This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2020.
The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.
The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:
- Early childhood education and care
- School education
- VET and Adult learning
- Higher education
- Transversal skills and Employability.
Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.
Overall national education strategy and key objectives
Strategic Policy Framework for the Education and Training System at All Levels
For the period 2014-2020, the Ministry of Education has been responsible for meeting the thematic ex-ante 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, which refer to a strategic policy framework for reducing early school leaving, for higher education, lifelong learning, as well as for increasing the quality and efficiency of the education and training systems.
For the period 2021-2027, the Ministry of Education is responsible for meeting the condition referring to the existence of a Strategic Policy Framework for the Education and Training System at All Levels, related to the Policy Objective 4: A more social Europe through the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. This precondition covers both the ESF and the ERDF investments which contribute to improving the quality, the effectiveness and the labor market relevance of the education and training systems, ensuring flexible advanced training and re-training opportunities for all and improving the access to quality and inclusive services in education, training and lifelong learning, including through the infrastructure development.
The National Strategic Framework for Educational Policies 2021-2027 is represented by the project Educated Romania of the Presidential Administration.
The project of the Presidential Administration Educated Romania (adopted by the Government of Romania on 14 July 2021) and the 2020-2024 Government Programme provide the projections for the next period in education and training, responding to the challenges of the future for today’s society.
The main strategic guidelines of the Ministry of Education converge with European programme documents:
European Green Deal
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Recovery Plan for Europe
European Pillar of Social Rights
Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030
the EU’s approach to minding the education, research and innovation gap, etc.
To optimise and raise the quality of services provided by the public administration in the field of education through the creation of a predictable and stable regulatory framework and the development of a public policy based on strategic guidelines in school education and higher education with the 2030 horizon.
The Memorandum on the implementation of the project Educated Romania was adopted by the Government of Romania on 14 July 2021.
Content of action
The most extensive and comprehensive education reform project in Romania, Educated Romania, initiated and developed by the Presidential Administration, is a Country Project which intends to become the assumed landmark, which Romania needs, in order to improve and modernize Romanian education.
The Educated Romania project was included as a commitment into the National Defence Strategy, approved by the Parliament Decision no. 22/2020, which states that education systems go through a thorough change process as a result of the impact of demographic evolutions and also of the impact of new technologies, and developing the competences of the young generation and adults who participate in various re-qualification activities will be the key to the future.
The Educated Romania project has aimed at being a country vision in the field of education. The report blends, in one document, a coherent set of objectives and ambitious targets for education, on the horizon of 2030, offering solutions for improving the education system in its key domains.
First phase (2016-2017) began with an online questionnaire with more than 8000 answers. After that, there were eight regional topical conferences with more than 1000 participants and multiple consultation events implemented by third parties.
Second phase (2017-2018) involved the organisation of seven working groups, with experts from the civil society and from the public administration, with the following priority themes: the teaching career; equity; professionalization of educational management; vocational and technical education; higher education; early childhood education and care; assessment of school students and university students. Simultaneously, consultation events were implemented by third parties.
Third phase (2018 -2020) launched the preliminary results for public debate. Simultaneously, the Presidential Administration coordinated a project funded under the EU Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP), whereby four policy briefs were developed in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with the following themes: (1) the teaching career, (2) educational management, (3) equity, (4) early childhood education and care. Also, in this phase, the operationalisation of the project was included as a commitment in the National Country Defence Strategy for the period 2020-2024.
Completion of the project (2021) involved integrating the feedback and updating the report with recent developments, including the lessons learned in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, a part of the project provisions was included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).
Values promoted through the education system
Equity – reducing the gaps in the system and ensuring the opportunity for quality education for children and young people from all backgrounds.
Excellence – supporting and motivating excellence in the educational process.
Integrity – ensuring value-based landmarks and promoting ethics in education, and also in life after graduation.
Wellbeing – holistic development of the mind-body-soul triangle, with help from counselling and support measures.
Professionalism – maintaining high standards in teacher training and, implicitly, in the education provided to school students and university students.
Respect – assuming respect for other people, institutions, environment and society, as a part of training.
Flexibility – ensuring an individualized educational path for every school student.
Diversity – granting respect for diversity and a tolerant environment in the educational process.
Transparency – using transparent assessment mechanisms and keeping an open and honest communication in the educational process.
Collaboration – developing the school-society partnership and keeping a constructive climate within the education system.
Priority areas for action
Several priority areas are included in the project Educated Romania, with objectives and specific measures. These areas are:
The teaching career: developing a competence profile, the reform of initial training, improving quality and flexibility.
Management and governance: improving the process of policy making, adapting local governance to the capacity of local public authorities, professionalisation of managers.
Funding for the school education system: adapting funding to real needs, the reform of funding in early childhood education and care, increasing the absorption of EU funds and raising the level of funding.
The infrastructure of the education system: reviewing the standards for infrastructure and endowment, adapting the school network to demographic evolutions, developing the infrastructure of vocational and technical education around some development poles, green schools.
Competence-focused curriculum and assessment (focused on outcomes). It assumes: competence-focused curricular design; increasing curricular flexibility; monitoring and evaluating the curriculum; laying the basis of transversal competences related to health education, education for sustainability, education for democracy/society, including in the area of financial and legal education. The assessment of school/university students shall focus on competences, the development of standards and descriptors, enhancing the role of assessment in teacher training, digitalisation of assessment, ensuring feedback, etc.
Quality inclusive education for all children: increasing access to education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, reducing the early school leaving rate, school re-integration programmes, inclusive pedagogy, pro-equity policies, counselling services.
Functional literacy: prioritizing functional literacy in the framework of the educational process, a competence-based curriculum that facilitates functional literacy. Improving the PISA, TIMSS results. Special attention shall be paid to school students’ media literacy, digital and scientific literacy.
Promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education: encouraging the participation of school students in STEAM activities, preparing teachers to teach STEAM contents, ensuring the necessary endowment for teaching STEAM subjects, relevant external partnerships.
Digitalisation: developing school students’ and teachers’ digital skills, developing a digital education ecosystem, programmes and education for data security and cyber security.
Resilience: mechanisms for quick adaptation to crisis situations, improving the quality of school services in disadvantaged areas, developing skills related to resilience/self-esteem among school students and university students, preparing school students for social and economic changes, fighting bullying.
Sources of funding
Sources of funding for the reforms proposed in the Educated Romania project:
Complementary to the allocations from the state budget, the main source of funding available to public authorities, i.e. to the main actors in the field of education, for the next period is the Multiannual Financial Framework, both under the Cohesion Policy and under Next Generation EU, an instrument which includes the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The chapter dedicated to the funding of education in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is called Educated Romania, and the budget allocated to education is substantive. Maintaining an allocation dedicated to education, balanced in relation to the targets and the objectives in this report, in the negotiation of the operational programmes for the period 2021-2027 is essential for the following operational programmes: Education and Employment Operational Programme, Operational Programme for Smart Growth, Digitalization and Financial Instruments, Inclusion and Social Dignity Operational Programme, as well as in the framework of the eight Regional Operational Programmes.
National Reform Program
June 2021 – June 2022
Government of Romania
National Reform Program 2022 (NRP 2022) was structured starting from the six pillars provided for in Regulation (EU) 2021/241 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.
NRP 2022 reflects both the progress and priorities of the action related to the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, on a biannual basis, as well as the measures taken outside the National Recovery and Resilience Plan framework, through other instruments available to Romania. Thus, the NRP provides an overview of the areas pursued within the European Semester and the measures aimed at contributing to the implementation of the 2019 and 2020 country-specific recommendations.
NRP 2022 includes measures related to fiscal-budgetary policy, green transition, digital transformation, business environment and economic competitiveness, labor market, social inclusion and combating poverty, health, administrative capacity, education and skills, addressing issues regarding the double transition, ecological and ecological. digital, social dimension of policies, according to the European Pillar of Social Rights, as well as the correlation with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
National Anti-corruption Strategy
It is on public consultation phase.
Ministry of Justice
An overview of the education reform process and drivers
For the school year 2022-2023 the following priorities of the education and professional training system are aimed at:
Development directions and priorities for school education
Ensuring equity in education
Support for the teaching career
Professionalization of educational management
Development of technical and vocational education and training
Development of universally accessible early childhood education and care
Modernizing the curriculum and assessment
Support for education in national minority languages
Providing funding and the modernization of infrastructure
The digital transformation of education
Improving the transition from upper secondary education to tertiary education
Development of lifelong learning
Developing the international dimension of Romanian pre-university education.
Development directions and priorities for higher education
Improving academic freedom, while increasing the public liability of universities
Developing the international dimension of tertiary education
Assuring the quality of education in compliance with the mission of universities, and international recommendations and standards
Developing research in universities and improving the performance of doctorate schools, in transparent, ethical and academic integrity conditions
Raising the capacity of universities to implement tertiary education policies (professionalization of academic management)
Developing a fair tertiary education system, which supports the access of all learners in quality study programmes, aiming to keep more learners in school
Continuing the implementation of the calls for projects under the Human Capital Operational Programme and completing and launching the Education and Employment Operational Programme.