Romania

RegionCentral Europe
CapitalBucharest
LanguageRomanian
Population19,401,658
Expenditure on higher education2,3 %
Unemployment3,92 %
EuroUniversities in top 1000
EuroUniversities in top 2500
EuroUniversities in top 5004
EuroUniversities in top 100020
Students682,300
Foreigner students2,4 %
Enrollment rate in higher education49,2 %

Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. According to the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011) universities and other higher education institutions are autonomous and have the right to establish and implement their own development policies, within the general provisions of the in-force legislation. The Ministry of National Education coordinates the activity of the universities and other higher education institutions, complying with their autonomy. The university autonomy is correlated with the principle of personal and public accountability for the quality of the entire teaching and scientific research activity accomplished by the higher education institution.The university autonomy encompasses the domains of management, structuring and functioning of the higher education institutions, teaching and scientific research activities, administration and financing. From the financing point of view, the university autonomy is accomplished through the right to manage the funds from the state-budget and other sources, according to the provisions of the law and personal accountability. Public higher education is financed from the state budget based on financing contracts signed between the Ministry of National Education and the higher education institutions. The entire material basis of higher education is the property of and administrated by the higher education institutions.

In Romania the national education system has an open character. At the higher education level, the open character is ensured through the University Charter. The University Charter is adopted by the university senate and establishes the assembly of rights and obligations, as well as the norms that regulate the university community activity within each area.

Higher education is accomplished through universities, academies of study and post-university studies institutions. The mission of the higher education institutions is either education and research or only education. Specialisations and specialisations groups’ nomenclature are established by the Ministry of National Education in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family, the higher education institutions as well as other interested players. Higher education institutions usually include several faculties, university colleges – colegiu universitar, departments, chairs and units for scientific research, design and micro-production.

The enoolment quota financed from he state/local budget(s) for all education levels is established yearly through Decisions of the Government.

According to the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011), only high school graduates holding a diploma de bacalaureat can be admitted in higher education. The higher education institutions establish the admission methodology, according to the general criteria established by the Ministry of National Education. The selection and admission procedure can rely on: the average mark obtained by the candidates at the national exam – examenul de bacalaureat and at various subjects studied during high school, as well as the mark obtained at an entrance examination entirely organised by the higher education institution.

Higher education institutions are authorized to accept a number of students exceeding the number of placements financed from the state-budget, subject to students’ agreement to support the costs for the education provided (Law 441/2001).

All students benefit of free medical and psychological assistance in universities’ or other public medical and psychological units. Students also benefit throughout the entire year of 50% reduction of the cost for internal public transportation (except air-travel) as well as for entrances to museums, concerts, theatres, opera, movies and other cultural and sports events organised by public institutions. Orphaned students benefit of free internal public transportation (except air-travel). As for all education levels, scholarships and other forms of financial/material support are granted according to specific criteria.

Starting with 2005/06 academic year, all higher education institutions, private and public, are obliged by the 2004 Law to implement the new 3-cycle structure: BachelorMaster and Doctorate. Students enrolled in the first year in 2005/06 began their studies based on the 3-cycle structure.

Official regulations related to the new structure apply to all types of institutions (accredited or temporarily authorised), branches and fields of study, except the courses related to professions regulated at European Union level. Each cycle has its own admissions and graduation procedures.

Special norms concerning the study conditions applicable to regulated professions adopted at European level have been established within the Romanian higher education system. The first (Bachelor’s) cycle includes a minimum of 180 and a maximum of 240 transferable study credits equivalent to ECTS, and lasts three to four years, depending on the field and area of specialisation. The second Master includes a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 transferable study credits (in exceptional cases and depending on the length of the first cycle, the lower limit may be 60 transferable study credits), and lasts one to two years. Both cycles should enable the accumulation of at least 300 transferable study credits.

The in-force legislation consents to and provides the general framework for the establishment of private education institutions of all levels, including universities and other higher education institutions. In order to be recognised as part of the national education system, private education institutions have to be accredited through specific procedures established by the law. Establishment of public or private higher education institutions is possible only through dedicated laws, according to the higher education institutions accreditation and diploma recognition procedures. Diplomas and certificates emitted by the accredited private education institutions produce the same effects as the ones emitted by the public education institutions. Organizing bodies of private education institutions are entirely responsible for the administration and financing of the activities within the established legal framework.

The persons belonging to the national minorities have the right to study and be instructed in their mother tongue at all levels and forms of education as well as in all types of education – providing there is a sufficient demand. In consequence, study lines in Hungarian and German for students belonging to these national minorities are organised in several higher education institutions. Besides this, certain higher education institutions organise departments for initial teacher training for teaching the languages of national minorities in Pre-tertiary education. At the same time, the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011) states that learning of Romanian, as the official language, is compulsory for all Romanian citizens, irrespective of their nationality.

