How the Ministry of Education wants to increase the number of students. “The first student in the family” program

The “First student in the family” program was launched. The main objective of this program is to increase access to higher education for disadvantaged groups, including by supporting and advising students to make the transition from high school to university.

The “First student in the family” program – Photo Archive

The Minister of Education, Ligia Deca, announced that the start of the program “The first student in the family“, which represents “an extra chance for young people to be supported to continue their studies at university“.

Today, we hosted an information session for anyone who may be eligible for this project. Funding can be obtained for activities to identify students who are at risk of not passing the baccalaureate exam, for counseling students regarding study programs in faculties or for promoting the university educational offer in schools. This measure was foreseen in the “Educated Romania” project, later being taken up in the education laws, and now we are implementing it through European funding, to ensure that the first students in the family will have the resources and support to continue their studies and -and build a better future!“, Ligia Deca wrote on Facebook.

The “First student in the family” program is a call for projects launched by the Ministry of European Investments and Projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, on March 28. Concretely, it is aimed at combating school and university dropout and its main objective is to facilitate access to higher education for disadvantaged or underrepresented groups.

Among the measures and activities financed under this program are “bridge” measures for an easy transition from high school to college, measures to prevent and combat university dropout and measures dedicated to the accessibility of higher education institutions for students with disabilities, including the purchase of IT equipment and the development of tools specific to educational processes to facilitate their access and integration.

We need to support young people from rural areas to continue their studies at university, because it is necessary for these young people to benefit from increased incomes and increased quality of life. “The first student in the family” means courage, desire, motivation. (… )Every child from the countryside who succeeds in completing university studies will become an example in his community and will contribute to the development of society, thus reducing the socio-economic gaps between urban and rural areas.“, says Ligia Deca.

The projects within this call for projects can be submitted through the MySMIS2021 computer system until 31.05.2024, and funding is provided from the Education and Employment Operational Program.

Fewer and fewer students in Romania

The number of students in our country continues to decrease. For example, the Ministry of Education announced that this academic year almost 450,000 students start university at the state and private schools. However, last year, 2022-2023, 538,000 students were enrolled, according to the National Institute of Statistics. These figures also highlight the fact that the percentage of young Romanians completing their university studies in 2021 was almost twice lower (23.3%) than the European Union average, which was 41.2%.

Moreover, Eurostat data from 2022 confirm that the percentage of the population with higher education in Romania is significantly below the EU average, placing us in last place in this regard.