Education Minister Catalin Baba said yesterday university tuition fees would not go up, leaving it with the universities to decide on whether they want more students or more budgeted places. ‘Twenty-five per cent of the members of university senates are student representatives. It will actually be the decision of professors and students who will be called to decide if they want to keep the existing number of grants or to fraction a certain share of those grants,’ Baba explained before his meeting with the Rectors of public and private universities. He reminded of the fact that there would be no more budgeted places, but grants in the 2012-2013 academic year, but the universities remain as it had been in 2011. According to the minister, priority in funding will be given to engineering sciences, medicine and exact sciences. Some of the top universities will receive a number of grants equal to the number of places they had last year. ‘Actually, a bigger sum will be allocated, RON 4,000 compared to RON 2,500 so far for each grant’, Mediafax quotes the minister of education as having said. Asked if a bigger grant wouldn’t lead to bigger tuition fees, the minister’s answer was negative. ‘On the contrary. You cannot do quality education with RON 2,500/student as long as other EU countries allocate five times more. (…) This year we have suggested RON 4,000 per student as a transition phase. It will probably need to grow next year,’ Baba said. The other topics addressed during the talks with the Rectors were the classification and hierarchy of study programmes, the process of accreditation and the way in which professors qualify for being doctoral supervisors. Another subject was the situation of professorial positions in the public and private higher education system in Romania. ‘Under the National Education Law, professors need to meet very accurate standards and conditions in respect of their activity of scientific research, publications of international relevance and professorial work,’ the minister explained. The Rector of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, in turn, has announced that his institution was not going to raise tuition fees. ‘We are not raising tuition fees. We have already voted on that I the number of places will hopefully not decrease, because this is a university ranked in the world’s top 500, with some of the best available study programmes’, Mihnea Costoiu said. On the other hand, the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) Bucharest may increase tuition fees. Rector Remus Pricopie anticipated a change of the sums, but did not indicate the exact growth. He also said candidates will be accepted to SNSPA still based on a competition as in the previous years.