EduMin Popa: We hope two-three Romanian universities will be included in European network pilot programme. EU Commissioner Navracsics says in each member state minority communities represent problematic issues in education

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Education Minister Valentin Popa (photo L) said at a press conference in Targu Mures on Thursday that he hopes Romania will have at least two or three universities in the pilot programme to set up networks of European universities, adding that the matter was discussed with the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports,   Tibor Navracsics (photo C).

“Another theme, which is addressed every time by the commissioner, is the project of European universities, a project that involves the creation in two-four years of twenty networks of European universities which study programmes are synchronised, so that students can spend three-four semesters at universities abroad, networks that are based on the principle of excellence and geographical distribution. At each of the meetings, I emphasised this principle, which must be respected, of geographical distribution of universities in the networks and I was assured of the full support of the European commissioner for the criteria he will apply for the distribution of these networks. The criteria on which these networks of universities will be established are currently being negotiated,” said Popa.

Popa said that a working group meeting was held on Wednesday where the European commissioner was handed a paper that says the European university networks should contain, in a first phase, seven-eight universities.

“At the end of this year and early next year, there will be a pilot project, funded through the Erasmus Programme that will start operating four-five networks of this kind, we hope to have as many universities as possible in this programme, I was proposing the commissioner that each network set up this way should be developed in the future so that each network should have at least one university from each member state. There are 20 universities in Romania, but access to these networks of excellence should be tested by Romanian universities. Today there are almost 10 universities that can qualify against the existing criteria and we hope that we have at least two-three universities in the pilot programme. But it does not depend on me, or the Commissioner, because we only form the legislative framework, access, criteria, scores,” said Popa.

He said that after all, universities should apply and find European partners and, more than that, be willing to synchronise their study programmes across networks.

Popa added that this was his fifth meeting with the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Navracsics, to discuss items on the European agenda related to education.

Navracsics told the news conference that these two networks will have two pillars, one of which is excellence, “quality highly performing universities.”

 

EU Commissioner Navracsics says in each member state minority communities represent problematic issues in education

 

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Tibor Navracsics told a news conference on Thursday held in Targu Mures that the statistics show that in each member state one of the problematic issues in respect to education is represented by the minority communities.

He went on saying that the education policy of the European Union has a very important aspect, namely the education of minority communities in their mother tongue, especially because the statistics reveal that in each member state the problematic issues, in terms of education, are represented by the minority communities, which encounter a lot of difficulties in many respects – religion, ethnic social problems, restricted access to educational process – and thus they face problems in their careers, in their future. The European official mentioned that because of this aspect the education problem in the national minority language is also the problem of the majority community and this is why we have to carry out a continuous dialogue and see how we can help each other, how we can get to a successful process. He added that it is not just an aspect of the educational policy, but a social aspect too, mentioning that only through consensus and discussions the problems can be identified.

The European Commissioner mentioned on Thursday in Targu Mures that he also met with Romania’s Education Minister Valentin Popa, giving that the education area acquires a more European nature.

Education Minister Valentin Popa showed, at the press conference, that he informed Tibor Navracsics in respect to the increase in the number of school manuals printed in the languages of national minorities.

The Minister mentioned that within the discussion in Targu Mures also tackled was the issue of the education in Romanian language in Ukraine.