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June 13, 2021

Minister Curaj on doctoral theses: Legislation is incoherent and chaotic

Education Minister Adrian Curaj stated that at present in the doctoral theses domain, the legislation is incoherent and chaotic, there was not sufficient political will to give the university environment a robust framework and the autonomy needed and political games did a lot of harm to the Romanian education system, adding “this should not continue, it’s over.”

The statement was made on Sunday at a press conference in which the minister talked about the launch for public debate of the draft Government decision on the university doctoral studies code.

“I wouldn’t have been here if this was clear, and it wasn’t. (…) So far, we have an incoherent, chaotic legislative framework that generated the situation we find ourselves in. There wasn’t political will to give the education system a robust framework and the autonomy needed. We had political games that did a lot of harm to the Romanian education system. The results are visible today and we are surprised by them,” the minister said.

He added that it would have been very simple for him to assume a political game.

“I believe it is the Education Ministry’s obligation to create a fair and predictable legislative framework, and we lacked this framework so far, we had double standards about what we were doing with the holders of doctor’s degrees or politicians that are Ph.D. candidates,” Adrian Curaj stated.

According to Curaj, the new changes in the doctoral domain will allow the restoring of educational institutions’ credibility, where needed, the strengthening of academic credibility and the consolidation of the Romanian universities’ prestige.

“The changes come in a package with rendering transparent the information about doctoral theses, the self-assessment of doctoral schools and the international assessment of doctoral schools,” the minister explained.

He reiterated that the awarding and cancelling of Ph.D. titles will from now on be among the prerogatives of universities and the Romanian Academy.

The new Council for the certification of diplomas will be, according to the draft, an institution of appeals. Thus, the Council verifies the procedure and makes sure of the quality of the title awarding procedure, may request the re-analysis of the decision, and the institution that offers university doctoral studies analyses and takes the decision. In all situations, the doctoral institution’s failure to implement CNATDCU’s decisions will result in its suspension, Adrian Curaj pointed out.

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