Vocational and Technical Education is composed of the following:
Technological High-School Education
Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education.
The technological path of high-school education includes the following profiles of studies:
natural resources and environment protection.
High-school education is usually organised and functions as full-time education. It can also be organised and function as part-time education in some schools selected by the School Inspectorates together with the local public authorities.
Post-secondary non-tertiary education includes the post-secondary school and the foremen school. The duration of studies in the post-secondary school and the foremen school is 1 - 3 years and the goal of these schools, with regard to vocational training, is the Level 3 Advanced Qualification (Level 5 EQF, ISCED 4).
Types of institution
Vocational education may be provided in vocational schools, which may work as independent schools or may be affiliated to public or private technological high-schools.
Technological high-school education may be provided in high-schools belonging to the technological path, for the qualifications in the National Register of Qualifications, which is regularly updated depending on the needs of the labour market, identified in strategic planning documents for the regional, county and local provision.
Technological high-school education may also be provided based on requests from private employers or from the National Employment Agency, based on some educational agreements.
Traineeships throughout the technological path may be organised at school level and/or at the economic operators or public institutions that concluded practical training agreements with the school or at host organisations abroad, within the framework of EU programmes – the initial training component.
Romanian vocational and technical education is organised and is delivered in several types of schools: high-schools, colleges, vocational schools, post-secondary schools.
Most high-schools and school groups are located in urban areas, except for a low number of technological high-schools and school groups which are based in rural areas and have classes mainly in the profile “natural resources and environment protection”.
Some technological high-schools and school groups, as well as some of the theoretical and aptitude-based high-schools, are organised as boarding schools, providing accommodation and meals for their students.
In order to improve access to education for all, the Education Law 1/2011, with its subsequent changes and additions, stipulates as follows:
In duly justified cases, students in compulsory education who attend school in other locality than that of their residence are provided, as appropriate, with transportation, meals and boarding school services, ensured by the local public authorities from their locality of residence, with support from economic operators, local communities, welfare organisations, as well as from other natural or legal entities.
Students in accredited/authorised vocational and high-school education benefit from a 50% lower rate for local public transportation – for surface, maritime and underground transportation, as well as for national road, railway and maritime transportation, throughout the calendar year.
Orphan students, students with special educational needs, as well as the students for whom a special protection measure has been established under the law, and those entrusted to a tutor benefit from free travelling for all categories of transportation, throughout the calendar year.
Students who cannot attend school in their locality of residence have their transportation costs reimbursed from the budget of the Ministry of National Education, through their schools, based on commutation tickets, within a 50 km range, or they are reimbursed for the amount representing the cost of 8 round trips per semester, if they live in a boarding school or with a host.
Students in vocational education receive a vocational scholarship of 200 lei per month, covered by the state budget; students in dual vocational education receive a vocational scholarship of 200 lei per month from the state budget and at least 200 de lei from the economic operator with whom the student has concluded an individual practical training agreement.
Geographical accessibility is linked, for vocational and technical education, with the opportunity and relevance of specific qualifications to be followed. Opportunity and relevance are anticipated and analysed by consultative partnership-based structures, organised at regional and local level and they underlie the approval of the number of school places for every school year.
For this purpose, the National Centre for the Development of Vocational and Technical Education proposed, with support from several institutions and experts with whom it collaborates and with the approval of the Ministry of National Education, a Model Strategic Planning for the Vocational Provision in Vocational and Technical Education. The Model was drafted in 2000, making use of the experience gained over the period 1996 –2000, and the first instruments which underlay the strategic planning decisions for the vocational and technical education provision were created in 2004.
The instruments of the Model are:
the Regional Action Plan for Education (PRAI)
the Local (County) Action Plan for Education (PLAI)
the School Action Plan (PAS).
The purpose of these strategic planning documents is to improve correlation between the vocational and technical education provision and the social-economic development needs at regional, county and local level. These documents contain:
an analysis of the regional/county/local context in terms of demographic, labour market and economic evolution and projections
an analysis of the capacity of the vocational and technical education system to meet the needs identified through the diagnosis of the regional, county and local context
priorities, targets and actions for the development of vocational and technical education at regional, county and local level in accordance with the needs of the labour market.
The documentation for drawing up the instruments PRAI, PLAI, and PAS is provided through an analysis of other strategic documents at national, regional and county level, as well as based on labour market studies and analyses.
This Model is based on a decentralisation of decision-making and its distribution at several decisional levels, namely the national, regional, county and local ones. Moreover, strategic planning is a participative exercise based on the collective action of multiple social partners that represent the interests of employers, professional associations, employees/unions, public administration, relevant governmental organisations, as well as other civil society organisations. So, the intention is to have the decisions assumed and the common interest of all those involved to be respected.