Bachelor

The Bachelor studies (Undergraduate studies), with a length that varies according to the field:

  • 6 semesters (3 years) for sciences, humanities, economic and social sciences, political sciences, etc.
  • 8 semesters (4 years) for engineering, technique
  • 12 semesters (6 years) for general medicine, dental medicine, veterinary medicine and architecture.

Branches of study

The reference domains and specialisations of study in higher education are established through a Government Decision (GD 493/2013).

Admission requirements

Admission to higher education for every cycle of academic studies – first degree (bachelor), master, and doctorate – is organised based on the admission methodology of each university, with the observance of the legislation in force.

For all cycles of academic studies, the number of places funded from the state budget is set by a Government Decision. Every public higher education institution is allocated by an Order of Minister a number of places funded from the state budget for which they can organise admission. Besides these places, public higher education institutions are authorised to admit a number of students who accept to pay tuition fees (Law 441/2001).

The applicants can apply for more specialisations or to several higher education institutions at the same time. But a successful applicant can attend only one specialisation funded from the state budget during the normal length of studies. Students from private accredited higher education institutions who are admitted for places funded from the state budget can benefit from the recognition of the studies they already completed in accordance with the provisions of the university senate and based on the transferable credits they have acquired. This provision is also valid for students from public higher education if they are admitted by an accredited private higher education institution. The graduates of a private accredited institution are entitled to pursue a second specialisation in a public higher education institution in compliance with the law and under the conditions established by the University Charter. 

For admission to first degree programmes, the admission to public and private higher education is organised for fields of study. This category of studies is associated with a number of study credits varying between 180 and 360. Admission is organised in one or two sessions. The periods of the admission sessions, as well as the admission tests, are established in the methodologies of faculties and are made public. The admission tests can be conducted in the Romanian language or in one of the national minority languages if the subjects tested were studied in one of these languages in high school, and also in an international language for studies in that language, with an obligatory test in linguistic competence.

Those who can apply for admission to first degree programmes are high school graduates with a baccalaureate diploma or an equivalent diploma. For the applicants who during their high school studies got a distinction in national school olympiads and school competitions recognised by the Ministry of National Education or in international competitions, higher education institutions can provide, in their methodologies and in compliance with the legislation in force, special admission requirements, other than enrolment without going through an admission competition, for places funded from the state budget and for the courses in two specialisations. An applicant can benefit from this provision only once, in compliance with the legislation in force.

Curriculum

Curricula are established autonomously by the higher education institutions, according to the national strategies for higher education development and the national academic standards. According to the provisions of the law regarding higher education institutions accreditation and diploma recognition, the higher education curricula have to include compulsory, optional and facultative subjects. Compulsory and optional subjects belong to any of the following categories: fundamental, profile/specialisation and complementary subjects.

For each reference domain and specialisation of study recognized by the law (GD 493/2013), the higher education institutions establish the educational plan. The educational plan is a complex document comprising duration of studies, subjects by type and year of study, types of activities, number of allocated periods by subject and activity, examinations, and number of credits allocated, etc.

The structure and content of the educational plan regarding subjects, activities and number of periods has to comply with the national academic standards. The specific standards provide the indicative list of fundamental, profile/specialisation and complementary subjects and the ranges of the weights of the subjects in the each specialisation’s curriculum. Depending on the specialisation of studies, the weights of the different types of subjects in the total number of periods may range between 15% and 30% for fundamental subjects, between 50% and as high as 80% for profile and/or specialisation subjects, and between 5% and 10% for complementary subjects. Most of the education and training programme is compulsory (at least 60% of the time, but can be as high as 90% for certain specialisations); optional subjects can also contribute to the study credits, but facultative subjects usually do not. Regarding the activities, the national standards establish for each reference domain/specialisation the ration of theoretical activities (courses) and practical ones (seminars, laboratories, practical training, project work, etc.). For most specialisation this ration is 1:1 with a maximum of 20% deviation in either sense; however, for certain specialisations, the time allocated to the practical activities has to be significantly larger than for the theoretical ones (e.g. for medicine 1:2).

The final curricula for each subject are elaborated by the higher education institutions departments according to these specific standards, analysed by the departments’ councils, and approved by university senates. Foreign languages courses are compulsory regardless of the domain or specialisation attended. A number of higher education institutions provide complete tuition in a foreign language for certain specialisations.

