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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in higher education


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.4National reforms in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023


Improving the quality of higher education and its correlation with the labour market 

Quality in higher education: internationalisation and databases for the development of Romanian education

In the project, co-funded from the European Social Fund through the human capital operational programme, the Executive Unit for Funding of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI) developed and distributed, in a partnership with the Ministry of Education, a national questionnaire on the employability of higher education graduates. UEFISCDI also drew up a Study on the employability of Romanian graduates.

The main purpose pursued was to enhance the link between the academic system and the dynamics of the labour market by some research into the routes taken by graduates. 

These are some of the conclusions of the study: 

  • higher education graduates have a high capacity of gaining initial employment which increases in time, from 81.1 % (one year after graduation) to 92.4 % (five years after graduation)
  • half of the university students who work have a contract for at least 8 hours a day
  • female graduates, graduates born in rural areas and university students for the first time in their families earned a lower income from their first job after completing their studies
  • for graduates of bachelor programmes, a higher grade at the final examination brings in significantly better opportunities in the future. 
Career start with a master degree in teaching

The project Career start with a master degree in teaching, funded through the human capital operational programme 2014-2020, is implemented by the Ministry of Education in a partnership with eight higher education institutions (Politehnica University of Bucharest, University of Bucharest, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Babeș Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Ovidius University of Constanța, University of Craiova, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, Western University of Timișoara) and the Executive Unit for Funding of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation. 

The project aims:

  • to improve the quality and the efficiency of tertiary education through a diversification of the educational provision in university tertiary education
  • to improve the skills of teachers in university tertiary education in connection with: 
    • innovatory educational content and modern and flexible learning resources,
    • encouraging access to higher education. 

The project had the following outcomes:

  • the profile of the graduate of a master's degree in teaching (partially completed), 
  • 510 master students, 
  • 354 certified people following the completion of the teaching master programme, 
  • 14 educational provisions, 
  • 80 trained and certified teachers, 
  • an impact study on the implementation of the teaching master programme (partially developed), 
  • an innovative virtual network developed and in course of implementation.

The support for the adaptation of the curriculum to the requirements of the labour market continued with specific institutional development projects funded from the Fund for Institutional Development of Public Higher Education Institutions. 

In 2022, a distinctive funding line was introduced – D7 Labour Market – in connection with the correlation between the educational provision and the demand in the labour market and career counselling and guidance.

In 2023, higher education institutions conduct 39 institutional projects concerning the correlation between the educational provision and the demand in the labour market and career counselling and guidance.

Equal access and participation

In order to support university students from rural areas, disadvantaged groups and non-traditional university students to participate in tertiary education, the Ministry of Education continues to implement its social programmes: special places for students from rural areas, scholarships, subsidies for accommodation and meals, partial reimbursement of transportation costs.

For the 2022/2023 academic year, distinct allocations of enrolments were made for places dedicated to graduates of high-schools situated in rural areas (2 000 places, out of which 1 207 places have been occupied), places for Romania’s priority development areas (5 000 places – bachelor programmes, 4 500 places – master programmes, 300 places – doctorate programmes), as well as 400 places for initial teacher training (the teaching master programme). 

For Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority, special places have been allocated for bachelor studies (312 places), master studies (64 places) and doctorate studies (six places). 

The ROSE Project concerning the secondary education

To encourage graduates of upper secondary education to continue their studies in tertiary education (higher education or other forms of post-secondary education), the implementation of the grant scheme for high schools has continued in the framework of the ROSE project for secondary education. 

In the ROSE project, 105 grants have been implemented under the grant scheme for universities Summer programmes, in order to support the participation of high-school students at risk in summer programmes organised by universities. Thus, the students can become familiar with the academic context, and they can initiate the development of relevant skills for a successful completion of tertiary education. 

The universities’ internationalization

As far as the mechanisms for promoting Romanian higher education are concerned, the mobile phone application StudyinRomania was launched in June 2022. The application is addressed both to young people abroad and young people in Romania, aged between 18 and 30 years, who are interested to enroll in a programme in Romanian universities for a whole cycle of study or for a semester. The application can be downloaded from online shops for users of Android and iOS, being interconnected with the platform StudyinRomania. 

Furthermore, at the end of 2022, the VR application StudyinRomania Journey was also launched. The application includes 46 videos about public universities, a Trivia game about Romania, an exploration of Romanian towns based on the model of “Google street view” and a VR clip promoting the application. 

The application may be accessed both by downloading from online shops (Google Play, Sidequest) and at the link direct through VR glasses.


The report on the Educated Romania project, published in July 2021 and endorsed by a Memorandum of the Romanian Government, underlies the main strategic guidelines and sets out the vision of higher education for 2030, outlining a set of public policies and a governance model in line with the demands of a constantly changing socioeconomic environment.

The Educated Romania project makes up the national strategic framework for all levels of education and training and is validated by the European Commission as a favourable thematic condition which needs to be met for the 2021-2027 European funding. 

The general objectives of the Educated Romania project relate to participation in forms of higher education and lifelong learning, efforts for the internationalisation of the Romanian education system, the capacity of the academic management to implement national policies, universities’ autonomy, doctoral studies, as well as the ethical climate in the education system.

