The members of the Romanian Alliance of Technical Universities - ARUT, represented by the rectors and pro-rectors have been participated at the Gheorghe Asachi Technical University in Iaşi, from 6th to 8th of June 2019, at a working meeting. Prof.dr.eng. Claudia Popescu - President of CNFIS and Paul Baran, representative of the Romanian-American Foundation have been participated to the sessions works. Furthermore, Prof.dr.eng.arch. Marian Moiceanu, the rector of Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest has been also taking part to the session’s works as a guest.
The themes on the agenda were as followings:
- analysis of the admission allocation of places regarding the three academic cycles for the academic year 2019 - 2020;
- evaluation of doctoral schools and doctoral studies - current status and implications;
- Short presentation and analysis of the results regarding the FDI projects 2019 competition;
- entrepreneurial education in technical universities;
- analysis of the current status of ARUT grants.
The ARUT members express their dissatisfaction with the allocation of the tuition figure for this academic year. If the bachelor and master study cycle was based on the number of jobs occupied last year, this rule was no longer applied to doctoral studies, where most technical universities received fewer seats than those occupied in 2018, applying this time another rule which has consisted in the number of seats allocated in the previous year.
The use of this principle, regarding the distribution of the schooling figure by "history" (ie by the number of occupied places, respectively allocated in the previous years), had the effect, for the technical universities of ARUT, to allocate a number of places for admission, lower than in the previous year, in total disagreement with the provisions of the National Strategy for Tertiary Education in Romania 2015 - 2020, which states (art.71) "because most of the performing sectors in the Romanian economy are associated with the engineering sciences, it is absolutely necessary to correlate the current supply of tertiary education with the needs of the labour market ".
It can be noticed that, despite all the signals given by the economic environment regarding the ever-increasing number of graduates in the technical field, their number will be in the following period also decreasing.
Despite the steps taken in previous years, there is now no methodology for allocating the schooling number for admission to universities according to Romania's economic priorities, as well as on the basis of performance indicators of universities and doctoral schools.
The low number of places allocated to PhD studies in Engineering Sciences and their predominant distribution to socio-economic fields cannot be regarded (given that doctoral positions have a higher net funding) than an indirect way of financial support for certain universities .
ARUT calls on the National Council for Statistics and Prognosis of Higher Education (CNSPIS) and the Ministry of National Education to develop the methodology for allocating the budgeted places for the three cycles of study, given the priorities given by national strategies and labour market requirements, as well as by other performance criteria such as employment rate in the field of study, scientific results obtained - for the doctoral cycle.
The ARUT member states note with concern that the assessment of doctoral schools is in deadlock, although several universities (most of ARUT) have submitted their self-evaluation files within the deadline specified by the law (March 15, 2019). We call on the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance - ARACIS - to start this process even with a pilot phase, our universities expressing their willingness to do so.
Some remarks were made on the first year of the ARUT grants for young teachers in our institutes to partly offset the lack of grant competitions launched by the Ministry of Research and Innovation. The possibility of introducing these grants in the category of national grants, from the minimum criteria established at CNATDCU level, has been discussed.
Following the analysis of the results of the FDI projects 2019 and the way they are running, ARUT members appreciate the increase in the budget allocated to it and considers it necessary to continue this competition. It is proposed to award larger amounts to winning projects, with an appropriate reduction in the number of projects that can be funded.
The aspects concerning the application of the entrepreneurial principles of the technical universities were discussed, on the basis of the partnership between them and the Romanian-American Foundation. In this respect, it was proposed to extend the number of teachers to participate in entrepreneurship training in the USA by co-financing internships, in order to create solid structures in universities to promote these principles among students and to contribute to the development of university management.
It has been agreed that the next ARUT meeting will take place in October 2019 in Bucharest.
Politehnica University of Timisoara
Politehnica University of Bucharest
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi
Radu Sorin VĂCĂREANU
Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest