From local theory to international practice
The low-quality level of Romanian education system, the opportunity of getting scholarships and grants, as well as the similar fees charged by the local universities are the main factors driving Romanian students abroad.
“Romanians opt to take courses overseas because the education systems are more focused on practice rather than theory as it is in Romania. Similarly, an overseas experience has a major contribution when getting a job, many employers looking favorably on these formative experiences” said Bogdan Kochesch, Business Development Manager, organizer of Romanian International University Fair and Romanian International Master MBA Exhibition (RINME).
Apart from organizing educational events, Educativa provides assistance to Romanians who want to take their training hunt abroad.
Nearly 85,000 young Romanians opted for abroad courses in 2004-2007, according to an Educativa study. The study was carried based on UNESCO statistics and data from the local market. “Unfortunately, no recent data are available. The number of young Romanian taking higher studies abroad has surely increased over the past years”, Kochesch stressed.
The mirage of the northern countries
The majority of young Romanian pursuing higher studies overseas take the courses for Bachelor degree. In countries such as Norway, Sweden, or Denmark, the higher education system is free of charge for the citizens of European Union, Romanian students having to cover the daily expenses for accommodation and food.
In other European countries, such as Holland, Romanians have to pay only 1,500 euros per school year.
“Approximately 85% of Romanians interested in overseas courses that we assisted last year were planning to take courses for Bachelors degree, as they are the most affordable compared to Masters or PhD. Another option for those taking Masters courses abroad or PhD would be to apply for a scholarship, but there are few examples in Romania”, said Kochesch. The best known scholarships in Romania are offered by Dinu Patriciu Foundation and Ion Ratiu Foundation.
The dream of foreign schools as seen by local students
Maria and Andreea are two students who received a scholarship for a Masters course in France and United States respectively. “We opted for an education program overseas because I am disappointed in the Masters program here. I was occasionally attending the university’s classes and this only because I felt obligated since the state was covering the fees. But overall, the students only mime a certain involvement in the course as well as teachers do with teaching. That sentiment of tacit arrangement between us and teachers is very sad: that we are pleased with what we receive and that they are doing their job”, said Maria. The scholarship she received was granted by the state of France.
The Masters courses last for a year, and authorities of France grant 800 euros on a monthly basis to cover the cost of living, the courses being free of charge. Three scholarships were granted in the area she applied for, and 20 students participated in the final stage of the admission contest
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