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The government has decided yesterday to close down four universities – the Financial-Banking University in Bucharest, the Roman Catholic Theological Institute in Bucharest, the “Mihai Eminescu” University in Timisoara and the “Mihail Kogalniceanu” University in Iasi. Higher Education Minister Mihnea Costoiu stated on Realitatea TV that the 135 learning programs failed to live up to the quality standards. “We have decided to liquidate these programs. Starting with school year 2014-2015 admission exams are no longer taking place. The said universities no longer have the right to organize admissions,” Costoiu said, being quoted by realitatea.net, pointing out that the students already enrolled will not be affected by this decision. According to the minister, the decision taken yesterday by the government represents “the biggest cleanup of the last 25 years.” “All these things are done with the goal of having quality education. I call on youngsters to access the Education Ministry’s website and to choose those universities that are licensed,” Costoiu said. The minister claims that three other universities are under close scrutiny. Those universities are the Bioterra University, the “Gheorghe Cristea” Science and Arts University and the “Apollonia” University in Iasi.
Alma Mater Union President Anton Hadar states that we have to appreciate the state of Romanian education and the Education Ministry’s initiative, because in recent years an ever decreasing number of high school students passed the Baccalaureate exam. “It was normal to have universities closing down. There are universities that have not filed licensing bids. The fact that several universities are disappearing is a bonus, not a loss. Youngsters have to be very careful, to check where they sign up,” Hadar stated. The opinion is shared by former Education Minister Liviu Pop. “It’s like in commerce. (…) Romanian universities have not been evaluated. What was monitored in the past two years was made public today (yesterday),” Pop said.
Romanian education should not be a jungle where only strongest survive, Ponta says
Prime Minister Victor Ponta says his government has “a different concept” on the Romanian education system, and the state should support children with learning difficulties so that they carry on their studies. Speaking at the opening of the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Ponta declared: “We have a different concept: we don’t think that Romanian education should be a jungle where only strong ones survive. On the contrary, we congratulate them, we’re happy for them; nevertheless, as many children as possible managing to stay in school, to get results, sometimes worse, sometimes better, who must have at some point the possibility of passing their baccalaureate – I believe in this idea that we should be a society where the best are awarded, while the weaker are also helped to get better. From my point of view, (…) the modifications brought to the education law are good and welcome.”
The PM added that the government ordinance that modifies the education law would be sent to Parliament for debates. Furthermore, Minister of Education Remus Pricopie asserted that the government ordinance modifying the education law results in honouring a commitment taken by Romanian authorities to reduce the number of pupils who drop out of school.