The persons belonging to the national minorities have the right to study and be instructed in their mother tongue at all levels and forms of education as well as in all types of education – providing there is a sufficient demand. In consequence, study lines in Hungarian and German for students belonging to these national minorities are organised in several higher education institutions. Besides this, certain higher education institutions organise departments for initial teacher training for teaching the languages of national minorities in Pre-tertiary education. At the same time, the Law Education states that learning of Romanian, as the official language, is compulsory for all Romanian citizens, irrespective of their nationality.

Teaching methods

The teaching-learning activities have to comply in what regards fundamental types and ratios with the national academic standards for each reference domain and specialisation.The teaching-learning activities for most academic subjects include lectures (theoretical courses), seminars, laboratory classes, practical activities and projects preparation and presentation. Lectures, usually held to a large number of students, provide the basic knowledge in a specific field of study. Seminars are devoted to a thorough study of the themes approached in lectures and require an active participation of the students. Laboratory classes, taught to small groups of students, are devoted to research activities and practical training under the supervision of a tutor. For certain specialisations practical activities – in the form of field work, scientific research, teaching practice, etc. – are required. Teachers are free to choose their own teaching methods. During all the teaching-learning activities, according to the specificity of the specialisation and subject, professors use a variety of teaching methods, include:

  • Expository methods (description, explanation, etc.) and conversational methods (conversation, heuristic conversation, questioning on a special subject, etc.) – mostly during lectures.
  • Exploratory learning methods such as direct exploration of objects and phenomena (systematic and independent observation, experiments, practical work, etc.) and indirect exploration (problem solving, demonstration through pictures, films, etc.) – mostly during seminars, laboratory classes and practical activities.
  • Project preparation and presentation.

The teaching aids used in higher education depend on the specialisation and subject. Teaching through ICT is used on an extensive scale for modelling, designing, calculating, presentations, information acquisition, communication, etc. In higher education institutions as well as in numerous universities campuses students have full-time free of charge access to public computers connected to Internet.

Progression of students

The organization of the higher education process using the transferable credit system has begun during the 1998/1999 academic year. This mode of organization makes the use of an analytical evaluation system of the time and effort necessary to carry on activities composing the education process possible. Moreover, it has advantages both for the mode of organization and its management and for its validation with the education process in other universities in Romania and abroad. The total number of credits associated to a higher education programme is set and is of 180, 240, 300 or 360 credits – corresponding to duration of studies full time respectively (one year more for evening courses, part-time or distance education). Thus, a year of day course study is the equivalent of an average of 60 credits. The maximum number of transferable credits in the ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) is set by the council of each faculty. If a student follows a study period in other higher education institutions (domestic and/or abroad), according to the regulations set by each institution, the credits obtained will be recognized.

Within the university autonomy, each higher education institution establishes its own promotion requirements, according to the general provisions of the law and the national standards for higher education. Students are granted the possibility to try to pass the examination for a given subject three times: regular examination, second examination and re-examination. If failing both regular and second examination (the latter performed in a dedicated session), the student may be allowed to enroll in the next year of study and sit the examination again, subject to the rector’s approval. Nevertheless, the deadline for the third examination (the re-examination) is the first regular session of the next academic year. If failing for the third time, the student has to attend once more all the teaching-learning activities related to the respective subject.

Student transfer requirements are regulated by the university senates of the higher education institutions. Usually the transfer may take place at the beginning of the academic year (under exceptional circumstances it may occur at the beginning of the second semester) and is allowed between related reference domains/specialisations. The transfer is a multiple step process, involving a series of formal approvals from the deans and the rectors of the higher education institutions involved. The receiving higher education institution has to issue a registration decision for the new student, and to control if the credits are transferable.

Employability

In order to support educational and vocational guidance of the students and to facilitate their insertion on the labour market, in each higher education institution were established departments for career advice and employment guidance. Keeping a close link with the labour market, the departments have the following attributions:

  • To provide full information on the study programmes offered by the respective higher education institution.
  • To offer career and employment advice.
  • To ensure guidance to students willing to chose or change their vocational career.
  • To encourage graduates to affiliate into graduates’ associations meant to support higher education institutions and students’ interests in the relationship with firms, cultural communities and administrative bodies, at local and national level as well.
  • To carry out prognosis studies on the labour market, and provide information about companies needing and recruiting qualified personnel trained in higher education institutions.
  • To provide counselling, and support for the vocational training of students by maintaining a close contact with economic units.

The departments can also involve specialised teaching staff, assistant deans, students’ associations and non-profit vocational organizations in their actions and activities. A director appointed by the university’s rector heads the department.

Student assessment

Students assessment in higher education is accomplished through periodic (summative) examinations organised for each subject in the curricula. Assessments are performed in the form of oral questioning, written papers and practical examinations as well as, in some cases, project presentations. The evaluation criteria for the academic and professional performances of the students are established by the higher education institutions according to the university autonomy. The concrete requirements and evaluation criteria for each subject are regulated in the introductory section of each subject. Evaluations of the students’ performances during higher education are materialized for each subject in marks on a 10-level scale. The examination of the students for each subject is performed by a commission comprising the professor lecturing on the given subject assisted by at least one other specialist from the same chair/department. After each examination the mark assigned to the student is registered in the students’ personal indexes and the official records of the institution.

Higher education institutions organise two regular examination sessions for the students during each academic year – usually held in February and May-June respectively – and at least one second examination session in autumn, before the beginning of the academic year. The second examination sessions are organised for the students that did not attain or failed one or more subjects’ examinations during the regular examination sessions. Students are granted the possibility to try to pass the examination for a given subject (regular examination, second examination and re-examination) for three times; if failed each time, the student has to attend once more all the teaching-learning activities related to the respective subject. According to the provisions of the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011), the higher education institutions may establish certain fees for the second examinations and re-examinations in order to cover for the supplementary costs.

Certification

Finalisation of the long-term higher education is accomplished through an exam – examen de licenţă organised based on the general criteria established by the The Ministry of National Education. The content of the exams and the specific criteria are established by the university senates.

Graduates passing the examenul de licenţă receive the title Licenţiat in the corresponding profile and specialisation, attested through a diploma issued by the higher education institution organizing the exam. Long-term higher education studies lasting for more than 4 years are finalised through the diploma exam, as the case may be. Graduates passing the diploma exam receive the title diplomat in the corresponding specialisation, according to the international standards, attested through a diploma issued by the higher education institution organizing the exam.

Graduates that do not pass the examenul de licenţă or the diploma exam can receive, upon request, a long-term higher education certificate – certificat de studii universitare de lungă durată and a copy of the matriculation fiche listing all the subjects and the corresponding marks. Students or graduates wanting to pursue a teaching career have the obligation to attend and pass the courses organised by the Teacher Training Department. Passing of these specific courses is attested through a graduation certificate.

For higher education, the final exams have to be taken before an exam commission established for each specialisation. The exam commissions are established through decision of the rector of the higher education institution organizing the exams, based on the propositions of the faculty, college or department councils. The exam commission has to comprise at least three members with doctorate degrees and the chair has to be a professor or a lecturer.

The Diploma Supplement was introduced on the basis of the Ministerial Order adopted in April 2000. At present it is issued automatically, free of charge, by all institutions and for all Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes, in Romanian and English.

Second Cycle Programmes

The master studies correspond, usually, to a number of credits between 90 (60 by exception) and 120, a master semester corresponding to a number of 30 study credits. The total length of the 1st cycle (undergraduate studies) and 2nd cycle (master studies) has to correspond to at least 300 transferable study credits.

Branches of study

Master-degree studies aim at extending competences into certain areas of specialisation. Master-degree studies take 2-4 semesters to complete, are finalized by a dissertation and recognised through a Diploma de Master (Master’s Diploma).

Admission requirements

Admission to higher education for every cycle of academic studies – first degree (bachelor), master, and doctorate – is organised in accordance with the admission methodology of each university, with the observance of the legislation in force.

For all cycles of academic studies, the number of places funded from the state budget is set by a Government Decision. Every public higher education institution is allocated by an Order of Minister a number of places funded from the state budget for which they can organise admission. Besides these places, public higher education institutions are authorised to admit a number of students who accept to pay tuition fees (Law 441/2001). The Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research  approves each year the exact number of places at every higher education institution for which students pay a tuition fee based on the proposals of the university senates and in compliance with the academic standards for evaluation and accreditation. The tuition fees are established by the senates.

Curriculum

Curricula are established autonomously by the higher education institutions, according to the national strategies for higher education development and the national academic standards. According to the provisions of the law regarding higher education institutions accreditation and diploma recognition, the higher education curricula have to include compulsory, optional and facultative subjects. Compulsory and optional subjects belong to any of the following categories: fundamental, profile/specialisation and complementary subjects.

For each reference domain and specialisation of study recognized by the law, the higher education institutions establish educational plan. The educational plan is a complex document comprising duration of studies, subjects by type and year of study, types of activities, number of allocated periods by subject and activity, examinations, and number of credits allocated, etc.The structure and content of the educational plan regarding subjects, activities and number of periods has to comply with the national academic standards. The final curricula for each subject are elaborated by the higher education institutions departments according to these specific standards, analysed by the departments’ councils, and approved by university senates. A number of higher education institutions provide complete tuition in a foreign language for certain specialisations.