The decision-making process involves consultative managerial structures, organised at national, regional, county and local levels.
The responsibility for drawing up and updating the PRAI and PLAI lies with the following consultative managerial structures which correspond to the regional and county decision-making levels: the Regional Consortia, and the Local Committees for the Development of Social Partnership (LCDSP), respectively. The Regional Consortia and the LCDSPs are composed of representatives of the Regional Development Agency, the County Councils, the Bucharest/County Employment Agencies, the School Inspectorates, employers and employer organisations, trade unions, Commerce Chambers, and NGOs. The activity of the Regional Consortia and LCDSPs is governed by the Order of the Education and Research Minister no. 4456/08.07.2015.
The vocational and technological education provision with regard to vocational training fields and qualifications, as well as the school network for each county are designed based on the PRAI, PLAI, and PAS recommendations resulting from strategic planning.
In order to provide a basis for medium-term planning of the provision, forecasts of labour demand are required, which makes it possible to estimate the future training demand.
Since there were no consistent forecasts which corresponded to such purpose and were made by competent bodies, the National Centre for the Development of Vocational and Technical Education (CNDPT) carried out, with support from several institutions and experts, a series of labour market studies. The latest study was completed in 2012 by the National Institute for Research in the Area of Labour and Social Protection, a partner of CNDIPT in the project Correlation of the vocational and technical education provision with the requirements of the labour market. This study estimated, at the end of 2013 and with a perspective to 2020, the evolution of the labour demand at national level and for each development region, using a methodology which combines forecast methods and techniques based on panel econometric models and analytical methods. To provide complementary information, and also to validate the trends in the predictive studies, a Company Survey of Short-Term Labour Demand (6 – 12 months) was conducted in 2012. The predictive study and the Company Survey of Short-Term Labour Demand mentioned above are available on the CNDIPT website dedicated to the project.
Admission requirements and choice of school
The enrolment for all levels of public education is determined each year by a Government Decision based on the proposals from the Ministry of National Education. According to the provisions of the Law of National Education (Law 1/2011, with its subsequent changes and additions), the ministry’s proposal is preceded by several successive foundation-design-consultation phases which involve the local public authorities, the County School Inspectorates, the Local Committees for the Development of Social Partnership in Vocational Education, the representative teacher unions, and other partners. In every county, the enrolment for public schools is determined by a Minister Order according to the provisions of the Government Decision which reflects the results of the consultation process.
The admission requirements are determined for each level of education. For admission to vocational education/dual vocational education (grades 9-10-11), the students who completed lower secondary education (gimnaziu) are admitted based on a registration and admission procedure established by the Ministry of National Education. The criterion used for this selection and distribution procedure is the admission average mark.
All the students who completed gimnaziu education may express their option for continuing their education using the registration forms specifically designed for high-school or vocational/dual vocational education enrolment and made available by the Ministry of National Education. All the options made by the applicants and the existing places in schools are registered by the County School Inspectorates in the database of the Ministry of National Education. The applicants are assigned to the existing places in the decreasing order of their admission average mark and according to their options. The students who complete gimnaziu education may choose one of the following educational paths:
Lower cycle of high-school (grades 9-10, the first stage of high-school education) – organised for the following routes: theoretical, technological and aptitude-based (military, theological, sports, arts and pedagogical).
Vocational education or dual vocational education (grades 9-10-11), organised for areas of studies and qualifications.
The students who complete the 3 years of vocational education learn the entire subject matter of the general knowledge subjects taught in grades 9 and 10 of high-school and, therefore, they may continue their high-school education, taking up either the technological, or the theoretical route in the grades 11 and 12/13.
As from the 2012/2013 school year, the practical training of students in vocational and technical education has taken place based on a training agreement and its annexes, approved by the Order of the Education, Research, Youth and Sport Minister no. 3539/ 2012. The practical training agreement is concluded between the school, the partner economic operator/ public institution where the training takes place and the student/the student’s legal tutor. The main provisions of this agreement determine: the status of the trainee, the framework of the traineeship, the remuneration for the trainee, the labour health and safety conditions, the trainee’s responsibilities, the obligations and responsibilities of the organiser of the traineeship, the obligations and responsibilities of the traineeship partner, the assessment of the traineeship. The pedagogical annex includes information on the learning/assessment process, the model of the Training Certificate, etc.
