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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.1Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

 The teaching profession in Romania is a profession regulated by law. Consequently, for a given educational level, teachers work under similar conditions across the whole country and variations from one job to another are rather minor.

According to the National Education Law no.1/2011 (art.236 ,alin. 1), with subsequent amendments, the initial training for teaching positions in preuniversity education includes:

  1. initial training, theoretical, in specialty, achieved in universities, within programs accredited under the law

  2. teaching (didactic) master lasting two years or  training within the programs of psycho-pedagogical education of level I and II realized by the specialized departments within the higher education institutions.

  3. practical training lasting one school year, performed in a school under the supervision of a mentor teacher. 

According to Order No. 3850/2017 of May 2, 2017 for the approval of the Framework Methodology for organizing the training programs psycho-pedagogy within the institutions of higher education accredited to certify the competences for the teaching profession, (art. 1): In the accredited higher education institutions, certification competences for the teaching profession can be obtained at two levels, respectively:

 a) level I (initial) which gives the university graduates the right to hold didactic positions in preschool, primary and lower secondary education, provided that they accumulate a minimum of 30 transferable credits from the psycho-pedagogical training program.

 b) level II (deepening) which gives the graduates of university studies the right to occupy teaching positions in high school/upper secondary and post-secondary education, with the cumulative satisfaction of two conditions:

(i) accumulation of a minimum of 60 transferable credits from the psycho-pedagogical training program obtained by combining the 30 credits from level I with the 30 credits from level II;

(ii) graduation of a master's program in the field of the bachelor's degree diploma.

Except from the provisions mentioned above:

- the training of the personnel from the pre-preschool education (0-3 years) for the function of educator-child-farmer, is realized through the pedagogical high schools or of an equivalent school, with the specialization corresponding to each didactic function;

- training of pre-school personnel - graduation with a bachelor's degree of specialization «Pedagogy of primary and pre-school education» or graduation with a diploma of pedagogical high school with «educators» and «educator / teacher» specialties or of the university college of teachers or other equivalent schools and graduation of a higher education institution with a bachelor's degree;

Currently, in pre-school and primary education, there are teachers who have completed the following routes of initial training:

  • Pedagogical high school (lasting 4-5 years)

  • Post secondary school (lasting 2 years)

  • Pedagogical Institute (lasting 3 years)

  • Pedagogical University College (lasting 3 years)

  • Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences – Preschool and Primary Education Pedagogy specialization (lasting 3 years).

The initial, theoretical, in specialty and psycho-pedagogical training programs are periodically accredited and evaluated by the Ministry of National Education, through ARACIS or other authorized bodies, according to the law.

Registration for the practical training stage within the initial training is conditioned by achieving the bachelor's degree and the teaching (didactic) master degree.

Students and university graduates who choose the teaching profession are required to graduate a teaching master lasting 2 years.

Students who attend teaching master courses accredited by the Ministry of Education and Research in a public institution may benefit of scholarships funded from the public budget.

In order to achieve the practical training within the teaching master, a permanent network of schools is created, based on framework agreements signed between units/educational institutions that provide initial training and school inspectorates, under conditions determined by order of the Minister of Education.

Practical training within the teaching master may take place under the form of a stage period abroad within an European Union program - a dedicated component for initial teacher training - a period certified through the Europass Mobility document.

The study programs of the teaching (didactic) master degree are developed based on professional standards for teaching positions, approved by the Ministry of Education and Research and they are accredited under the law.

Occupying of a teaching position for the practical training period lasting one school year is done by: 

  • contest on vacant/reserved positions

  • appointment, by the County/Bucharest School Inspectorate, on positions remained vacant following the contest.

People in the practical training period lasting one school year are applied all the legislation in force, accordingly to their teaching position temporarily employed on.

Only persons who fulfil the above conditions are considered qualified for the concerned teaching positions.

In special circumstances, the teaching positions in preuniversity education can be occupied for limited periods of time by unqualified personnel. 

Institutions, level and models of training

The higher education mission is to generate and transfer knowledge to society through: 

  • initial and continuous training at university level, in order of personal development, of individual professional insertion and of satisfying the need of competence in socio-economic environment

  • scientific research, development, innovation and technology transfer, by individual and collective creation, in sciences, engineering, arts, letters, by ensuring the performance and the physical and sports development, as well as the valorisation and dissemination of their results.

