activity periods of the decision-making body and state who delegates/appoints its members.
A: There are two Councils of EKKA: EKKA Quality Assessment Council for Higher Education and Quality Assessment Council for VET. The EKKA Quality Assessment Council for Higher Education is formed and its membership approved for three years by the Supervisory Board of the Archimedes Foundation. The candidates are nominated by stakeholder organisations like HEI-s, professional organisations, student union etc. The Quality Assessment Council for VET is formed by the Decree of Minister of Education and Research according to the principles stated in Vocational Educational Institutions Act.


Q: Can HEIs in your country choose international services from EQAR listed agencies?
A: Higher education institutions may order accreditation service from internationally recognised assessment authorities that have fulfilled the following conditions:

  • the assessment authority has institutional evaluation experience;
  • the procedure and requirements for accreditation are transparent and in conformity with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.

Q: Please mention the international links of your agency and especially list the international organizations your agency is a member in.
A: EKKA is a full member of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA), and is included in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR).

International cooperation projects: