Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of the education system and of its structure


2.Organisation and governance

2.3Organisation of the education system and of its structure

Last update: 27 November 2023

The national education system

The assembly of all public and private educational institutions of all types, levels and forms of instruction and education constitutes the national education system.

The national education system is structured into education levels such as to ensure coherence and continuity of instruction and education according to individual and age particularities of the pupils/students. 

The national education system includes the following levels: 

Early education (0—6 years)

Early education (0—6 years), consisting of:

  • the before preschool level (0—3 years)

  • the preschool education (3—6 years), which includes:

    • the small group

    • the middle group

    • the big group.

Primary education (ISCED 1)

Primary education (ISCED 1) includes:

  • the preparatory grade

  • grades 1—4. 

Transition from primary education to lower secondary education is conditioned only by the successful graduation of primary education.

Secondary lower education (ISCED 2) or secondary education

Secondary lower education (ISCED 2) or secondary education, which includes grades 5—8. The access to the higher level is achieved by a national evaluation examination and distribution in upper secondary education units. 

The secondary superior education (ISCED 3)

The secondary superior education (ISCED 3) can be:

  • high school education, which includes the high school grades 9-12/13, with the following pathways:

    • theoretical

    • vocational

    • technological, or

    • a 3-year professional education. The graduates of the professional education promoting the certification examination of the professional qualification may attend the high school education courses.

The professional and technical education is composed of:

  • professional education

  • technical education

  • post secondary education.

The non-university tertiary education (ISCED 4)

The non-university tertiary education (ISCED 4) includes the post secondary education. 

The higher education (ISCED 5-8)

The higher education (ISCED 5-8) is organized in: universities, study academies, institutes, higher studies schools, referred to as higher education institutions or universities, temporarily authorized or certified.

The high school graduates with high school diploma can enrol in the higher education.

The admission conditions are different from one institution to another.

The structure of the higher education reflects the principles of the Bologna process:

  • Bachelor studies

  • Master studies

  • PhD studies.

Adult education

Adult education includes training programmes at all qualification levels, organized in the public or private sector. 


The pre-primary, primary, secondary and post secondary non-tertiary education comprise the Pre-university education. Pre-university education is subordinated through the County School Inspectorates to  the Ministry of National Education. 

Primary and lower secondary education are compulsory (11 years of study). 


Finalisation of the high school education (in liceu - upper cycle) is attested through a graduation certificate (certificat de absolvire) that confers the right:

  • to attend, according to the provisions of the law, post secondary non-tertiary education

  • to sit the examenul de bacalaureat and

  • to sit the attestation exam.

Graduates also receive the updated personal portfolio for permanent education and, upon request, the registration paper (foaia matricolă). 

High school graduates that sit and pass the examenul de bacalaureat receive the diploma de bacalaureat conferring to the holder the right to attend higher education, in the conditions established by the law. 

The post secondary non-tertiary education is provided within post-high schools and foremen schools and may be attended only by high school graduates – holding or not a diploma de bacalaureat. 

In Pre-university education, pupils can transfer between different schools and educational routes, profiles or specialisations on the basis of specific rules, established by the Regulation concerning the Organisation and Functioning of Pre-university Education Units.

Higher education is coordinated by the Ministry of National Education, complying with the principles of the university autonomy.

Higher education is accomplished through:

  • universities

  • institutions

  • academies of study

  • post-university studies schools.

Higher education institutions usually include several:

  • faculties

  • university colleges - colegiu universitar

  • departments

  • chairs

  • units for scientific research, design and micro-production.

The mission of the higher education institutions is:

  • either education and research, or

  • only education.

Establishment of the higher education institutions is possible only through dedicated laws, according to the higher institutions accreditation and diploma recognition procedures.

The higher education institutions establish the admission methodology, according to the general criteria established by the Ministry of National Education.

Only high school graduates holding a diploma de bacalaureat can be admitted in higher education.

Specialisations and specialisations groups are established by theMinistry of National Education in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family and upon consulting the National Council for Academic Evaluation and Accreditation, the higher education institutions as well as other interested players.

At the higher education level, the open character is ensured through the University Charter. 

Home education

According the Law of National Education, 

  • For the children, pupils and young people with chronic diseases or with illnesses requiring at least four weeks of hospitalization, groups or classes may be organized, as the case may be, within the healthcare institution in which they are hospitalized.

  • For the children, pupils, and young people who, for medical reasons, or due to a disability, are not able to travel, home schooling is organized for a determined period.

  • Home schooling or the set-up of classes or groups within hospitals is performed by the school inspectorate, at the proposal of County Center for Resource and Educational Assistance (CJRAE) / Bucharest City Center for Resource and Educational Assistance (CMBRAE), based on a framework methodology, elaborated by the Ministry of National Education.