40,000 Romanian students benefit from study programmes in the European Union

Secretary of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Janina Sitaru pleaded on Tuesday at the debate titled “The future of education in Romania”, held at the Students’ Culture House in Bucharest, for the return home of young Romanians who have chosen educational institutions abroad, mentioning that 40,000 students in our country benefit from study programmes in the European Union, while last year 50,000 students from all over the world wanted to study in Romania.

She also said that the Romanian educational market is “very attractive” and “sought after”, with the Romanian state awarding 500 scholarships annually to non-EU citizens who want to study in Romania.

The debate, which was attended by students, representatives of ministries, universities and business, sociologists, financial analysts and journalists, addressed issues related to the principles that should govern the field of education in Romania, from formal to non-formal and informal education, as well as issues related to future challenges in the field, types of education, curriculum, financing of education and unrestricted access to education.

Sorin Nita, assistant professor at the University of Economic Studies (ASE), and Andrei Voichita, administrator at Dueverde SRL, spoke about financial education, while Teodor Vergu, expert in fund accessing, implementation and management of cybersecurity projects at the Romanian National Cyber Security Directorate, presented the challenges that users may face in the online environment, which is not exactly free of dangers. Alexandru Ozunu, co-founder of Young Professionals, Global Shaper, highlighted the main issues facing Romanian students.

Attending the debate, Claudia Nicolae, managing director of AGERPRES National News Agency, said that information, built on an educational foundation, will be a basis for future reality and called for more openness in dialogue with the younger generation.

“Information, after all, is a basis, a foundation of future reality. This basis cannot be built without an educational foundation. Even in the last few days of the last year, if you have looked a little more closely, there has been a very broad concern about cultural and artistic education (…) I want you to be curious and to give us any challenge that you think would be useful to understand certain things,” Claudia Nicolae told the students present at the event.

The debate was organised by the Association of Political Science Students of the University of Bucharest, in partnership with the Digitalio platform, and was included in the Agenda Romania 4.0 project, initiated by Press Cluster – Association of Press and Content Creators Cluster.

According to the organisers, the latest data show that in Romania, for every 1,000 people aged 20-29, there are 46.2 higher education graduates (ISCED 5-8), compared to an EU average of 61.9. At the same time, the school drop-out rate in our country is 16 percent, the highest in the European Union, and 41.5 percent of children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The data highlights the precariousness of the Romanian education system and the need to debate the future of education in Romania.