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January 23, 2021

Universities in Gov’t crosshairs

The Government plans to adopt an emergency ordinance that stipulates that the universities that enrol students above their maximum approved enrolment capacity or in unauthorized educational programmes will receive a fine that will amount to ten times the tuition fees collected.
The ordinance stipulates that, with the start of the 2015-2016 school year, higher education institutions that surpass their maximum approved enrolment capacity or that enrol students in unauthorized educational programmes will receive a fine that will amount to ten times the value of the tuition fees collected in that manner.
Likewise, the ordinance stipulates that the breaking of legal provisions will be sanctioned in this manner: the educational programme concerned will be cancelled in case the legal provisions were broken during a single school year and in what concerns a single educational programme, or the university will enter dissolution in case the legal provisions were broken in the case of two or more educational programmes or during at least two school years.
This year the Education Ministry was forced to pay over RON 1.7 M in damages as a result of 7,400 lawsuits filed by university graduates that complained that their B.A. diplomas were not issued or that they had graduated unauthorized courses.
“Another 2,300 lawsuits are currently ongoing. We will confiscate their tuition fees. It could go as far as dissolution if they do this several years in a row,” Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu stated.
Following its verifications, the Education Ministry discovered that the Spiru Haret University enrolled students in unauthorized education programmes starting with the 2005-2006 school year.
As a result of the ruling issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeals in 2008, the Spiru Haret University was no longer able to issue diplomas recognized by the Education Ministry. Most of the students continued to study at the university by being transferred to authorized educational programmes, the maximum enrolment capacity thus being surpassed.
Another category of students that filed lawsuits consists of those who obtained diplomas that are not recognized. Likewise, there are students who graduated educational programmes carried out in a language that had not been authorized at the time of their enrolment.
The universities where students graduated unauthorized educational programmes include the Spiru Haret University, the University of Bucharest, the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, the Al.I. Cuza University in Iasi, the Timisoara Polytechnics, the Oil-Gas University in Ploiesti, the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest and all medical universities in the country, the Government’s substantiation note shows.

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