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EUA to support development of higher education reforms in Romania

March 25, 2011

The European University Association is pleased to announce that it will be working with the Romanian Ministry of Education and the Romanian universities to support the implementation of a major new higher education reform bill that came into force last month.

Romania has a large higher education sector with 54 public universities and approximately 40 accredited private universities. The new law, which foresees a reform of the entire HE sector, seeks to diversify the system by grouping all universities (public and private) into three major categories of institutions: research intensive, teaching and research oriented and mainly teaching institutions. The launch of the evaluation process has been announced today (Friday 25 March) at an event involving EUA and Daniel P. Funeriu, Romanian Minister of Education, Research, Youth and Sport as well as the Rectors of the country’s main universities.

The law requires these reforms and particularly the classification exercise to be supported by an external body. On the request of the Romanian Minister of Education, EUA has agreed to act as this external body. As a first step, EUA has established a high level international expert group to support the reform process. The members of expert group are:

* Lesley Wilson, EUA Secretary General
* Ellen Hazelkorn, Director of Research and Enterprise, and Dean of the Graduate Research School, Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)
* Winfried Müller, Former Rector, University of Klagenfurt (Austria)
* Peter Scott, Former Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University (UK)
* Andrejs Rauhvargers, Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Conference and Professor at the University of Latvia
* Maria Helena Nazaré, EUA Board member and former Rector, University of Aveiro (Portugal)
* Lewis Purser, Director (Academic Affairs), Irish Universities Association
* Andrée Sursock, Former Deputy Secretary General (EUA)

The task of the expert group will be to provide expert advice and follow-up on the methodology for this differentiation exercise, on the development of relevant indicators, and on the evaluation of the documentation received from universities.

In this initial phase universities will be asked to evaluate, themselves, to which of the three categories – mentioned in the law – they belong, and to provide or confirm the relevant data, much of which has already been collected by the Romanian Quality Agency (ARACIS), and the Romanian Funding and Research Councils.

EUA has agreed to take part in the first phase of this project provided that it is able to support and work with universities in the crucial follow-up phase focused on improving quality and institutional performance. This process will be carried out by the EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme over the next three years.