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Yet another education law in Romania Ioan Jurca Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27, 2011 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Yet another education law in Romania Ioan Jurca Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27, 2011 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yet another education law in Romania Ioan Jurca Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

2 Agenda State of the nation Laws of education since 1990 Behind the scenes of the new law General characteristics of the law Principles of the law Financing the educational system K-12 education Higher education Statute of academic personnel Conclusions DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

3 State of the Nation(1) Romania was hit hard by the global crisis, especially since second half of 2009 Country contracted a 20 billion euros loan from MIF, WB, and EU Now a new stand-by loan of approx. 6 billion euros Starting on July 1, 2010, all salaries in public sector were reduced by 25% Since January 1, 2011 the reduced salaries are increased by 15% (i.e % of initial value) VAT increased from 19% to 24% Subsidies for low-income families were reduced DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

4 State of the Nation(2) A new tax was introduced on pensions (initial idea: reduce pensions by 15%) There is growing inflation, due to increased prices of foods and utilities (~8%) Technically we are 'out of recession, but not out of crisis' There is a 'unitary law on salaries' for public sector, with a special law for 2011 Approx. 100,000 jobs must disappear in the public sector Unemployment rate is under 10%, but approx. 2 million Romanians work abroad (mainly in Italy and Spain) Educational system underfunded in the last 3 years DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

5 Laws of Education since 1990 More than 10 ministers of education in 20 years, one of them twice Many ministers wanted to 'reform' education and promote 'their' law Education was always officially considered a 'national priority' Official name of ministry varied, usually including, beside education, research, youth, sport We had 3 government decisions dealing with the educational system in 1990, 1991 and 1993, a law of education in 1995 modified several times and a new law in 2011 There was also a law named Statute of educational personnel (1997) A law voted unanimously by Parliament in 2008 to increase salaries in education by 50% was never applied DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

6 Behind the scenes of the new law A Presidential commision analyzed the educational system and made a series of recommendations The new law is based, in principle, on such recommendations It was adopted while another version of the law was still debated in the Senate, in the procedure called assuming responsibility of the Government Many provisions of the law intend to eliminate corruption and are viewed sometimes as politically motivated Trade unions and many rectors complained that the form proposed by the Government was not publicly debated (or not enough) The present minister of education has never worked in the Romanian educational system DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

7 General characteristics of the law It regulates all forms of education: K-12, higher education, public, private and confessional institutions It consists of 7 titles (with chapters and sections), 365 articles and an appendix, and is printed on 63 pages of the Official Monitor Some articles of the law are applied immediately, while others will be applied only in 3-4 years from now To be applied, it needs tens (or hundreds) of government decisions and ministerial orders, which are still being elaborated Titles: General dispositions; Pre-university education; Higher education; Statute of educational personnel;Lifelong education; Juridical responsibility; Transitory and final dispositions DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

8 Principles of the law Equality (non-discrimination), quality, relevance, efficiency Decentralization, public responsibility Guarantees for cultural identity of all Romanian citizens and for intercultural dialogue Academic autonomy, academic freedom Freedom of thought non-dependence of ideologies, religious dogmas, political doctrines Decisions must be based on dialogue and consultation Respecting the right of opinion of students as direct beneficiaries of the educational system DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

9 Financing the educational system Anually minimum 6% of GDP from the national budget and budgets of local authorities (plus own income); 1% of GDP for research (from the national budget) Public education is free of charge; for some activities taxes can be charged On a yearly basis the ministry calculates the standard cost per pupil/student and funds are allocated for all pupils/students in the public system, but also in accredited private and confessional schools Government offers support for education in Romanian in countries where there are Romanian communities, in accordance with the legislation of those countries The state offers support for pupils with social/special problems DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

10 K-12 Education (1) The general compulsive education lasts 10 years and consists of primary and gymnasium education; higher secondary (lyceum) education will become compulsory until 2020 Religion is included as a subject, but at the request of parents or the pupil (if(s)he is major) pupils can be exempted from this subject Pupils can be transferred between schools with the acceptance of the receiving school Structure: – Early education (0-6 years of age) with a)ante-kindergarten(0-3) and b) kindergarten – Primary education: preparatory grade and grades I-IV – Secondary education: gymnasium (grades V-IX) and lyceum (grades X-XII/XIII, with 3 lines: theoretical, vocational and technological) – Professional education (between 6 months and 2 years) – Non-university tertiary education (post-lyceum) DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