As a rule, for all education levels, education and training is provided in Romanian. The persons belonging to the national minorities have the right to study and be instructed in their mother tongue at all levels and forms of education as well as in all types of education – providing there is a sufficient demand. In consequence, study lines in Hungarian and German for students belonging to these national minorities are organised in several higher education institutions. At the same time, the Education Law states that learning of Romanian, as the official language, is compulsory for all Romanian citizens, irrespective of their nationality.

Teaching methods

The teaching-learning activities have to comply with the national academic standards for each reference domain and specialisation.The teaching-learning activities for most academic subjects include lectures (theoretical courses), seminars, laboratory classes, practical activities and projects Lectures, usually delivered to a large number of students, provide the basic knowledge in a specific field of study. Seminars are devoted to a thorough study of the themes approached in lectures and require an active participation of the students. Laboratory classes, taught to small groups of students, are devoted to research activities and practical training under the supervision of a tutor. For certain specialisations practical activities – in the form of field work, scientific research, teaching practice, etc. – are required. Teachers are free to choose their own teaching methods. During all the teaching-learning activities, according to the specificity of the specialisation and subject, professors use a variety of teaching methods that may include:

  • Expository methods (description, explanation, etc.) and conversational methods (conversation, heuristic conversation, questioning on a special subject, etc.) – mostly during lectures.
  • Exploratory learning methods such as direct exploration of objects and phenomena (systematic and independent observation, experiments, practical work, etc.) and indirect exploration (problem solving, demonstration through pictures, films, etc.) – mostly during seminars, laboratory classes and practical activities.
  • Project preparation and presentation.

The teaching aids used in higher education depend on the specialisation and subject. Teaching through ICT is used on an extensive scale for modelling, designing, calculating, presentations, information acquisition, communication, etc. In higher education institutions as well as in numerous universities campuses students have full-time free of charge access to public computers connected to Internet.

Progression of students

The organisation of the higher education process using the transferable credit system has begun during the 1998/1999 academic year. This mode of organisation makes possible the use of an analytical evaluation system that assesses the time and effort necessary to carry on the activities composing the education process. Moreover, it has advantages both for the mode of organization and its management and for its validation in other universities in Romania and abroad. Thus, a year of study as a full-time student is the equivalent to an average of 60 credits. The maximum number of transferable credits in the ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) is set by the council of each faculty. If a student attends a study period in other higher education institutions (domestic and/or abroad), according to the regulations set by each institution, the credits obtained will be recognized.

Within the university autonomy, each higher education institution establishes its own promotion requirements, according to the general provisions of the law and the national standards for higher education. Students are granted the possibility to try to pass the examination for a given subject three times: regular examination, second examination and re-examination. If failing both regular and second examination (the latter performed in a dedicated session), the student may be allowed to enroll in the next year of study and sit the examination again, subject to the rector’s approval. Nevertheless, the deadline for the third examination (the re-examination) is the first regular session of the next academic year. If failing for the third time, the student has to attend once more all the teaching-learning activities related to the respective subject.

Promotion from one year of study to the next one is subject to the overall performance of the students, as assessed through the results of the examinations held in the given year of study. Students have to pass a certain percentage of the total number of examinations of a given year of study and to acquire a certain number of credits, set by the HEI internal regulations, before being allowed to enroll for the next academic year. Students that do not accomplish the minimum percentage of passed examinations established by the higher education institution are declared repeaters and have to repeat the corresponding year of study. However, professors may accept recognition of the examinations previously passed with a certain minimum mark. At the end, each student, in order to be eligible to sit for their final examination and dissertation, must have acquired a total of 180 credits corresponding to their 3-year programme, 60 credits for every academic year respectively. Certain programmes, such as those in the fields of engineering, law and theology, as well as those that are EU regulated require a 4-year period of studies and a total of 240 credits. Certain architecture programmes and the veterinary and human medicine programmes require a total of 360 credits whereas pharmacy studies, for example, require 300 credits.

Employability

In order to support educational and vocational guidance of the students and to facilitate their insertion on the labour market, in each higher education institution were established departments for career advice and employment guidance. Keeping a close link with the labour market, the departments have the following attributions:

  • To provide full information on the study programmes offered by the respective higher education institution.
  • To offer career and employment advice.
  • To ensure guidance to students willing to chose or change their vocational career.
  • To encourage graduates to affiliate into graduates’ associations meant to support higher education institutions and students’ interests in the relationship with firms, cultural communities and administrative bodies, at local and national level as well.
  • To carry out prognosis studies on the labour market, and provide information about companies needing and recruiting qualified personnel trained in higher education institutions.
  • To provide counselling, and support for the vocational training of students by maintaining a close contact with economic units.

