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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Higher education funding


3.Funding in education

3.2Higher education funding

Last update: 27 November 2023

According to the provisions of the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011), the public high education system is free, for the amount of students approved by the Government, and  liable to fee-paying withinthe limits of the Law.

The education in the higher education system is free of charge, within the limit of the student places allocated each year by the Government, the rest of the student places, also approved by Government Decision, being available by paying  tuition. The amount of the respective tuiton fee is set by the University Senate, in compliance with the legal provisions. Higher education institutions have autonomy in deciding tuition feeand have the obligation to inform all the interested people on this subject, including on the university site.

A person may benefit from financing from the budget for a single graduation (B.A. or B.Sc.) programme, for a single master’s degree programme, and for a single Ph.D. degree programme.

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

In the free public high education system there are fees for: the extention of the period of schooling provided by the law, admission, registrations, re-registrations, re-examinations, and other forms of evaluation which exceed the provisions of an institution’s  education plans. Also,other activities which are not included in the education plan, compliant to the methodology approved by the University Senate, are subject to be charged. 

The financing of the public high education system is ensured from public funds in keeping with the following demands:

  • to consider the high education system as being public responsibility and the overall education system as being a national priority

  • to assure higher education quality standards according to the European Higher Education Area for training human resources and personal development as citizens of a democratic society based on knowledge

  • to assure human resources professional development in accordance with labour market diversification

  • to assure the development of higher education and scientific research and artistic creation at leading universities to integrate the global scientific life.

The annual budget execution of higher education institutions is made public.

Public higher education funding can be realised on a contract basis between the Ministry of Education and each higher education institution, with the contribution of other ministries in the case of those higher education institutions that prepare professionals for the ministries concerned, and other sources, including loans and foreign aid.

All resources of financing public universities become their own income.

Public private and confessional higher education institutions can receive donations from home and abroad, in compliance with the legislation in force.


Public higher educational institutions operate as institutions financed with funds from the state budget, extra-budgetary revenues and other sources, in compliance with the law.

The revenues of such institutions are made of amounts of money allocated from the budget of the Ministry of Education, on a contractual basis, for the basing financing, complementary financing and supplementary financing, achieving investment objectives, funds allocated on a competitive basis for institutional development, for funds allocated on a competitive basis for inclusion, student scholarships and social protection, as well as from own revenues, interests, donations, sponsorship, and fees charged in compliance with the law, from Romanian or foreign natural persons and legal entities, as well as from other sources. Such revenues are used by higher educational institutions, under the terms of university autonomy, in order to achieve their objectives within the state policy on academic education and research.

Additional financing from public funds is granted by the Ministry of Education to encourage excellence for educational institutions and programmes, both for public universities, as well as private ones.

The Ministry of Education will provide basic funding for public universities through research grants based on the equivalent average cost per student, per study area, per study cycles, and per tuition language. Study grants will be allocated to priority areas that ensure sustainable development and a competitive society.

The basic funding is carried out on a multi-annual basis and is provided throughout an education cycle. Complementary funding is granted by the Ministry of Education through:

  • subsidies for accommodation and boarding

  • funds allocated based on priorities and specific norms for endowments and other costs of investments and refurbishments

  • funds allocated on competitive basis for academic scientific research.

University funding is based on an institutional agreement between the Ministry of Education and universities, as follows:

  • an institutional agreement for the basic financing, for the student scholarship and social protection fund, for the institutional development fund, as well as for the financing of the investment objectives

  • a complementary agreement for the financing of refurbishments, for endowments and other investment costs, as well as for subsidies for accommodation and boarding

  • the institutional and complementary agreements are periodically audited by the Ministry of Education and by CNFIS (the National Council for the Financing of Higher Education).

​The scholarships and the social protection funds are alloted in accordance with the number of full-time students sponsored from the state budget.

The funding for the B.A./B.Sc., master’s, and Ph.D. programmes in state higher education institutions is carried out by using a methodology drafted by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with CNFIS, methodology that subsequently is approved by order by the Minister of National Education.

Starting with the academic year 2015-2016, higher education institutions (HEIs) may establish colleges of post-secondary education that are funded from the state budget at the cost level pertaining to pre-university education.

Financial autonomy and control

Academic autonomy is granted by the Constitution. 

Academic freedom is granted by law. 

Higher education institutions are set up and function independently from any ideological, political or religious interferences.

Academic autonomy means that an academic community has a right to determine its own mission, institutional strategy, structure, activities, its own arrangements and functioning and how material and human resources are managed, in strict compliance with the laws in force.

Fundamental aspects of academic autonomy are set out in the University Charter, which is approved by the University Senate, strictly in accordance with the laws in force.

Academic autonomy is exercised only provided that public accountability is assumed.

Public accountability compels any public or private higher education institution:

  • to abide by the laws in force, its own charter and national and European policies in the field of higher education
  • to ensure a managerial efficiency and an efficient use of resources and, for public universities, the efficient spending of public funds in accordance with the institutional contract
  • to ensure transparency in all its decisions and activities in accordance with the laws in force.

Fees within public higher education

Higher education is free of charge for state funded students; however, the institutions may collect fees from these students for application and registration, and for the repetition of examinations.

The students' places financed from the state budget are allocated to the public higher education institutions through Ministerial Order.