Age levels and grouping of pupils/ students
The composition of the classes of students is determined by the school board of each school. The composition of classes depends on route, profile and qualification, and also on the foreign languages studied by students. In vocational education/dual vocational education, the composition of classes depends on qualification and the foreign languages studied by students. In dual vocational education, a class may be established with students enrolled for different qualifications (at most 3).
When students are enrolled in gimnaziu education, high-school education or vocational education, the continuation of the foreign language study is usually ensured, taking into account the educational provision of the school.
In duly justified situations, at the written request of parents or major students, the school board may decide to reverse the order in which foreign languages are studied, or may change them.
Classes are generally homogenous in respect of students’ age. The structure of classes in vocational education/dual vocational education – it is organised for students aged 14-16/17 and covers grades 9, 10 and 11 (vocational education, which covers the general knowledge subjects of high-school grades 9 and 10).
The number of students in a class depends on the level of education and is stipulated in the Education Law 1/2011, with its subsequent changes and additions. In high-school education (the lower and the upper cycle of high-school), as well as in vocational education/dual vocational education, there may be 25 students per class on average, but not less than 15 and no more than 30.
The Ministry of National Education may approve classes with a number of students below the minimum number or above the maximum number provided by the law according to the local concrete conditions (isolated localities, classes where teaching is in a national minority language etc.).
Practical training delivered in compact periods (compact traineeship) may be organised for groups of students (usually not less than 10 students).
According to the Rules for the Organisation and Functioning of School Education Establishments, approved by the Order of the Education and Research Minister no. 5079/2016, with its subsequent changes and additions, students are entitled to transfer from one school to another, from one route to another, from one profile to another, from one specialisation/ qualification to another, and from full-time to part-time education and vice-versa, based on the Internal Rules of the school they transfer to. The transfer takes place with the consultative advice of the board of the school from which the student transfers and with the approval of the board of the school to which the student transfers.
Students may transfer in the course of a school year, exceptionally, in the following situations:
when parents move to other locality, or to other district of Bucharest
when there is a transfer recommendation issued based on a medical expertise conducted by a public health department
to/from arts or sports education
from a high-school education class to a vocational education class
from language intensive or bilingual education to other profiles
in other exceptional situations, with the approval of the board of the School Inspectorate.
In vocational education, students may transfer as follows:
in the same school, from one class to another, within the limit of 30 students per class
from one school to another, within the limit of 30 students per class.
In case that the training field/qualification is changed, students take examinations accounting for the difference between the areas/qualifications concerned.
In post-secondary non-tertiary education, students may transfer from one qualification to another, within the same profile, and within the limit of 30 students per class. In case the qualification is changed, students take examinations accounting for the difference between the areas/qualifications concerned.
Organisation of the school year
The organisation of the school year in vocational and technical education is decided each year by an Order of the Education Minister.
The structure of the school year is based on a series of considerations:
a balanced distribution of school days and holidays
the specific climate of Romania
the respect for the population’s religious beliefs.
The National Curriculum is determined by the Ministry of National Education and it stipulates for each level of school education and each grade:
the total number of hours per week
the number of hours per week for each subject of the core curriculum
the number of hours per week dedicated to modules, and for these modules, the number of hours of theoretical training, technological laboratory and practical training.
In the framework set by the structure of the school year and the National Curriculum, each school is fully responsible for establishing the daily and weekly schedule for each class of students, and with the consultation of the partner economic operators (if practical training takes place at economic operators).
The school year in Romania has two semesters, two holidays in the period of classes and a summer holiday.
Schools may ask the County School Inspectorates to make changes to the timetable of the school year for objective reasons such as:
special climate conditions
the specificity of an area (agricultural works)
most students in the school have other religion than the Eastern Orthodox one, etc.
the organisation of practical training at economic operators during holidays and taking holidays in other periods.
The County School Inspectorates may approve such requests provided that the total number of school weeks and the corresponding number of school days set by an Order of the National Education Minister are complied with for all students.
Organisation of the school day and week
The weekly schedule (a system with 5 school days per week, day and/or evening classes) and the daily schedule for vocational and technical education are determined by the board of each school, following the consultation of teachers and parents, partner economic operators (if practical training takes place at economic operators) and based on the following criteria:
the number of hours per week set by the Framework Curriculum for each subject/module and year of studies, for each grade.
According to the provisions of the Framework Curricula in force, the total number of hours per week and per grade in full-time upper secondary education depends of the education level, and, as appropriate, on the route, profile and specialisation/qualification. For vocational and technical education, the number of hours per week depends on the profile/ area/ qualification and on the duration of studies, and it is determined based on the Curriculum approved by the Ministry of National Education.