The Romanian Study Abroad Market

In this market report on Romania we will cover socio-economic, educational and mobility trends. Since Romania joined the EU back in 2007, its economy has grown tremendously. The country’s GDP rose by 40% since then. Although government expenditure on education is still behind the EU average, education spending increased by 5.6%. It represents 8.6% of total government spending. By comparison, the EU average is 10.3%. (source EuroStat).

At present, Romania’s priorities include investments in infrastructure, health care, education, job creation, and small and medium enterprise development. The country’s economic growth has been one of the highest in the EU since 2010. Its current growth rate is 4.1%. (source WorldBank).

Rising GDP has also caused for a greater demand for quality education and overseas studies. Romania’s outbound mobility rate is 6.3%. Back in 2007 this way slightly over 2%. At this point close to 36,000 Romanian students are studying overseas. All this and more in the Market Report on Romania.

Quick facts

  • Population: 19.2 million (2020)

  • Education: 11 years compulsory

  • Academic year: September – June

Secondary education

  • Starting age: 11

  • Duration: 8 years (4 years lower secondary school, 4 years upper secondary school)

  • Enrollment numbers: 1.5 million (2019 data)
    Enrollment rate: 89%

Higher education

  • Duration: 5 years (bachelor 3, Master 2)

  • Enrollment numbers: 535.218 (2019)

  • Tertiary enrollment rate: 48%

  • Universities / Higher Education Institutions: 57 (49 public, 8 private)

Romanian Education System

Secondary education

Education in Romania is compulsory for 11 years, from the primary school to Grade 10 of upper secondary education. Grade 12 is the final year of upper secondary school.

At the age of 14, at the end of lower secondary education (Grade 8), Romanian students take a national examination (Evaluarea Națională), which assesses their performance in mathematics and Romanian language and literature. Results in this exam, their average grade at the end of each year of lower secondary and students’ individual school choices determine the upper secondary school and the type of program students will attend. Students may be assigned to one of three types of high school: technological, theoretical or vocational.

Technological high schools combine academic and vocational programs. In 2018 44.1% of 15-18 year-olds were enrolled in this option. The theoretical and vocational high schools both follow an academic program, but the latter have a special focus on arts, sports, theology or the military. In 2018, 45.1% of 15-18 year-olds were enrolled in theoretical and vocational high schools.

Admission to Higher Education

At the end of upper secondary education, students from all three types of high school must pass the baccalaureate examination if they wish to access tertiary education. The baccalaureate pass rate varies widely across the different types of high schools

Source: OECD

Higher Education

Higher education in Romania is organized in universities, study academies, institutes, higher education schools. Higher education institutions may be state or private and are subject to accreditation by the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Since 2005, the higher education system in Romania has been organized in three cycles: Bachelor the first degree programs, master programs and doctorate programs compatible with the European qualification framework.

University level studies:
First Cycle: Bachelor/undergraduate programs
Depending on the type of bachelor’s program, studies have a different duration.

  1. 6 semesters (3 years) for sciences, humanities, economic and social sciences, political sciences, etc.;
  2. 8 semesters (4 years) for engineering, technique;
  3. 12 semesters (6 years) for general medicine, dental medicine, veterinary medicine and architecture.

Upon completion students are awarded a Diploma de Licenţă: a bachelor’s degree (240 credits).

Second cycle: Master’s programs
Master-degree studies take 2-4 semesters, are finalized by a dissertation and recognized through a Diploma de Master.

Third Cycle: PhD programs
Doctoral Diploma is the highest academic degree awarded in all domains after 3-4 years of study and original research. It follows the first academic degree (or master’s degree) and requires the passing of examinations and the submission of an original thesis. The holder of a doctoral diploma is granted the Ph.D. title in the respective field of science or arts.

(Source: EACEA / European Union)

Image depicting the Romanian Educational System

Types of Higher Education Institutions

There are 6 types of Higher Education Institutions in Romania:

  1. Universities are multidisciplinary research institutions, public or private. These are the largest HEIs, offering a wide range of programs, giving higher degrees in sciences and the professions, and carrying out both teaching and research activities.
  2. Academies offer specialist training, usually in a single broad field such as Music.
  3. Politechnics offer programs that emphasize training in technical and practical fields.
  4. Institutes offer professional degrees in limited specializations. Training is usually a combination of study and practical experience.
  5. Colleges offer two or three year diplomas which cannot be used to enter higher levels of tertiary education. They may be autonomous institutions or sections of Universities.
  6. Postgraduate schools offer programs in one of six Graduate Schools which are independent of the Universities.

Latest Romanian Higher Education study abroad stats

At this point a total number of 35,973 students from Romania are studying abroad (source: UNESCO). The most popular study abroad destinations for Romanian students are:

Romanian students studying abroad
UNESCO study abroad data

IB schools in Romania

Best performing Romanian Universities

Looking to partner with Universities from Romania? These are the best performing universities.

Babeș-Bolyai University

THE Rank: 801

University of Bucharest

Shanghai Rank: 801

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

World Rank: 1001+

Online behavior in Romania 

Romania has 15 million internet users, which is around 80% of the entire population. The number of internet users in Romania increased by 289 thousand (+1.9%) between 2019 and 2020.

There were 26.63 million mobile connections in Romania in January 2020. The number of mobile connections in Romania decreased by 244 thousand (-0.9%) between January 2019 and January 2020. The number of mobile connections in Romania in January 2020 was equivalent to 138% of the total population.

0 million
Total population
0 million
Mobile connections (138%)
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Internet users (80%)
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Active social media users (57%)

Upcoming Education Fairs in Romania

Most popular social media platforms 

Youtube, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms in Romania. The following graph lists the main social media platforms and the extent to which respondents use them.


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Scholarships for Romanian students

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