The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Challenges of Higher Education Reform in Romania

Alina Mihaela Dima, Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Romania)

Vanesa Vargas, Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Romania)


As many countries from Eastern and Central Europe, higher education in Romania has experienced dramatic changes following economic and political transformations after the communist regime. The higher education architectural framework has gone through various stages and it is still on ongoing process. Starting from 1990, new initiatives, through legal acts or procedures, liberalized and democratized the higher education system by changes and modernization of the former communist legislation. The development of private universities, the fake university autonomy, the new public financing mechanism, the quality assurance mechanism, along with the provisions of Bologna Declaration provided the context for reforming. The new education Law no. 1/2011 was highly influenced by the adoption of the National Pact for education, endorsed by all political parties, giving strong reasons for change: the need for curricular reform, the low level of scientific production, the lack of diversification of universities, the low level of university autonomy, the miss functions in the university management and leadership, the need for a more student centered approach, the low access of rural and disadvantaged groups to higher education system, the low position of the Romanian universities in the international rankings etc. The new National Education Law was adopted on the 5th of January 2011 and included a set of provisions that targeted these dimensions to stimulate excellence in the Romanian higher education system. This paper critically analyses the main steps of the Romanian higher education reform as compared with other countries in the area and provides insights for further changes and developments.

Keywords change, higher-education, reform of education, challenges

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