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Higher Education

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Higher Education in Romania

Ð'* General facts

Higher education means education beyond secondary school level, at university or college, usually in order to obtain a degree.

The first Romanian universities were established by Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Iasi (1860) and later in Bucharest (1864). In Transylvania, the Cluj University was set up in 1872 and in Bucovina, the University of Cernauti (1875). Nowadays, there are about 112 universities and colleges of higher education in Romania, both public and private. Among them, there are 54 state universities and colleges which receive funding from the central government, but also accredited private institutions can also compete for government funds.

Public higher education institutions are coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research, but university autonomy is fully guaranteed. The Ministry establishes the amount of state funding allocated to each institution, and the institutions may decide for themselves the internal allocation of the funds that are given. They have complete autonomy over their own resources and also have the right to charge fees on students. Internal institution sources include revenues from service and research activities, contribution from individuals and economic agencies and fees paid by students.

Private education is considered an alternative to public education and the institutions of private education, after being accredited, become part of the national educational system.

Ð'* Admission

Admission to higher education institutes is dependent on the student's performance in the entrance exam. However, one can sit in the entrance examination only if he or she is a high school graduate and also a baccalaureate diploma holder. But those high school graduates who in the last two school years got awards in the international school competitions, in arts or sporting competitions (European, world or Olympic) are registered in the university education system without having to sit in the entrance examination.

Each university has a certain number of places. A certain number of them are tax-free, which means that the scholar fees are entirely supported by the Government, but there are also tuition-fee places, for the students who got lower entrance marks than that of the last candidate that reached the tax-free places. The amount of the fees is established by the university senate.

Ð'* The structure of the academic year

The academic year commonly runs from 1st of October through June and is divided into semesters of approximately 14 weeks each. Students' holidays are given at Christmas and New Year (two weeks), between the two semesters (one week) and at Easter (a couple of days). National standards set the total class time per week at 24 to 28 hours.

Oral or written examinations take place at the end of each semester. A re-examination period is scheduled before the beginning of the new academic year.

Teaching methods within universities and colleges consist of lectures, seminars, student essays, research activities and others.

Ð'* Graduate and postgraduate studies

Higher education in Romania is organized in two forms: short-term study (3 years) and long-term study (4-6 years), both of them realized through day classes, evening classes or low-attendance classes.

Short-cycle higher education is organized in academic colleges that are part of academic institutions of long-term education and it includes the next fields: academic, technical, economic, medical, sports. Short-cycle higher education is ended with an examination and with obtaining a diploma that specifies the acquired specialization.

Long-cycle higher education includes the next fields: academic and pedagogical, technical, agricultural, economic, medical, pharmaceutical, judicial and artistic. The students and the graduates who choose a didactic career must participate at the activities of the didactic training department. Long-cycle higher education is finalized with a degree examination and with obtaining the status of bachelor in the attended specialization. Bachelors can attend the second specialization without an examination but they have to pay a tuition fee.

Postgraduate education ensures the specialization in a certain field or broadening and perfecting the qualification attested by the university degree. The entrance in post-academic education can be done by a contest - for Master studies, PhD studies and post-academic studies - or by request - for specialization

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