Education system in Romania

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Compulsory education runs from 7 to 15 years. It is co-ordinated and controlled by the Ministry of National Education who give guidance to the 7 general departments and 31 departments.

Though compulsory, not all children attend school. This is particularly problematic in rural areas and for poor families. Rural families have large farms lacking agricultural machinery and so require their children to form part of their workforce. Though basic education is free-of-charge parents of older students are required to pay for textbooks and uniform as well as transport to school and making school contributions. In rural areas, schools are often few and far between thus the cost of transport compounds the problem for poor families in these areas.

The Serviciul National de Evaluare si Examinare (SNEE) (National Evaluation and Examination Service) is the assessment body in Romania. The majority of assessment grades students from 1-10, grades being deducted at every mistake.

Secondary schools can be academic, industrial, agricultural, economic and administrative or normal schools and may specialise in Forestry, Fine Arts, Sports, Cybernetics or Metrology. The duration of study depends on the type of school.

Age in years Phase
0 to 3 Nursery schools provide daily or weekly care for children whose families do not have the time or means to educate or care for them.
3 to 7 Kindergartens may be public or private but all must be approved by school inspectorates. Kindergartens may run ‘normal’ programmes, full-day or weekly education as well as specialised programmes for children with special needs. The curriculum in pre-schools includes education for languages, science and society, aesthetic education and psycho-motor education as well as optional extras.
7 to 11 Primary School Assessment is done by qualifications that are based on performance descriptions rather than grades, as are used for the rest of the pre-academic education system.
11 to 15 Lower Secondary School (Gynasium) Lower Secondary School (Gynasium) ends with the Capacity Examination and, if students pass, an award of the Capacity Certificate. Exam scores are used to determine whether students are admitted to secondary education. However, students who fail are allowed to re-sit the examination the following year.
15 to 19 Upper Secondary (Liceu) schools These are divided into science, technical orientation and humanities streams. Following the Baccalaureate exam, students are awarded the Baccalaureate diploma.

Technical Secondary School (Liceu de Specialitate) - students follow a 4-year course resulting in the Baccalaureate diploma plus a Vocational Certificate.

Vocational Secondary School (Şcoala Profesională) - students follow a 2-year course (15-17) resulting in the diploma of completion of a vocational school.

Higher Education Admission to any institute of higher education requires a minimum score of 6 on the Baccalaureate Diploma and a minimum of 5 on the entrance exam.

Institutes of higher education can be public or private and include universities, academies, polytechnics, institutes and colleges. Universities provide short (3 year) and long (4-6 year) courses as well as post-graduate education (1-2 years resulting in a masters and a further 4-6 years to obtain a doctorate). Polytechnics provide engineering and vocational courses.

Lifelong learning Ministries, national authorities, companies and non-governmental organisations provide education to refresh or train present or future employees. These programmes lead to certificates that are recognised by the Ministry of Education. From 1999 there has also been a drive to provide training in adult literacy and basic education.

Educational Alternatives

‘Step by Step’ programmes

These were set up for children in kindergarten under the Head Start logo. Although they follow the curriculum outlined by the Ministry of Education, they follow a very specific pedagogy.

Private Schools

Private schools are available at all levels of education and have a high degree of autonomy with the option of opting out of the public curriculum. The social and economic climate in Romania means that only wealthy families can afford such education.

From the 90s Steiner, Montessori, Freinet and Jenaplen pedagogies became available.


Ministry of National Education, Institute for Sciences of Education, Romania: Education for All, Bucharest (1999) (Visited 7th July 2005).

Useful Links

Ministry of Nation Education
Website of the Ministry of National education, the body that co-ordinates and controls education nationally. (Visited 21st July 2005)

Romania at
A guide to the educational structure in Romania, admissions to higher education, student life and international co-operation and exchanges. (Visited 21st July 2005)

World Education Profiles: Romania
An educational overview of the size and structure of the public and private educational systems in Romania, as well as the academic year, teacher education, administration and finance. (Visited 21st July 2005)