Minister of Education Ligia Deca met on Monday in Washington D.C. with Scott Weinhold, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and during the meeting they discussed issues related to the evolution of the Fulbright program in Romania, whose implementation began in 1960.
Through the Fulbright program, Romanian citizens receive scholarships to study and research at prestigious universities in the U.S., and American citizens receive scholarships to study and research at renowned Romanian universities. To date, more than 3,600 Romanian and American students, professors and researchers have benefited from Fulbright grants.
According to a press release, during the meeting, Minister of Education Ligia Deca highlighted the efforts made by the Romanian Government to increase the number of scholarships.
“The contribution of the Romanian side in relation to the funds allocated by the American side for the operation of the Fulbright Program and the development of university exchanges has increased considerably. We are happy to announce that the budget allocated to Fulbright grants has increased year by year, and in 2024 we will have a considerable and welcome increase,” Deca said, according to the press release.
Minister Ligia Deca spoke about the educational initiatives that already exist – and which are supported by civil society partners – and the opportunities that the new high school curriculum offers. State Department representatives expressed openness to cooperation and exchange of experience in this area.
Other topics discussed were the efficiency of the mechanism for the recognition of skills acquired by American students in Romania, especially for medical students, whose number has increased in recent years, the possibility of organizing exchanges of experience between Romanian and U.S. teachers, the launch of the Flex Abroad program, under which, for the first time, 5 American students will study for a year in Romania, the importance of the grants awarded to the more than 3,000 Romanians who have benefited from study programs and not only in the US to maintain contact with American professionals.
The American side appreciated the efforts of the Romanian state to support Ukrainian students to continue their education and to introduce the subject “Jewish History. Holocaust” in the framework plans for high school.
“Taking into account the multitude of cooperation programs, their success and impact, the delegation of the Ministry of Education proposed to the State Department to complete and renew the legal framework for cooperation in the area of education,” the release also said.
Ligia Deca was accompanied by Remus Pricopie, rector of the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) and former chairman of the US-Romania Fulbright Commission Board (2009 – 2012, 2015 – 2019, 2021 – 2023).