The departments can also involve specialised teaching staff, assistant deans, students’ associations and non-profit vocational organizations in their actions and activities. A director appointed by the university’s rector heads the department.

Student assessment

Students assessment in higher education is accomplished through periodic (summative) examinations organised for each subject in the curricula. Assessments are performed in the form of oral questioning, written papers and practical examinations as well as, in some cases, project presentations. The evaluation criteria for the academic and professional performances of the students are established by the higher education institutions according to the university autonomy. The concrete requirements and evaluation criteria for each subject are regulated by the curricula (in the introductory section of each subject). Evaluations of the students’ performances during higher education are materialized for each subject in marks on a 10-level scale, 5 representing the minimum passing mark. The examination of the students for each subject is performed by a commission comprising the professor lecturing on the given subject assisted by at least one other specialist from the same chair/department. After each examination the mark assigned to the student is registered in the students’ personal indexes and the official records of the institution.

As a rule,higher education institutions organise two regular examination sessions for the students during each academic year – usually held in February and May-June respectively – and at least one second examination session in autumn, before the beginning of the academic year. The second examination sessions are organised for the students that did not attain or failed one or more examinations during the regular examination sessions. Students are granted the possibility to try to pass the examination for a given subject (regular examination, second examination and re-examination) for three times; if failed each time, the student has to attend once more all the teaching-learning activities related to the respective subject. According to the provisions of the Education Law (Law 1/2011), higher education institutions may establish certain fees for the second examinations and re-examinations in order to cover for the supplementary costs.

In the end, a student’s academic success depends on his/her performance in summational exams and continuous evaluation during seminars and workshops.

Certification

Master-degree studies are finalised through a dissertation exam during which the candidates have to present a dissertation in the specialisation of study. The minimum passing mark for the dissertation exam is 6.00. Graduation is attested through a Master studies diploma issued by the higher education institution. For higher education, the final exams have to be taken before an exam commission established for each specialisation. The exam commissions are established through decision of the rector of the higher education institution organizing the exams, based on the propositions of the faculty, college or department councils. The exam commission has to comprise at least three members with doctorate degrees and the chair has to be a professor or a lecturer.

Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

A Doctoral Diploma is the highest academic degree awarded in all domains after 3-4 (by exception even 5) years of study and original research. It follows the first academic degree (or master’s degree) and requires the passing of examinations and the submission of an original thesis. The holder of a doctoral diploma is granted the Ph.D. title in the respective field of science or arts.

According the Education Law no 1/2011, the PhD represents the third cycle of higher education and allows for a qualification of level 8 within EQF/CEC and within the National Qualification Framework. It takes place based on a Code of PhD Education, approved by government decision.

Organisation of doctoral studies

According to the legislation, the doctoral studies are organised in fundamental domains of sciences and arts. In sciences the doctoral studies are organised in the following domains: exact sciences, natural sciences, humanistic sciences, social and political sciences, sciences of education, economy sciences, juridical sciences, agriculture and forestry sciences, medical sciences, architecture and urbanism, engineering sciences, theology and military sciences. In arts the doctoral studies are organised in the following domains: visual arts, music, theatre, cinematography, ballet and physical education and sport. Doctoral studies are finalised with a doctoral thesis and are recognised through a diploma de doctor.

According the Education Law no 1/2011, the PhD programmes can normally be organised as full-time programmes and, by exception, as part-time programmes. 

The doctoral studies comprise the following: 

  • High general training within a doctoral school, usually in the form of lectures and workshops.
  • A preparation plan determined by the doctoral candidate and his/her supervisor, and, subsequently approved by the council of the department, respectively by the scientific council of the research institute.
  • Preparation and elaboration of the doctoral thesis. The title and the subject of the thesis are approved by the council of the department, respectively by the scientific council of the research institute; the student is allowed to change the subject once.
  • Public presentation of the doctoral thesis.

The structure of the training programme consists of theoretical and practical activities for the specific field of the doctoral studies.

According the Education Law no 1/2011, the PhD educational programs may be organized by accredited or temporarily authorized Doctorate Organizing Universities. Doctorate Organizing Universities may be organized by consortiums or partnerships, or by consortiums or partnerships legally concluded between a university or a university consortium and research and development entities. Universities, or partnerships with consortiums organizing one or several accredited or temporarily approved Doctorate Organizing Universities represent Doctorate Organizing Universities (IOSUD), recognized as such by the Ministry of National Education, based on the accreditation or temporary authorization and periodic evaluation.