The Ministry of Education and Research is a public authority empowered to track and control the application and compliance of legal regulations in the field of higher education and to apply sanctions, if appropriate. The Ministry of Education and Research also controls the way the universities exercise their autonomy, they assume their mission and they exercise their public responsibility.

The university autonomy is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Academic freedom is guaranteed by law.

Higher education institutions are organized and function independently of any ideological, political or religious interferences. 

The university autonomy entitles the academic community to establish its own mission, institutional strategy, structure, activities, its own organization and functioning, human and material resources management, in strict compliance with the legislation in force. The fundamental aspects of the university autonomy are expressed in the University Charter, approved by the university senate, in strict accordance with the legislation in force.

To achieve the objectives arising from its mission, any institution of higher education may include the following organizational components:

  • faculties

  • departments

  • institutes,centers or laboratories

  • units of designing

  • consultancy centers

  • university clinics

  • workshops and art studios

  • theatres, museums

  • centers for lifelong training of human resources

  • microproduction and services units

  • experimental stations, or

  • other entities for production activities and transfer of knowledge and technology. 

The faculty is the functional unit that develops and manages curricula. The Faculty is related to one or more fields of science, arts or sports.

The initial training for all teaching positions in Romania is based on a parallel model (concurrent) - meaning that education and training in specialty are combined with professional training for the teaching career within the same educational sequence. 

For teachers in preuniversity education, theMinistry of Education and Research may equate, through a specific methodology, the short-term higher education, achieved through the college lasting 3 years or the pedagogical institute lasting 3 years, with the first cycle of university studies with bachelor's degree, according to the law.

Admission requirements

Only high school graduates with a baccalaureate diploma or equivalent may be admitted to higher education (cycle I of university studies – bachelor's degree).

For the cycle II of university studies (Master's degree) only graduates with bachelor's degree or equivalent are admitted. 

Doctoral studies represent cycle III of university studies and allow acquiring a qualification of level 8 of EQF/CEC and from the National Qualifications Framework. The admission requirements are: master's degree or its equivalent.

Higher education institutions establish the admittance methodology for each cycle, according to general criteria established by the Ministry of Education and Research. 

The selection and admittance procedure in cycle I of university studies may be based on:

  • the average obtained by candidates at the baccalaureate examination and at various subjects studied during high school

  • as well as on the grade obtained at the admittance examination entirely organized by the higher educational institution. In the case of organizing of an admittance exam, the higher education institutions must take into account the high school curriculum for the subjects of the admittance examination, as well as the alternative textbooks approved for use in secondary education at the respective disciplines.

Candidates may take the admittance exam in the language they studied the respective subjects.

In public higher education institutions, education may be:

  • tuition free (for the number of students annually approved by the Government), and

  • tuition with fee. The fee is set by the university senate, according to the law. 

In private higher education institutions, the education is based on a fee. The fee is set by the Board, according to the law. 

Higher education institutions have autonomy in determining the amount of fees and have the obligation to communicate to all those interested, including on the university's website. 

The Ministry of Education and Research establishes every year the general criteria for admittance without examination on funded places to students who obtained during high school remarkable results in national and/or international contests.

According to Order No. 3850/2017 of May 2, 2017 for the approval of the Framework Methodology for organizing the training programs psycho-pedagogy within the higher education institutions accredited to certify the competences for the teaching profession:

1. Graduates of the undergraduate studies who did not follow the psycho-pedagogical training program during the undergraduate or master degree programs may register to complete the psycho-pedagogical training program in the postgraduate courses regime. In the case of these graduates, the enrollment in post-university regime to the courses of a psycho-pedagogical training program of level I is conditioned by the graduation with diploma of a bachelor degree. Post-university enrollment in level II psycho-pedagogical training programs is subject to graduation of a master's degree in the field of bachelor's degree and the psycho-pedagogical training program of level I or the fulfillment of the condition of psycho-pedagogical training of level I, according to with the legislation in force. (art. 4).

2. Admission to the psycho-pedagogical training programs is done on the basis of taking an exam / interview, under the conditions established by the own methodology. Admission to the psycho-pedagogical training programs is supported in the language in which the educational process is carried out, the same for which the psycho-pedagogical training program has been accredited.