At the same time, public higher education institutions are authorised to accept a number of students exceeding the number of placements financed from the state-budget, subject to students’ agreement to support their costs for the education. The Ministry of Education approves every year the exact number of fee-paying student places for each public higher education institution, based on the propositions of the university senates and according to the national standards for academic evaluation and accreditation.

The tuitions fees are established by the university senates according to the costs of the education provided.

According to the provisions of the Education Law, the Ministry of Education establishes the number of financed-places for post-university studies, while the universities senates establish autonomously the number of paid-places. In this case too, the tuition fees are established by the university senates according to the costs of the education provided.

Higher education institutions can request a registration fee from the candidates, according to the provisions of the law.

The registration fee is meant to cover the costs necessary to organise and proceed with the admission. The quantum of the registration fee is established by the university senates and certain exemption rules may be devised and applied. Students accommodated in university campuses have to partially cover the necessary costs. However, in a rather important number of cases the scholarships granted to the students partially or totally cover the accommodation costs.

Financial support for learners' families

No provision.

Financial support for learners

The forms of support for the teaching staff, students and researchers with outstanding performance include:

  • study or research grants at universities in the country or abroad, granted through competition.

  • grants for performing and completing research, including PhD thesis.

  • approval certain flexible educational routes, that allow speeding up university studies.

  • creating support instruments and mechanisms for their professional insertion in the country, so that they capitalize at a high level both on their native talent and on the skills acquired by training.

Students receive performance or merit scholarships, to encourage excellence, and social grants, to support low-income students. The minimum amount of social scholarships is proposed by CNFIS on an annual basis, by taking into account the fact that it must cover minimum food and accommodation. Universities may supplement the scholarship fund from own extra-budgetary funds.

According to the provisions of the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011), Art. 224, the Romanian State may grant scholarships for the support of Romanian citizens who study in neighbouring countries and of Romanian citizens who live abroad on a permanent basis, and who wish to study within Romanian public educational facilities and institutes.

The Romanian state shall grant yearly, by government decision, a number of scholarships for the tuition of foreign students. These scholarships shall be granted only to those universities and study programmes that meet the highest quality standards, whether public or private.

The students benefit from free health care and psychological assistance at the university medical centres and psychologists’, or state medical centres and hospitals, in compliance with the law.

During the academic year the students who are up to 26 years old benefit from a discount of 50% of the fare of local public transport, domestic transport by road, railway and ship. Orphan students or those coming from foster care benefit from free fare on the means of transport set by order of the Ministry of National Education.

Within the limit of the approved budget, the students benefit from a discount of 75% of the access to museums, concerts, theatre performances, opera, movies and other cultural and Sports events organized by public institutions, within the limit of the budgets. Romanian citizen students that study abroad with a scholarship granted by the Romanian state, benefit from free access to museums, concerts, theatre performances, opera, movies and other cultural and sports events organised by public institutions, which are performed in Romania.

Higher education institutions have the right to grant, in addition to the approved number of students to enroll, at least one place free of tuition to the graduates with a baccalaureate diploma coming from foster care, under the conditions set by the senate of the university.

Candidates coming from environments with high socioeconomic risk or socially marginalized – Roma people, high school graduates in the rural environment or cities with less than 10,000 inhabitants – may benefit from a number of guaranteed budgeted places, in compliance with the law.

Within the limit of their own financial resources public higher education institutions ensure meals, accommodation and transport costs for the intensive practical training of the students, for periods foreseen in the curricula, in case the practical training takes places outside of the respective university centre.

All the study diplomas issued by the university, as well as those attesting the student status (certificates, books, identification cards) are issued free of charge.

The Ministry of Education may grant yearly scholarships for university or postgraduate studies abroad, from funds set up for this purpose. These scholarships are granted following a competition organized at national level.

Students have to cover for the costs of the meals and accommodation provided within the universities campuses. Nevertheless, through the complementary funding, part of these costs is covered from the state budget.

Furthermore, students may receive scholarships on the basis of contracts signed with economic agents and other legal and natural persons, as well as study loans extended by banks according to the provisions of the law. In practice, the latter is at its beginning, and Romanian banks have not been too sensitive to existing requests so far.

All scholarships are subject to indexation according to the current inflation rate and, overall, the minimum quanta of students’ scholarships have to cover the accommodation and meal costs in the universities campuses.

Subject to the provisions of the law and the conditions established by the Ministry of Education and the university senates, a number of students attending pos-university studies benefit yearly of scholarships. In most cases these scholarships are granted based on competitions regulated by the Ministry of Education and the university senates.

Private education

The financing sources of private higher educational institutions and private higher confessional educational institutions include:

  • the amounts of money contributed by their founders.

  • tuition fee and other educational fees.

  • sponsorships, donations, grants, financing granted on a competitive basis, exploitation of the research, development and innovation sources, and other legal sources.

In the private higher education institutions, a tuition fee is charged. The amount of the respective fee is set by the Board of Directors, in compliance with the law.

Private and confessional higher education institutions can receive donations from home and abroad, in compliance with the legislation in force.

Private universities have their own assets, which they manage in compliance with the law. Private universities are holding ownership rights or other real rights they have over their assets, in the conditions provided by the law.