11 K-12 Education (2) National minorities have the right to study and be educated in their language at all levels, types, and forms of pre-university education; all subjects are taught in their language, except Romanian language and literature It is possible to organize excellence centers for gifted children It is also possible to organize schools after school programs, in partnership with local authorities and parents All forms of schools must be accredited and periodically evaluated Size of classes: 5(7)9 for ante-kindergarten, 10(15)20 for kindergarten, 12(20)25 for primary education, 12(25)30 for gymnasium, 15(25)30 for lyceum, 15(25)30 for post-lyceum, 8(10)12 for slightly impaired children, and 4(5)6 for heavily- impaired children DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

12 K-12 Education (3) There is a national curriculum, consisting of a common part (compulsory subjects) and an optional part Number of hours/week: 20 for primary education, 25 for gymnasium, and 30 for lyceum Compulsory subjects cover 80% of the subjects in compulsory education and 70% in lyceum For each subject 75% of the time is dedicated to the common syllabus 8 domains of key competences: communication in Romanian and mother tongue;communication in foreign languages; basic mathematics, sciences and technology; information technology; social and civic; antreprenorial; 'sensibility and cultural expression'; learning how to learn Schoolbooks (manuals) are designed and evaluated based on syllabuses approved by the Ministry of education; teachers select and recommend to pupils the manuals they will use There is a Virtual School Library and an e-Learning School Platform DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

13 K-12 Education (4) There is a first evaluation at the end of the preparatory grade, of the physical, socio-emotional, cognitive, communication development, and of the capabilities for learning. This starts the 'educational portfolio' of the child At the end of second grade: evaluation of basic competences: reading-writing, mathematics (The 3 Rs) At the end of IV-th grade: a national-level evaluation by sampling of basic competences, after the model of international tests At the end of VI-th grade: two transdisciplinary tests: language and communication, and mathematics and sciences At the end of IX-th grade: national evaluation of all pupils: Romanian language and literature (written test);mother tongue(written); transdisciplinary mathematics and sciences (written); foreign language (written); computer usage (practical,during the school year); transdisciplinary civic and social competences (oral, during schoolyear) At the end of lyceum: national bacalaureat with 5 tests: A)oral communication in Romanian; B) oral communication in mother tongue; C)communication in 2 foreign languages; D) digital competences; E) writen tests in: Romanian language and literature; mother tongue; 2 tests specific for each profile (real, humanistic, technological, vocational) DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

14 Higher Education (1) All higher education institutions(HEI) (public, private, confessional) are 'personae juris', non-profit, of public interest and non-political All must have temporary authorization or be accredited Foreign HEI legally recognized in their country of origin can organize alone or in partnership with Romanian accredited HEI, branches in accordance with Romanian law; similar for Romanian HEI Mission of HE: initial and continual high-level education; scientific research, development, inovation, and technological transfer Public HE is free of charge for the number of students approved each year by the government and with a tuition fee over that number University autonomy can only be exercized with acceptance of public accountability Public accountability means: obeyance of law, own charta, national and European policies for HE; applying quality assurance and evaluation procedures; managerial efficiency; transparency of decisons; respect of academic freedom of personnel, students rights and freedoms Ministry can act if public accountability is violated: revoke the rector, reduce financing, dismantle university DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

15 Higher Education (2) Structure of HEI: faculties, departments, institutes, centers or laboratories, design units, consultancy centers, university clinics, artistic studios, theaters, musea, centers for continuous education, units of microproduction and services, experimental farms A faculty is the functional unit which develops and manages study programs, and includes one or more domains of sciences, arts or sports. Must be proposed by the university senate and approved by a decision of the government A faculty can include: departments, doctoral schools, post-university schools A department is the functional academic unit which ensures the production, transmission and valorification of knowledge in one or more domains; is approved, organized, divided, merged or eliminated by the university senate Academic year starts on the first working day of October and includes 2 semesters of 14 weeks each; after each semester there is a period of mininum 3 weeks for exams Studies are grouped in study domains and organized in 3 cycles: bachelor, master and doctorate Bachelor studies can be: full time, part time, distance education; master studies: full time or part time; doctoral studies: only full time DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

