Ministry of Education starts to rationalize national universities network

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research started to rationalize the network of national universities. Minister Igor Șarov told a news conference that the rationalization process will help optimize the administration of universities by merger and by switching over to another system of financing, a transparent one, with spending per student, IPN reports.

According to the minister, it is known that there are too many public universities in Moldova for the existing number of students and accusations that the financing of students is not transparent have been made during the last two years. The university merger decision was taken after analyzing the activity of 18 public universities that in most of the cases have static administration and infrastructures that are not adjusted to the decreasing number of applicants for studies.

At the first stage of the merger process, it is proposed that the State University of Moldova should absorb the Institute of International Relations of Moldova and the State University “Dimitrie Cantemir”. “This process will not close programs of study, but will ensure that the money is used on education, not on administrative processes,” stated Igor Șarov. The draft Government decision on the reorganization of higher education establishments by merger was transmitted to the Cabinet.

The new financing mechanism takes into account not only the number of students from the state order, but also the coefficients for adjustment to the program of studies and criteria that define the performance of institutions. Budgetary allocations will be provided for teaching and learning, depending on the number of students financed from the state budget and the type and area of the program of higher education studies. These will represent 75%. 20% of the allocations will be used to stimulate the performance of universities, while 5% to improve the accommodation conditions in dorms, to modernize teaching aids, to purchase computers, etc.

The new financing methodology was submitted to the Government for consideration and is to be implemented at universities with financial autonomy as of January 1, 2021.

The minister noted that the Government on June 3 approved a project aimed at consolidating higher education in Moldova, which is supported by the World Bank. The project will improve the orientation of national universities to the labor market and the mechanisms for ensuring high quality. The value of the project is of over €35 million for 2020-2025. The project will be kicked off at the end of this August.

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