The Romanian Academy may establish the Doctorate Organizing School of the Romanian Academy, in compliance with the provisions of this law on the authorization, accreditation and operation as higher educational institution. The Doctorate Organizing School of the Romanian Academy may be IOSUD and may organize Ph.D. degree programmes.

Each Doctorate Organizing School (or simply Doctoral School) is assessed individually, for each area, for accreditation. The assessment of the Doctorate Organizing School is made according to its performance and  the institutional capacity of IOSUD to which the Doctorate Organizing School belongs. The assessment of the Doctorate Organizing Schools is made by ARACIS or by another national or foreign agency for academic quality assurance, based on the CNCS reports as to the quality of the research and on the CNATDCU reports on the quality of the human resources. The criteria system and the assessment methodology are set by order of the Ministry of National Education, based on joint proposals of ARACIS, CNCS and CNATDCU. Each Doctorate Organizing School is assessed periodically, every 5 years.

According the Education Law no 1/2011, PhD programmes are of two types:

  • scientific PhDwhich has as final result the production of original scientific knowledge, relevant at international level, based on scientific methods. The scientific PhD is an essential condition for a career as a researcher or professor in the higher education system.
  • professional PhDin arts and sports, which has as final result the production of original scientific knowledge based on scientific methods and systematic reflection, on artistic creation or on sports performance at national and international high level and which may represent a basis for the professional career in higher education and research in arts and sports.

The curriculum and the research program are decided by the Ph.D. tutore/supervisor and by the doctoral school.

Admission requirements

According to the Education Law no 1/2011, the Ministry of National Education yearly develops a  framework methodology for the organisation of the admission in the Romanian public and private educational institutions on an annual basis.Each higher educational institution elaborates and applies its own regulations for the organization of the educational programmes it provides.

Any candidate from the member states of the European Union, from the European Economic Space and from the Swiss Confederation may take the admission exam for a public, private or confessional higher education for each educational cycle and programme, in the same conditions provided by law for  Romanian citizens, including as far as the tuition is concerned.

According to the legal provisions in force higher education institutions may charge candidates with registration fees for the organisation and execution of the admission, in the quantum approved by each university senate. In their own methodologies, university senates may decide upon fee exemption or reduction.

A person may benefit from financing from the budget for a single graduation programme, for a single master’s degree programme, and for a singer Ph.D. degree programme.

Only the graduates of the master’s degree programs or equivalent studies have the right to participate to the admission to PhD programs.

Status of doctoral students/ candidates

The person admitted to a bachelor, master or PhD educational programme is a student, doctoral student respectively, during their entire registration in the programme in question, from the registration moment and to the finalization of their studies, less the periods when their studies are interrupted.

Supervision arrangements

In the context of the university mobility policies, IOSUD may employ, on a contractual basis, specialists from abroad who have the legal right to be tutors.

The competence of PhD mentor/tutor/supervisor is granted by order of the Ministry of National Education, at the proposal, of CNATDCU for granting the competence certificate in compliance with the standards and proce dures developed by the Ministry of National Education. These standards are set in accordance with the evaluation criteria relevant at international level, proposed by CNATDCU and approved by order of the Ministry of National Education. The minimal standards for the acceptance of the competence certificate file by the CNATDCU are not dependent upon the didactic position and are identical to the standards for granting the professor title.

In order to supervise PhD studies, the teaching and research staff who have obtained such right must conclude a labour contract with a IOSUD or another IOSUD-member institution and must be a member of a PhD organizing school. The competent teaching and research staff and the scientific researchers who have the competence to become Ph.D tutors become PhD tutors after they have beenauthorized in this respect.

Employability

According the Education Law no 1/2011, PhD students are employed by IOSUD or by any of the IOSUD members as research assistants or assistant professors, on a definite period.

During their entire activity, the student attending full-time programmes benefit from the acknowledgement of their study years as specialised work experience and also from free medical care, without paying the contribution to the social insurance, unemployment, health and work accident and occupational diseases insurances.

The PhD student may perform teaching activities, in compliance with the education services agreement, in the limit of 4-6 normal classes/week. The teaching activities that exceed this level will be paid according to the legislation in force, falling under the Labour Code, and requiring the observance of the rights and obligations of an employee and the payment of contributions due by law to the social insurance, unemployment, health and work accident and occupational diseases insurances.

According to the pension law, the PhD education is an assimilated period, and is taken into consideration when deciding the contribution rate, except for the case in which the  student registers revenues for which, during this time, he/she is paying contributions to the social insurances.

Assessment

The examinations are performed by an Examination Commission. Students can advance in their education and training programme if obtaining the minimum mark of good in examinations and a pass qualification for the research papers/creative works. If they fail one examination or if one research paper is not accepted, they may sit for the examination once more, or may defend their research paper/creative work again.