Actions plans for the implementation of the Educated Romania project have been developed, as well as monitoring plans, organised by educational field and level. 

Equal access and participation

Measures concerning access to and participation in tertiary education:

  • support for exemptions from tuition fees for students with outstanding achievement, scholarships for the best performing students
  • supplementing the exemptions from merit-based fees with a programme designed to support those in need – need-based grants – mainly at institutional level
  • subsidies for accommodation and meals (additional funding)
  • encouraging the attraction of students from underrepresented and non-traditional groups, including Romanian people living abroad
  • increasing the transparency of information and providing guidance related to educational opportunities and outcomes, which should underlie the choice of an educational path and help reduce dropout
  • stimulating public higher education institutions to supplement the scholarship fund from the state budget, for each category of scholarships, with funds from their own revenues. The share of funds allocated by universities for scholarships from their own revenues in a univrsity’s total fund for scholarships is a performance indicator taken into account in the institutional evaluations conducted by the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) and also a performance indicator for the additional funding granted to higher education institutions.

To support the policies of the Ministry of Education to increase the capacity of universities to ensure access to programmes of study for people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, the National Council for Higher Education Funding (CNFIS) put forward proposals concerning the integration into funding methodologies of some provisions designed to ensure the equality of opportunity and lead to social inclusion (encouraging universities to take steps to improve access and equity). 

The Public policy framework on the improvement of access, participation and graduation in Romanian higher education concerns the development of systemic measures to improve access and for the completion of studies by higher education students from vulnerable categories.

The ROSE Project concerning the secondary education

In the framework of the Secondary Education Project – ROSE, 105 projects have been funded under the grant scheme “Bridge summer programmes”, organised by universities for high-school students. The scheme proposes such activities as:

  • courses
  • career counselling and guidance
  • special training for the baccalaureate examination
  • workshops in specific fields
  • study visits
  • sports competitions
  • recreational activities
  • events, etc.

The universities’ internationalization

  • Promotion of the educational provision.
    • The platform Study in Romania promotes Romania as a destination for studies, offering information about the Romanian educational provision, and it supports Romanian universities offering them an umbrella image, an aegis under which they can promote to international level.
    • A digital platform for applications to the annual programme of scholarships offered by the Romanian state to citizens from third countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The module for the digitalisation of the application process for scholarships offered by the Romanian state is an integral part of the platform Study in Romania. The call for scholarships was open in the period 20 December 2021 - 15 March 2022 and its purpose was to attract students from abroad to programmes in the three cycles of bachelor, master and doctorate studies, at accredited universities from Romania. Applicants could apply to any fields of study except for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. For the purpose of promoting Romanian language and culture, the beneficiaries of scholarships awarded by the Romanian state for bachelor and master programmes will only study in Romanian. 
    • A marketing study on the promotion potential of Romanian universities. Its objective was to underlie evidence-based policies, designed to contribute to an increased visibility of Romanian higher education globally and to attract international students, who can benefit from quality academic education, relevant to their development as responsible and engaged citizens and also good professionals in their future fields. 
  • The European Higher Education Area. An important role in Romanian higher education is played by foreign language lectors. Thirty-eight teachers from 20 countries teach the language and literature of their country in 11 university centres.

Support for Ukraine

In higher education, special measures have been taken for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years, to enable the academic mobility in Romanian universities in the course of the academic year, and to offer scholarships for those who wish to continue their studies in Romanian universities. In higher education, there are 525 Ukrainian students (physically present in the territory of Romania).

University students from Ukraine receive scholarships from the Ministry of Education. Therefore, Ukrainian students enrolled in a higher education institution recognised in Ukraine may continue their studies in Romanian public higher education institutions, without paying tuition fees and benefiting from a monthly scholarship, accommodation in student hostels, medical assistance according to the national legislation in force and local public transportation under the same conditions as for Romanian students. The state budget provides funding to cover for tuition fees, tuition fees for the preparatory year for learning Romanian, if applicable, as well as for scholarships, and they have access to psycho-pedagogical assistance and counselling.

At the request of Romanian higher education institutions, the Ministry of Education offered scholarships for the Ukrainian citizens who wanted to continue theirs studies with programmes delivered in English. 

Romanian higher education institutions are supported by the National Centre for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas – a specialised department of the Ministry of Education to implement the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR), which provides information about their academic training, professional experience and language skills. The document is issued based on an assessment process carried out by specialists from the EQPR partner countries based on the refugee’s documents and an interview.

Romanian universities coordinated their actions with partner Ukrainian universities to provide opportunities for Ukrainian teachers to teach and continue their research work in Romanian universities. Moreover, the universities offer online Romanian courses for free for Ukrainian refugees.

Following a request from the Ukrainian authorities, two test centres were established in Romania at the University of Bucharest and Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, in the period July-August 2022, for online admission tests for Ukrainian higher education. In July, in the two centres, test sessions were organised for admission to bachelor programmes for more than 300 Ukrainian citizens with temporary residence in Romania, and in August, at the test centre in Cluj-Napoca, test sessions were organised for admission to master studies for more than 20 Ukrainian citizens. 