16 Higher Education (3) Admission: a framework methodology approved by the ministry, special provisions of universities; can charge taxes Graduation exams: diploma exam for bachelor; dissertation exam for master; public defence of doctoral thesis Only accredited HEI can organize graduation exams Supervisors of theses are responsible together with the authors about the originality of theses' contents Semester exams are graded with integer marks from 10 to 1, with 5 as minimum passing grade ECTS system is applied in bachelor and master studies, with 60 credits for an academic year; total number of credits for bachelor+master must be at least 300 Doctoral students are employed by the university as research or teaching assistants Supervisors of doctoral studies can be those who obtained the right before present law, or those who obtain 'certificat d'abilitation' and have the degree of at least assistant professor (maximum 8 students/supervisor) DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

17 Higher Education (4) Committee for public defence of doctoral thesis: at least 5 members, at least two of them from outside the university (including other countries) Qualification for the thesis: excellent, very good, good, satisfactory and non-satisfactory Maximum 15% of candidates in a year (per university) can be awarded 'excellent' Doctoral degree must be validated by a special structure of the ministry, and is awarded by a ministerial order Universities are evaluated for two purposes: temporary authorization and accreditation; establishement of a hierarchy of study programs and of universities 3 categories of universities: education-centered; education and research; advanced research and education. Leadership bodies: senate and administration council (university); faculty council; department council Leadership functions: rector, vice-rector, general administrative director; dean, vice-dean; department director DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

18 Statute of academic personnel(1) Degrees in education: teaching assistant; assistant professor; associate professor; professor Degrees in research: research assistant, researcher, researcher 3 rd degree, researcher 2 nd degree, researcher 1 st degree Departments propose 'functions lists' consisting of education degrees and number of positions for each degree Education degrees and number of positions are established based on: curricula of educational programs; number of study groups; university norms Function lists are advised by the faculty councils and approved by university senate A 'university norm' consists of education norm(lectures, seminars,labs, supervising diplomas, disertations, doctoral studies, evaluation, tutoring, membership in bodies and committees) and research norm Education norm: 7 conventional hours/week for a professor (minimum 4 hours of lectures), 8 for associate professor (4 for lectures), 10 for assistant professor(2 for lectures), 11 for teaching assistants (conventional hour: seminar/lab hour; 1 lecture hour=2 conventional hours) DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

19 Statute of academic personnel(2) For master studies a seminar hour is 1.5 conventional hours, and a lecture hour is 2.5 conventional hours; for teaching in a foreign language: multiply by 1.25 The university senate can increase the weekly norm, but it cannot be higher than 16 conventional hours/week (for those that do not have research activity) The total number of hours per week must be 40 For activities over the norm, the personnel is payed 'by the hour', but not more than one minimal education norm. Professors and associate professors who in the last 6 years had research grants can have a sabatical year Those elected or named in positions in public institutions can still teach for no more than one education norm The retirement age for academic and research personnel is 65. University senate can aprove continuation of activity after retirement age on a yearly basis, with payment by the hour DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

20 Statute of academic personnel(3) Doctoral supervisors can continue to supervise doctoral theses until the age of 70. They can co-supervise new doctoral students only with somebody who is not retired An academic position can be obtained only by public competition. There are minimal standards for each degree People related up to the third degree cannot function in the same university if one of them is in a position of authority in relation to the other Academic personnel is evaluated on intervals of maximum 5 years. It is compulsory to include evaluation by the students of the educational activity. The results of evaluation are public information. Payed holiday is minimum 40 working days, during student vacations Distinctions: merituos gradation (25% of basic salary) for 5 years, for not more than 16% of positions; orders and medals Sanctions: written admonestation; reduced salary; interdiction for a certain period to participate in competition for a new postion; removal from a postion of authority within university; dismissal. DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,

21 Conclusions The new law is comprehensive, framework for all kinds of educational activities Many dispositions can only be applied in the future, some over 4 years; it is not clear whether a new government will not try to change the law until then It regulates more clearly some controversial points, like number of norms covered by a person Now in a university only the director of department, the dean, and the rector are elected; other functions are nominated by the dean or rector A very controversial disposition: a rector cannot have another public position or a leadership position in a political party In higher education it is very difficult to hire young people on entry positions, and now a large number of professors were retired For the moment it is not possible to organize competition for associate professors and full professors The new law created quite a stirr in education, it is not clear how it will work DAAD Workshop, Ohrid, August 22-27,


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