About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 3224
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

ACCESS AND EQUITY IN THE ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM: PUBLIC DISCOURSE, ARGUMENTS, ACTORS AND POLICIES

R. Pricopie

SNSPA (ROMANIA)
During the last decades, the higher education systems have faced a series of challenges all over the world. Among these, the massification of universities, quality of programs, lack of infrastructure, financing and governance issues, internationalization of campuses, and, also, an increasing gap, in terms of access and equity, between poor and rich, rural and urban area, gender and minority inequalities, and so on. This paper approaches the topic of access and equity in the Romanian higher education system, with a specific focus on Hungarian and Rroma minorities, on one hand, and the rural and poor population, on the other hand.

The main assumption of this paper is that the lack of public discourse regarding access and equity in higher education for youth coming from rural and poor areas has been one of the main reasons for the lack of policies to address the issue. In order to compare the educational policies promoted during the last 15-20 years, that have targeted these four categories of Romanian population, the paper investigates several dimensions, including:
• the presence and the absence of different specific policies and the arguments related to these policies,
• the actors that have been involved in the policy process,
• the context (more exactly, the contextual elements that have encouraged or not a certain policy proposal).

The paper underlines that, since 1989, the issue of education for different minority populations has been constantly present in the public debate. The main drivers of these debates have been the political parties, the NGOs, international organizations as European Union, OECD, Council of Europe, United Nations, NATO, etc., public opinion leaders, and academics. By contrast, access and equity for people from rural and poor areas have only been mentioned occasionally since 1989. Mass media in Romania address quite often the issue of education for Hungarian and Rroma population, but merely now and then they discuss the case of students from rural and poor areas. Therefore, in this case, the public awareness on access and equity in higher education is low. The entities promoting higher education equity for young people from rural and poor areas include only a few academics, the regional and structural funds of the European Union, and a few politicians. Thus, there have been few actors with national visibility to constantly support and promote the interests of people living in rural and poor areas. Such issues are not on the public agenda. The state institutions in charge of education (the Government, the Parliament, and other national bodies) have responded to the issues raised by the strong actors in the field of education (unions, political parties, international bodies etc.). But this has meant there have been few policy initiatives other than those raised by these national and international actors.

The paper investigates how future governments could become more proactive in terms of developing higher education access and equity policies relying on research based arguments and dialogue with the relevant actors.
@InProceedings{PRICOPIE2009ACC,
author = {Pricopie, R.},
title = {ACCESS AND EQUITY IN THE ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM: PUBLIC DISCOURSE, ARGUMENTS, ACTORS AND POLICIES},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {3224}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Pricopie
TI - ACCESS AND EQUITY IN THE ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM: PUBLIC DISCOURSE, ARGUMENTS, ACTORS AND POLICIES
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 3224
EP - 3224
ER -
R. Pricopie (2009) ACCESS AND EQUITY IN THE ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM: PUBLIC DISCOURSE, ARGUMENTS, ACTORS AND POLICIES, INTED2009 Proceedings, p. 3224.
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