ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Reforms and Responses in the Romanian Higher Education System

Mirela Vlasceanu
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
Mirela Vlasceanu
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
Open Panel

Abstract

The paper focuses on reforms in the Romanian higher education system introduced in the past few years as part of the Bologna process and the creation of the European Higher Education Area. The reform of higher education in Romania received new momentum after 2004, with the implementation of Bologna reforms and is currently undergoing significant changes, as a new law on education was adopted in January 2011. Most of the reforms of these past years were introduced with the specific goal of increasing quality and to better connect the national system with that of other European countries under the European Higher Education Area. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the impact of these changes, especially of those in the financing mechanism, on the behaviour of universities and the effects on the quality of education provided. The theoretical approach used is that of neoinstitutionalism and the model employed is provided by the Institutional Analysis and Development framework (Ostrom, 2007). The main hypotheses of the study are that the reforms until now have had a limited impact due to the creation of conflicting incentives, while the latest reforms may have a more positive impact on quality. The rationale is that the latter changes lead to a clearer differentiation between research and teaching institutions, which may allow for easier evaluation of their performance. The paper begins with a presentation of the higher education system and the reforms connected to EU policies, followed by a discussion on the responses of public universities to these policy changes. This comprises both behaviours observed in recent years and those expected by employing the theoretical model. The final section discusses the implications of the findings for the performance and the quality of Romanian higher education and draws a few conclusions concerning policy action related to the development of the knowledge society.