President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that an education system offering employment opportunities is a matter of national security.
“To devise a long-term system offering the graduates employment opportunities is not merely an economic matter and less so an exclusively personal one, it is a matter of national security. Quality education connected to the job market, the economic growth and the development of a society are angles of the same whole and depend on each other”, Iohannis told the opening of the new academic year at Bucharest University.
The president argued that the dialogue of the academic environment with the Romanian and foreign employers has become a necessity, given that performing education and economy is being desired.
“Intelligent specialisation, technological transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship make a successful economy and a prosperous society”, he added.
“I have great expectations from the academic and scientific communities to actively and creatively participate in the public debates that can shape the society, can transform the public systems, can curb social inequity and, last but not least, can raise Romania’s international profile”, Iohannis underscored.
The Romanian leader stressed that the reform of the educational system can only be made by genuine dialogue, otherwise such reform is doomed to failure from the start. He cited the Education Law, which he said was finalised without such dialogue and the consequences are felt even today.
The opening festivity of the 2015-16 academic year at Bucharest University was dedicated to the International Education Day.
Also attending the event were Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu, Bucharest University Principal Mircea Dumitru and the University Senate President Vlad Nistor.
PM Ponta: Guvernment to keep promises made to Education unions
The Government will keep all its promises made in its agreement with the Education unions, Prime Minister Victor Ponta declared on Monday, the World Teachers’ Day.
“Let us thank, on the World Teachers’ Day, all the educational staff and employees of the education system for their work throughout the school year! The Government will keep all the promises it assumed in the agreement with the unions, and we will see that the new budget salaries law continues over the coming years the 2015 wage raise,” Ponta wrote on his Facebook page.
“Education is a priority to Romania, alongside the Healthcare, and we will do everything we can for the two fields develop simultaneously,” the prime minister asserted.
Students Union asks Gov’t to invest more in higher education
The Romanian National Students Union (UNSR) has asked the Government to invest more in higher education and to increase the aid and merit scholarships by 25 percent.
“The UNSR sent Prime Minister Victor Viorel Ponta an open letter asking the Government he heads to make important investments in the higher education system, increase the aid and merit scholarships by 25 percent and raise the subsidies for student dormitories and canteens (such subsidies having remained unchanged for over five years, in spite of the rise in the utility costs), as well as start building new dormitories so as to curb the accommodation deficit”, the students’ organisation said in a release to Agerpres on Monday.
The Union also underscored the importance of the education reform. “A higher percentage of gross domestic product for education has been requested repeatedly both by representatives of the students and representatives of the pupils and other major education players, enhanced attention to the educational system has also been requested year after year; the need of an education reform has become increasingly known among more and more people and, nevertheless, things have been at a standstill in such an important sector for a nation, in spite of the declared promises and preoccupations of many persons”, the release said.
According to the UNSR open letter, the National Statistics Institute, in the 2013-14 academic year offered figures showing that 20,000 students dropped out of universities in the first two years of study. The organisation notes that the educational objectives of Europe 2020 Strategy include curbing school drop-out to less than 10 percent and increasing the rate of higher education graduates by more than 40 percent by 2020. The students argue that a useful measure in this respect would be to facilitate the population’s access to higher education by long-lasting investments.