Being A Student In Romania: 2016 vs 2017
– What Has Changed?
Located in Europe, Romania offers students a number of options when it comes to university study. There are currently five universities in Romania, with the highest ranking one being the Babes-Bolyai University and choosing where to study is an important decision. Currently, the expenditure on education is 9.24% of the budget and 21.65% of this is invested in higher education. The enrolment rate for university study is 53.22%.
Recently there have been changes to science courses, with international researchers being dropped from Romanian science projects and Romanian scientists who have been working at international universities removed from national science councils. Rules have also changed in relation to funding national research and development.
Under these new rules, the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation funding will no longer make use of international evaluators concerning projects valued at 191 million Euros unless there aren’t any specialists available at a national level. Each overseas evaluator will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The largest universities within the country are not happy with these new changes stating that it is a backward step for Romanian education because it reduces cooperation with Romanian universities and will have a significant impact on the country’s ability to participate in innovation and research projects.
Other areas of concern relate to funding cuts particularly in relation to research. There were ambitious plans to increase research spending every year to achieve 1% of GDP by 2010, but this milestone will not be reached. Ongoing research projects ceased and no longer received funding from 2017.
Student accommodation is poor, with many students having to address maintenance issues themselves. It is also challenging to find suitable university accommodation, and universities are only able to meet 30% of the demand for student accommodation meaning that students have to look elsewhere for a place to live while they study. The cost of living is reasonable, and it is possible to eat on a budget, preparing your own food or making use of student cafeterias, you should need between 120 and 150 Euros a month.
For transport, students will pay around 15 Euros a month. Depending on where you study, the costs can be a little more expensive; Bucharest, for example, has a higher cost of living than some of the other places. Students in the country usually enjoy a range of discounts or freebies. 500 Euros a month is more than enough to live on as a student.
Many universities in Romania have difficulty in attracting top talent because salaries are low and resources are underfunded. It has been argued that these changes only serve to exacerbate the situation. Due to the bureaucracy experienced in national universities, it can be difficult for them to reach their full potential.