PM Ponta says the positive evolutions are visible in the Romanian higher education.
The new academic year 2013-2014 began. Countrywide, there are about 450,000 students, according to Agerpres. Nearly 340,000 are studying in public universities occupying places either funded either on fee, and about 110,000 students are enrolled in private universities.
The minister for Higher Education, Mihnea Costoiu, stated for Agerpres that the number of students enrolled in public universities increased by 10 percent over the last year.
“Now the market becomes more stable. The best universities excell,” said the minister. “According to the estimations we have so far, the number of students enrolled in public universities increased by about 10 percent compared to last year,” said Mihnea Costoiu, adding that he referred both to funded and on fee places. According to some public data, in 1995 there were 336,141 students enrolled in both public and private universities, in 2007 their number was 907,353, while in 2012 in Romania there were 464,592 students.
Regarding the scholarships, the minister said that “some students said we should support excellence, other student unions requested us to support the social grants category. We would like to discuss in the near future and to make a decision very fast to have in the budgetary year 2014 a policy to support the children with special social problems, but at the same time to not neglect the Olympians. As we announced, this year will begin the fellowship program for the young Olympians who remain in Romania. We identified the necessary amounts of money for the Research Department within the Education Ministry, and we will start the applications’ process. We want to continue the help together with our private partners.”
Nonetheless, Costoiu announced that this year the Education Ministry will begin the discussions in order to develop the methodology for the classification and ranking of the universities. With the occasion of the beginning of the university year, PM Ponta sent a message saying that the Romanian education system still faces deficiencies, yet the positive evolutions are visible, and that there are plenty of things to be done so that the Romanian higher education to reach the aimed excellence level. The head of Government showed that the higher education makes effort to connect more clearly to the European and international developments and to become more competitive on an increasingly competitive market in which the ability of adaptation and innovation has become the yardstick.
“There are still many things to be done so that the Romanian higher education to reach that level of excellence that we want and which the Romanian society needs. However, I trust that we will succeed. We are on the right track and if we pay more much respect to the teachers and to the students, at that point we will see the results. I am aware that the Romanian education is still facing defficiences, but positive evolutions are certainly felt. The government increased the absorption of EU funds, which can bring support to the higher education funding, even if the budget is still too low,” said Ponta.