The Ministry of Education published on the website the guides for organising and carrying out the activities in school education establishments in the 2020/2021 academic year, in the context of the COVID-19 epidemics. 

The ROSE Project concerning the secondary education

In the framework of the ROSE programme – Grant Schemes for Universities, 49 grants under the competitive grant scheme Support for University Students have been signed and received the first tranche of funds – this is the maximum number of grants for universities under implementation. 

There are 393 grants for faculties/ universities and which support activities designed to meet the needs of students at risk of drop out in the first academic year, through remedial activities, tutoring, counselling and career guidance, support services, as well as the establishment of and equipping learning centres to support students at risk. Moreover, summer bridge programmes are financed for high school students, through which they may attend courses, seminars, counselling activities, sports or socio-cultural activities on university campuses.

Within the ROSE Project - University Grant Schemes, 201 grants are in the implementation phase under the Non-competitive University Grant Scheme (60 in Round I and 141 in Round II), 49 Grants in the Student Support Competitive Grant Scheme and 38 grants in the Learning Centres Grant Scheme (13 in Round I, 12 in Round II and 13 in Round III). An uninterrupted and smooth implementation of the concluded grants is conditioned by the allocation of budget credits for 2021.

In addition, under the ROSE project, 105 grants were implemented within the Scholarship Scheme for universities – Summer programmes, i.e. the maximum possible number of grants of this type. In order to continue the smooth implementation of the concluded grants (for high schools and universities) the allocation of budget credits for 2021 is needed.

Equal access and participation

In order to support university students from rural areas, disadvantaged groups and non-traditional university students to participate in tertiary education, ME has continued to implement social programmes:

  • special places for graduates from rural areas,

  • scholarships,

  • subsidies for accommodation and meals,

  • partial reimbursement of transportation costs.

Thus, in October 2020, a number of 6,670 university students were enrolled for special places, and among them 3,932 had graduated from high-schools in rural areas and 917 were Roma ethnics. 

For the 2020/2021 academic year, distinct dedicated places have been allocated for graduates of high-schools in rural areas (2,000 places), for the priority development fields of Romania (5,000 places – bachelor programmes, 4,500 – master programmes, 300 – doctorate programmes), as well as 400 places for the initial teacher training of prospective teachers (a teaching master programme).

Following a call for projects organized by the National Council for Financing Higher Education (CNFIS) and funded by ME, the Institutional Development Fund (IDF) 2020 funded 41 institutional projects submitted by public universities in the Domain 1 (D1) - Equity & Access, which aims to increase social equity, to ensure social inclusion and increase access to higher education, matching the educational supply to labour market needs (including counselling and career guidance). 

For 2021, the call for projects was closed at the beginning of May, for D1 funding area on equity and access to higher education, and 44 institutional projects on equity and social access, will be implemented by the end of this year. Moreover, for 2021, the key directions are financed to stimulate universities to take measures to increase access to higher education for people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, through additional funding (as a result of the application of the quality indicator (QI) 4.1 - Capability to integrate people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds in educational programmes). 

The universities’ internationalization

In 2020, the consolidation of the institutional and national strategy on the internationalisation of higher education through support for the promotion of the educational provision of Romanian universities has been achieved by actions to update and improve the platform Study in Romania – SiR, and the development of support materials for a better understanding of the internationalisation of higher education; at present, policy briefs are in course of development.

In 2020, the institutional initiatives on the internationalization of higher education by supporting the promotion of the educational offer of Romanian universities consisted in updating and improving the Study in Romania - SiR platform, preparation of support materials for a better understanding of the internationalization of higher education, and the elaboration of policy briefs. A videoclip was made to promote Romanian higher education and attract foreign students to come in Romania and study for a full study cycle. During 2021, two more videoclips will be developed to promote Romanian higher education, of which one conceived to attracting students from disadvantaged groups/ backgrounds, and another to attract French-speaking foreign students. 

In 2021, there are also being supported key-directions for financing as incentives for the universities to implement measures in order to increase the degree of internationalization of higher education. This is achieved both by financing the institutional development projects to strengthen the capacity of universities on the internationalization component (through the IDS 2021 call for projects, on the financing domain D2-Internationalization there will be implemented 45 institutional projects), as well as through additional funding. 

The quality of higher education and matching with the labour market needs

In order to increase the quality of higher education and matching it with the labour market requirements, the Human Capital Operational Programme project entitled Improving public policies in higher education and increasing the quality of regulations by updating quality standards - QAFIN is being implemented.

Promotion of entrepreneurship education

Within the call for the Student Entrepreneur Scholarship programme, financing contracts were signed for 22 applications and the related projects are in implementation phase while under the call Measures for optimizing the study offers in higher education in support of employability, 11 applications were approved for financing being also in the implementation phase. Through these projects, as of end of December 2020, 9,007 people (pupils/ students, trainees) have benefited from support for participation in tertiary education and 1,680 teaching staff benefited from training programmes / exchange of good practices. In addition, 2,148 pupils and students, as well as 687 teachers have been certified following the support granted in the projects.