BM71: 15 Students’ Priorities for an Effective and Qualitative Higher Education System

08.12.2016
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This summer, during the Romanian Students Organisations Forum, organized by National Alliance of Students Organisations in Romania (ANOSR), more than 300 students’ leaders from all over the country participated in a series of parallel debates and workshops on different aspects concerning the Romanian higher education system, the outcome being a set of 15 priorities for an effective and qualitative higher education system. The objectives were publicly disseminated by ANOSR this autumn, on the first day of this academic year, during a campaign called Future Implies Students. European Students’ Union (ESU) supports the initiative of ANOSR of proposing to the Romanian Government to adopt the proposed 15 objectives into their educational program. By this, we want to ascertain that education will be legitimately a national priority. ESU believes that the 15 points proposed by ANOSR represent a key guideline to be followed by all the educational policymakers in Romania and by the ones who are responsible for implementing these policies. The proposed 15 objectives are: 1. Appropriate financing of the education, above the EU member states average, based on performance, allotting annually a minimum of 6% of the GDP. 2. Stable and predictable national education legislation, based on authentic consultations with all the stakeholders involved in the education system. 3. High enough scholarship funds to grant universities the possibility of offering allowances to all the students in need. The scholarship quantum should cover all monthly expenses so that the university dropout rate due to the lack of financial resources would be eradicated. 4. Investment funds which would allow students dormitories renovations in order to align them to European standards, as well as building new dormitories where necessary to meet the accommodation demands. Proper financing of the career orientation and counselling system both for the tertiary and pre-tertiary education so that the students could access freely these services throughout their studies in order to better facilitate their insertion on the job market and guidance in choosing their corresponding educational path, another objective being to reduce the dropout rates. 6. Adequate internships legislation which would confer rights to those engaged in such activities. 7. Adequate funding and legislation which would allow the development of student centred learning, with a flexible system and adapted teaching means and methods, based on a modern academic infrastructure. 8. Objective, impartial and performing higher education quality assurance and evaluation system, correlated with the specific European directives, that does not allow any digression remain unsanctioned and that encourages universities to increase the quality of their study programs offered for all study cycles and involve students in all their processes. 9. Ethics, integrity and good governance – the core values of the Romanian education system, guaranteed by robust legislation that would not allow any sort of digression remain unsanctioned. 10. Internationally competitive and attractive education system created by substantial government investments into research and development programs and by creating an appealing public image of the Romanian education not involving corruption and imposture. 11. Adequate national programs for aiding the universities to adapt their infrastructure and academic resources to the needs of students with disabilities. 12. Consolidating the status of the students as equal partners with full rights in higher education, including by assuring their right to take part in electing the universities’ management in a proportion of at least 25% from all the electorate. 13. Developing the national student camps program by increasing the number of beneficiaries and capitalising publicly administered leisure and youth centres. 14. Promoting transparency, meritocracy and competency in all the structures of higher education and eliminating any political encroachment. The need to fundamentally reform and re-think the mission of Students Cultural Houses so that these would become supporting entities for students, closely cooperating with universities

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