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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of post-secondary non-tertiary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.10Organisation of post-secondary non-tertiary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Types of institution

Post-secondary non-tertiary education is provided in post-secondary schools and foreman schools. Post-secondary non-tertiary education has the duration of 1-3 years, depending on the complexity of qualifications, it provides vocational training for a qualification at Level 5 of the National Qualification Framework and is organised at the initiative of the Ministry of National Education or following specific requests from economic operators or other institutions. Until the approval of the National Register of Qualifications, the qualifications for which post-secondary education is organised are included in the Nomenclature of Qualifications approved by a Government Decision at the proposal of the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice.  

Post-secondary non-tertiary education is usually organised by those schools that have technological high-school classes – usually for the same profiles and fields or for similar ones – so as to ensure a better use of the existing material resources (equipment, workshops, and other resources) and human resources, as well as for better financial efficiency. Post-secondary non-tertiary education may also be organised in higher education institutions, under certain conditions.

Geographical accessibility

In every development region, the network of high-schools has developed according to the local (locality, town) demand of the labour market. The social and economic reform of the development regions has lead to a necessity to restructure the network of high-schools and school groups so as to respond better to the needs of society and the changing economy, as well as to attain the strategic objectives of regional development. The education authorities have taken measures both to merge high-schools and vocational schools with similar profiles and specialisations, which can also organise post-secondary classes (following authorisation/ accreditation), and to adjust the educational provision to local and regional demands. The local and regional demands are identified based on the requests from economic operators and are expressed through the strategic planning documents of the educational provision at local and regional level (the Local Action Plan for education - PLAI and the Regional Action Plan for Education- PRAI). These documents are developed and reviewed regularly by consultative partner structures established at local level (the Local Committee for the Development of Social Partnership) and the Regional Consortium. 

Admission requirements and choice of school

Post-secondary non-tertiary education is provided to high-school graduates, whether they hold or not a Baccalaureate Diploma. For admission to a foremen school there is an additional condition of at least 3 years of work experience – by the beginning of the first year of studies – in a profession corresponding to the field of qualification. The admission methodology is determined by every school in accordance with the general criteria established by the Ministry of National Education. 

In case that the number of applicants for a vocational qualification exceeds the number of available places, the admission methodology provides for an obligatory written test. The content of the admission examination is determined by the school in accordance with the qualification pursued and the applicants‘prior acquisitions. In some particular cases – if a specialisation requires specific aptitudes – the admission examination may be preceded by an eliminatory aptitude test.

In case that there is an express request concerning the admission procedure coming from the economic operator that covers the full costs of education, the admission methodology may stipulate some additional tests besides the obligatory ones. In case that post-secondary non-tertiary education is organised with fees, it is obligatory – at the request of the economic operator or the student – for the concerned parties to conclude a contract which sets forth their respective rights and obligations.

Age levels and grouping of pupils

Post-secondary non-tertiary education is organised for high-school graduates (aged over 18/19) in post-secondary schools and foremen schools.

The duration of studies is 1-3 years and students are grouped based on qualifications.

The number of students in a class is provided for by the Law of National Education: in post-secondary non-tertiary education – 25 students per class on average, but not less than 15 and no more than 30.

Organisation of the school year

The organisation of the school year for post-secondary non-tertiary education is decided annually by an Order of the National Education Minister.

The structure of the school year is based on a series of considerations:

  • a balanced distribution of school days (theoretical training/practical training, at school and at the place of economic operators) and holidays

  • the specificity of the Romanian climate

  • the respect for the religious beliefs of the population.

The National Curriculum is approved by the Ministry of National Education and it specifies for each qualification and year of study:

  • the total number of hours per week

  • the number of hours per week for each subject/ module

  • the total number of hours for the entire qualification.

Within the framework set by the structure of the school year and the National Curriculum, each school is fully responsible for determining the daily and weekly schedule for each class of students, with the consultation of the partner economic operators where the practical training takes place.

The school year in Romania includes two semesters, three holidays during the period of classes and one summer holiday. The exact timetable of the school year is set annually by an Order of the Education Minister.

Organisation of the school day and week

The weekly schedule (a system with 5 school days per week) and the daily schedule for post-secondary non-tertiary education are determined by the board of each school, following the consultation of teachers and partner economic operators and complying with the total number of hours per week set by the Framework Curriculum for each subject/module and year of study, the total number of hours per year of study and the total number of hours stipulated for each qualification.

According to the provisions of the Framework Curricula, for post-secondary non-tertiary education, the number of hours per week, per year of study and the total number of hours for a qualification depends on each qualification and on the duration of studies and is provided for in the Curriculum which needs to be approved by the Ministry of National Education.

The Curriculum is determined based on the Vocational Training Standards validated by the Sector Committees/representative economic operators.