Chindia Tower (Picture from Wikimedia)Since it joined the European Union, Romania has reformed its education and training system. It undertook to knock down the barriers separating vocational and technical pathways from mainstream secondary school education.

It has developed streams leading to higher education and horizontal mobility with mainstream pathways. It has renovated the teacher-training system. To meet the demands of the working world, Romania has called on social partners to define training and qualifications standards and to cooperate with examination committees etc.

During the past decade, Romania has developed a system for validating non-formally or informally acquired skills and competences.

A strategy for reducing early school leaving was developed and approved in 2015 to address these challenges.

The vocational pathway in Romania – 2017





The vocational pathway in Romania


Secondary education

Since the reforms of 2003, the Romanian upper secondary education system has been divided into 4 pathways:

  • a mainstream pathway in secondary schools (Liceu Teoretice) leading to an A-level type diploma after 4 years of study;
  • a technical pathway in technology secondary schools (Liceu Tehnologice). This stream leads to both A-levels and one of the 19 level III vocational qualifications available.
  • a pathway leading to specific artistic, aesthetic and spiritual careers (theatre arts, fine arts, architecture and religious orders). This is a small unit specific to the Romanian system.
  • a more specifically vocational pathway called the « progressive pathway » (ruta progresiva), with studies lasting for 2 years in arts and crafts schools (Şcoli de arte si meserii), leading to a level I qualification, followed by a post-compulsory « finishing year », leading to one of the 135 level II qualifications. Students from this stream can then study for a level III qualification by following a 2-year secondary education course. At the end of the cycle, pupils receive « dual qualifications », i.e. a vocational qualification (level III) and their A-levels. Vocational programmes are organised in modules. A number of credits are applied to each module according to specific criteria.


Higher education

Outside the university sector, there are post-secondary education schools and master’s schools (şcoli postliceale / scoli de maiştri). These schools are open to students coming from theoretical or technological secondary education and offer a whole range of qualifications over a 2-year course.

University education is much sought after in this country and concerns approximately one third of young people.



Romania does not have a recent tradition of apprenticeships. Legislation has recently been adopted to provide a framework for apprenticeship contracts, but they are rare: only 100 apprenticeship contracts were signed in 2012. (Cedefop)


Key figures

  • The percentage of young VET graduates in further education and training in Romania (at 48.2%) is well above the EU average (at 32.8%). (CEDEFOP – 2017)

Last update : 18/06/2018


The Romanian Education system on Eurypedia

EURES (European Job Mobility Portal) : Living and working in Romania

The ENIC-NARIC centre for recognising foreign diplomas / qualifications

The Romanian Ministry for Education and Research

A comprehensive website on Romania (jobs, business directory, formalities, accommodation, health etc.)