Curriculum, level of specialisation and learning outcomes

Curriculas are established independently of the higher education institutions, according to the national strategies for the development of higher education and to the national academic standards.

The topic for initial training courses for the teaching profession, the number of allocated hours, the number of credits and the examination form are set by ORDER No. 3850 / 2017OMECT no. 4316/2008. The curriculum of the psycho-pedagogical training programs is structured on 3 components: curriculum-core, extended curriculum and optional curriculum. The core curriculum is made up of the compulsory subjects and didactic activities for the levels I and II of certification for the didactic profession.

The core curriculum comprises the following packages of disciplines:

  a) disciplines of fundamental psycho-pedagogical training - 18 credits;

  b) disciplines of didactic and specialized training - 12 credits.

  (3) The extended curriculum is made up of the compulsory subjects and didactic activities in order to obtain the level II certification for the didactic profession.

The extended curriculum includes the following subjects:

  a) extension disciplines of psycho-pedagogical training - 10 credits;

  b) extension disciplines of the didactic and specialized training - 10 credits.

Thus, within the module I, the compulsory subjects are:

  • Educational Psychology

  • Fundamentals of Pedagogy

  • Theory and Methodology of Curriculum

  • Theory and Methodology of Training

  • Theory and Methodology of Assessment

  • Classroom Management

  • Subject Didactics

  • Computer Assisted Instruction

  • Teaching Practice in preuniversity education.

In the case of module II, the compulsory subjects are:

  • Psychopedagogy for teenagers, youths and adults

  • Design and management of educational programs

  • Didactics of the domain and developments in the subject didactics

  • Pedagogical practice in high school, post-secondary or university education.

  • Besides the compulsory subjects, there are two packages of optional subjects of which one subject for study is chosen (e.g., Sociology of Education, Intercultural Education, Counselling and Guidance, Educational Communication, etc.).

In the case of teachers in pre-school and primary education, the initial training is organized within the faculties of education sciences, through the specialization of Pedagogy of primary and preschool education.

In terms of developing the curriculum for the initial training of teachers, the following clarifications can be made: 

The curricula for teacher training for pre-school and primary education are defined at the level of each department within the faculties of education sciences.

The initial training provided by these departments includes both:

  • general courses, and

  • courses & practical activities for pedagogical training.

The curriculum for the initial training of teachers in secondary and tertiary education is developed by each department of teacher training within universities, based on the provisions of the OMECT no. 4316/2008.

For each of the studying disciplines, a syllabus  is filled describing the objectives or competences targeted to be obtained through the respective discipline, the course topics and for the applications, the number of allocated hours, the examination type, bibliographic recommendations.

Teacher educators

The persons who provide teaching and training activities within initial/continuing education and vocational training are professors in higher education.

Qualifications, evaluation and certificates

At present, the initial training for the teaching career of the secondary education personnel is provided by specialized structures within universities - Departments for Teacher Training (DPPD).

In this context, acquiring pedagogical competences is carried out in modules, through theoretical and practical training, throughout the years of academic study, being based on a parallel model (concurrent).

Promoting vocational training provided in this manner is attested through a graduation certificate issued by the higher education institution.

Alternatively, higher education graduates who choose the teaching career have the opportunity to attend DPPD courses after employment.

Thus, the initial training for the teaching career is done in parallel with the scientific one - in the specialty domain over the years of study in the university.

Students’ assessment in higher education is done through periodic exams (summative) organized for each subject in curriculum. Assessments are performed in the form of:

  • oral

  • written, and

  • practical tests, and

  • in some cases, in the form of project presentations.

The evaluation criteria for students' academic and professional performances are established by the institutions of higher education, accordingly to the university autonomy.

Specific requirements and evaluation criteria for each discipline are set in the curriculum (in the introductory part at each discipline).

Evaluation of the students’ performance in higher education is materialized by grades from 1 to 10.

Examination of students for each discipline is performed by a committee which includes the professor who lectures the respective discipline, assisted by at least another specialist in the same discipline or department.

After each examination, the grades obtained by students are registered in the students’ notebooks and in the official documents of the institution.

Alternative training pathways

Starting with the year 2020-2021, the initial training of teachers can be done through two routes:

- concurrent model, through the psycho-pedagogical mode - realizes in parallel with the specialized studies

- consecutive model - through a 2-year didactic master's degree - after the bachelor's degree studies (pilot stage)