Moldovan premier meets rectors of higher education institutions.
Chisinau, 6 August /MOLDPRES/ - Prime Minister Vlad Filat had a meeting with the rectors of the higher education institutions today, the government's communication and press relations department has said.
Participating in the meeting were the leadership of the Education Ministry, 17 rectors of state universities and 4 rectors of private universities. The main topics of discussions were focused on the preliminary results of the admission to the higher education institutions and preparing the student hostels for a new academic year.
Thus, Education Minister Maia Sandu has said that 20,880 applications had been submitted to participate in a contest, Admission 2012 - higher education cycle I, degree, - by 200 less than in 2011. The minister noted that 526 places with budgetary financing and 4,299 with contract-basis financing are proposed for the second stage, admission to the cycle I, degree higher education.
Sandu stressed that the most demanded specialties remain law, economics and medicine. A new tendency in this respect is an increase in the number of applications on admission to the journalism faculty. The demand of admission to the master's degree rose as well. "This phenomenon may be explained by an increase in the number of budgetary financed places for the cycle II of higher education, as well as by the fact that young people are aware of the importance of the complete higher education in order to be employed," Maia Sandu said.
The prime minister emphasized that the education is one of the Moldovan government's priorities, and underlined the significance to promote a balanced policy in this sector, in order to ensure the development of a qualitative education system in Moldova. The prime minister also said that the quality of the education process on the whole, as well as the level of professionalism of the graduates of these universities depend on the way the education institutions will cooperate with the Education Ministry.
"It is obvious that the pre-university education has a special role. Yet, the higher education institutions have also an important role in the training of specialists, who subsequently work in all the sectors of the national economy," Vlad Filat specified.
The prime minister pointed out the importance to promote and popularize specialties in the IT and informatics area - strategic fields for Moldova's future.
At the meeting, the rector of the Moldovan Technical University (UTM), Ion Bostan, said that an increased interest in engineer specialities is recorded. In 2011, there was a contest of 2.9 people per one place at the UTM, and this is due to an increase in the number of budget-financed places.
Among the problems tackled at the meeting was also the one on training specialists on the basis of inter-state agreements. The UTM rector said that there is a demand on the Moldovan labour market for specialities that are not provided by the country's education institutions. "For instance, we have no institutions that would educate specialists in the mining sector, 60 per cent of the 3,400 employees of the Moldovan Railroads have already reached the retirement age. To renew this staff, we need to send people to study abroad," Bostan said.
To settle these problems, the prime minister underlined, the Education Ministry will work on the dimension of collaboration in the education area with Romania, within a programme on cooperation between the two countries, signed in Chisinau during a visit by Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
Vlad Filat insisted that the Education Ministry works out an analysis that would allow assessing the labour market's needs, and respectively, possibility to employ those who graduated from higher education institutions. "There are a lot of specialties the labour market has been badly in need of for years. On the other hand, there are young people who choose their faculty without collecting facts on the prospects for the specialty they choose. Such an analysis would be helpful, including for graduates of lyceums," the prime minister said.
Also, Vlad Filat directed that the Education Ministry should elaborate a survey on the employment of people who benefited from education with budgetary financing.
Other subjects discussed at the meeting were the university autonomy, differentiated financing of student laboratories, cancellation of annual compulsory plans of admission, creation of a fund for ensuring mobility of students and teachers, as well as return to the system of admission to higher education institutions on the basis of exams, not only on the average mark got at the school-leaving examinations.
As for the preparation of student hostels for the new academic year, the budgetary medium-term framework 2013-2015 provides for an increase in the basic expenses by 12.6 million lei for their modernization.
The prime minister suggested that the rectors be focused on public-private partnerships to solve problems in terms of arrangement of hostels and student laboratories. Vlad Filat said he is contented with the way the cooperation between the government and higher education institutions unfolds.
It is worth mentioning that meetings between the prime minister and the rectors of the higher education institutions are organized periodically. The previous event of this kind took place on 4 May 2012.