Certification

The PhD thesis is drafted in compliance with the requirements decided by the IOSUD in its PhD regulation and in compliance with the regulations of the national Code for the PhD University Studies.

Doctoral studies are finalised through a thesis publicly defended and evaluated by a commission of specialists approved by the university senate. The commission comprises a chair, the Director of the doctoral programme and three official reviewers, specialists with outstanding scientific activity holding a diploma de doctor in the domain (professors, lecturers, academicians, scientific researchers of rank I – from the country or abroad) of which at least two do not work in the respective IOD. The members of the commission produce review papers containing general and analytical assessment remarks, and their conclusion on the academic value of the thesis, expressing their agreement or disagreement upon the awarding of the diploma de doctor.

The PhD thesis is defended in a public meeting before the PhD commission, after the positive evaluation of all the referees. The defence of the PhD thesis may take place in the presence of at least 4 of the 5 members of the commission, with the mandatory participation of the commission’s president and PhD mentor. The public defence must include a session of questions by the members of the PhD commission and the public.

Based on the public presentation of the PhD thesis and of the official referees’ reports, the PhD commission evaluates and deliberates upon the grade that the thesis receives. The grades are: Excellent, Very good, Good, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. Excellent is usually granted for maximum 15% of the candidates who acquire the PhD title in a certain IOSUD, in the course of an academic year.

If the PhD student has observed the requirements provided in the scientific research programme and the grade of the PhD thesis is Very good, Good or Satisfactory the PhD commission proposes to award the PhD title, proposal that is submitted to CNATDCU for validation. Following the evaluation of the file, CNATDCU, proposes to the Ministry of National Education to grant or to not to grant the PhD title.

If the grade is Unsatisfactory, the PhD commission will identify the content elements that must be remade or completed from the thesis and will request a new public defence. The second defence of the PhD thesis takes place before the same PhD commission, as in the case of the first defence. If, following the second public defence, the PhD thesis is graded Unsatisfactory, the PhD title is not granted, and the student shall be expelled.

The PhD title is granted by an order of the Ministry of National Education, after the validation of the thesis by CNATDCU.

Organisational variation

According the Education Law no 1/2011, the PhD education may take place under a co-tutorship, in which case a studentcarries out his/her activity under the simultaneous guidance of a tutor in Romania and another one in a different country, or a under the guidance of two tutors from different universities in Romania, based on a written agreement between the institutions involved. PhD education under a cotutorship may also be organised if the PhD mentors are from the same IOSUD, but are specialised in different fields of study, or if one of the PhD mentors has reached the retirement age, in compliance with the university Charter.

Mobility and Internationalisation

Romania participates at various cooperation programmes and bilateral and multilateral initiatives in the area of education and professional development – organized based on the international conventions in the field and on the Romanian legislation. These programmes and initiatives promote the exchange of good practices, the harmonization of legislation, the joint coordination of the education policies and strategies, the curriculum, the institutional evaluation and development, the teacher training, etc. The direct exchange of teachers, researchers, students and pupils is considered a key element in the development of multicultural awareness and cultural dialogue.

Focusing on the development of the quality of education and on the international dimension of the pre-university and higher education, Romania participates at the European Union programmes in the area of education and professional development. The main purpose is the development of the European dimension of education, the encouragement of mobility and the facilitation of direct cooperation between the education institutions.

The Ministry of National Education has concluded a series of international cooperation agreements with various states, promoting the exchanges of good practices, the harmonization of legislative frameworks, the coordination of educational policies and strategies, in the area of curriculum elaboration, institutional development, teacher evaluation, teacher training. The direct exchanges of teachers, specialists, researchers, students and pupils are basic elements of the development of multiculturalism and cultural dialogue.

The cooperation programmes and the international initiatives in the field of education and professional development are coordinated at national level by the Ministry of National Education through specialized structures and national agencies:

The European Union programmes in the field of education and professional development are coordinated locally by the school inspectorates and by the higher education institutions.

The internationalization of the education is a process with two main related components:

  • internationalization at home
  • internationalization abroad.

The internationalization at home consists in strategies and approaches for developing intercultural skills and understandings of the global context, and the internationalization abroad or overseas mainly refers to the cross-boundary mobility of the students, the teaching staff, the researchers and the projects initiated by institutions from various countries.

The higher education institutions are encouraged to develop supplementary mobility options, such as the virtual mobility or to allow the immobile students to have an international experience at home.

Another practical manifestation of the concept of internationalization at home is the presence of foreign experts for evaluation activities in the higher education institutions and in various bodies, councils and committees for the evaluation activities represents an opportunity for the higher education institutions to share experience and added value.

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.