Students who do not study made to return money into budget

A number of educational institutions in Moldova are trying to recover the costs from the students who studied on state budget-funded places, but were expelled. A report by the Court of Auditors, which is quoted by RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service, shows that last year alone the state lost almost 45 million lei for training students who either abandoned the studies or were expelled for bad grades, IPN reports.

The audit of the financial reports of the Ministry of Education revealed that the state lost 44.8 million lei in 2021. Court of Auditors member Tatiana Shevchuk said that only one institution of 39 managed to get back a part of the spent money, more exactly 609,000 lei.

RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service learned that this is the Center of Excellence in Energy and Electronics of Chisinau. The institution’s jurist Ion Donțu said the money was paid back voluntarily by former students. These were notified that on the termination of the contract of study that they signed on admission, they will be obliged to pay back the costs for their training in the amount calculated by the Center.

He noted that the young people who returned the money studied at this college in 2018-2020. Also, the college filed about 20 lawsuits against students who refused to pay back the money and the cases are pending. The money remains in the institution’s budget.

The Center of Excellence in Transport and the Center of Excellence in Artistic Education “Ștefan Neaga” are among the institutions that have taken steps to get back the money. “Ștefan Neaga” principal Iana Manoil told RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service that the process is difficult, while the costs incurred by the institution are very large.

Secretary general of the Ministry of Education and Research Nadejda Velishko said that a new formula for financing higher education that was approved two years ago is being tested and could start to be applied in autumn. This provides for the reimbursement of the money into the state budget if the student abandons studies or is expelled.

In 2021-2022, over 48,000 students were admitted for bachelor’s studies, with over 15,000 of them on a state budget-funded place, while 56,000 were admitted for master’s studies, with 3,000 of them on a budget-funded place. Over 7,000 students were admitted to colleges and technical schools.

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