Managing Education System Reforms

Jan 25 – Feb 3, 2021 , Ljubljana, Slovenia Online Course
Jan 20, 2021

About this online course

Countries across Southeast Europe are increasingly putting attention to the modernization of their education systems, and this trend has escalated not only due to the labour market pressures but also with the urgent transition to online learning triggered by the covid-19 outbreak. Difficulties faced often arise as a result of inadequate policy design, lack of alignment with labour policies, little capacity to put policy evaluation procedures into practice, or deficient use of ex-ante analysis and/or collected results. This online course will provide insights into experiences from the various SEE countries and beyond on how monitoring and evaluation of education policies can be embedded within the existing policy-making frameworks to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of education.

At this online course we will put special attention to discussing observed reform trends, approaches to their sequencing and costing, as well as to the progress of their implementation. We will analyze strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, provide practical examples and recommendations including how results orientation should be incorporated into policy and practice.

The role of labour market information in guiding educational and occupational choices is of inevitable importance, however often this information is not easily accessible. Therefore, this online course will also address the challenges in streamlining education options in alignment with labour market demands. Information regarding the current situation and trends in the labour market is essential for college major choice, as well as for policy design. The more information decision-makers have, the lower is the probability of mismatch between supply and demand. This online course will also look into the steps taken, data sources used and challenges met during the process of such analysis of the Slovenian labour market.  

Without a doubt, the pandemic of Covid-19 virus is having a large influence on functioning of the existing education systems. It did not allow much time for preparation, but instead it has caused a need for an urgent response. A speed in the implementation of measures is key, but evidence of what may work is limited, and constraints on resources and capacity are binding. As countries explore ways forward to reopen schools and design new models of education that expand the borders of the physical schools through extended utilization of technology. At this online course you will also have the opportunity to hear about steps taken and challenges faced in ‘digitalization’ of education, as well as to discuss strategy options for achieving desired quality and accessibility of education.   

Carrying out reforms in education sector can be particularly challenging given the potential extent of their impact, and the complexity of stakeholders involved (ministries of education, labour, and finance, labour unions, employers, schools, etc.). At this online course we will discuss prospects for incentivizing interinstitutional coordination and cooperation in exchange of financial and non-financial data in policy making procedure as a way towards building ‘evaluation culture’ in public institutions. We will also hear about possible negotiation strategies that could support getting to an agreement between stakeholders, reconciling opposite interests, communicating reforms to the public, etc.  

Since this online course will be designed as partaking, the participants will be actively engaged in discussions and encouraged to share their country’s experiences and challenges encountered.

Who should attend

The online course is designed for public officials committed to furthering education systems in their country with innovative thinking, practical analytical tools and coordinated across-the-government actions. More precisely, the online course is designed for technical officials responsible for design, financial planning, evaluating and monitoring of education policies, working at:

  • Ministry of education as finance or policy analysts on planning and budgeting of education policies
  • Ministry of finance budget department as analysts of education sector budgets
  • Independent research institutes dealing with assessments of the education policy measures and other relevant analysis
  • other public institutions with a mandate in the education sector (such as parliamentary committees, schools, education quality institutes, state audit institutions, etc.).

Public officials from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey, will particularly benefit from attending this event. Officials from other CEF constituency countries and beyond are also welcome to apply.


The learning initiative will be delivered under the guidance of:

  • Igor Lukšič- Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Ljubljana, and former Minister of Education of Slovenia
  • Beatriz Pont - Senior Analyst, Policy Advice and Implementation, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD  
  • Pamela Dale - Regional Advisor, Social Policy and Economic Analysis, Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF
  • Hannah Kitchen- Education Policy Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD 
  • Caitlyn Guthrie- Education Policy Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD 
  • Tjaša Bartolj – Researcher, Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia
  • Tomáš Hellebrandt - Value for Money Unit, Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic 
  • Aljuš Pertinač – Public Policy Expert, Slovenia.

Practical information

  • Applications should be submitted no later than January 20, 2021 via this online application form
  • This course will be delivered on the CEF Online Learning Campus
  • To participate at this course basic information technology is needed (internet connection, and computer, tablet or smartphone)
  • The course will be held in English language 
  • Upon fulfillment of the required learning steps, you will receive a certificate of successful completion of this online course 
  • No fee will be charged.

For more information please contact Ms. Ivana Gašparac (+386 1 369 6136;


* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence



This learning initiative was supported by:

Funded by the European Union Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic Inštitut za ekonomska raziskovanja, Ljubljana