The educational system was reorganized both structurally
and in terms of content after the political upheavals in
1989. The former strong emphasis on practical subjects,
placement in the workplace and the favoring of communist
ideology were removed. Language, philosophy and the arts
have come into the classroom stronger.
There is a 9-year compulsory school from the children is
6 years. The primary school is 4 years old, the secondary
school 5 years old, and the secondary school 3 years old.
Admission is required to enter the general secondary
schools, which are preparing for higher education. In
addition, admission exams are required to enter higher
education institutions. Vocational schools provide
specialization in various subject areas. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Romania.
Higher education is provided at 125 different
institutions. The oldest universities are located in Iasi
(founded 1860) and Bucharest (1864).
1989 Exit Ceaucescu
The government introduced a state of emergency, but a
sector within the old state apparatus carried out a coup
d'état with the support of the popular uprising. Over 1,000
people were killed in the fighting against especially the
hated Securitate security forces. Meanwhile, those
numbers in the Western media were up to 10-100,000 -
supplemented with horror images from the country. Both were
later revealed as Western propaganda.
In the final phase of the fight immediately before
Christmas, Ceaucescu and his wife were placed on a stand,
charged with "genocide, corruption and destruction of the
economy" and executed by the military. In his place, the
Front of National Salvation took power. The front leaders
came predominantly from the old apparatus of power and were
met with a great deal of suspicion. Resistance to the new
government grew and it came to violent street clashes. At
the 1990 elections, the front officially got 85% of the
vote, but international observers could confirm rumors of
In September 91, Prime Minister Petre Roman and his
entire cabinet filed their resignation petition. This was at
the same time the demand of thousands of miners who had
launched a march against Bucharest in protest of the
privatizations initiated by the Roman government. The
workers were sharply pursued during their three days in the
capital - at least three were killed and over 100 injured.
After declaring himself willing to meet at least some of
the miners' demands, President Ion Iliescu, Theodor
Stolojan, appointed new Prime Minister. He had been the
Minister of Privatization in the previous government. The
appointment was interpreted as a reassuring gesture by
Iliescus to the foreign investors and the international
In December 91, 77% of voters voted for a new
constitution that changed the country into a presidential
regime based on the existence of multiple political parties.
However, the Constitution received very sparse support in
Transylvania, where the majority of the population is of
On December 1, 92, the agricultural cooperative structure
introduced by the Ceaucescu regime was formally abolished,
but in reality it continued to exist.
The government was subjected to ever-increasing criticism
from international financial institutions and Western
countries for the slow implementation of liberal economic
reforms. One of the aspects that was criticized was the
ownership of the land. Yet in 94, the state owned 30% of the
Also 1995 was marked by discrepancies between Bucharest
and a number of its trading partners - i.a. EU - on the
speed of implementation of reforms. After two years of
negotiations, Bucharest finally passed a law on the
privatization of commercial enterprises in June.
International human rights organizations like Amnesty
International also criticized the governing body -
especially for the violence and discrimination faced by the
500,000 - 2,000,000 Romanian gypsies.
After several years of preparation, in September 96
Romania and Hungary signed an agreement on the 1.6 million
Hungarians living in Romania. Hungary had to be content with
the wording of "guarantees for the rights of this minority"
and had to abandon the demand for "autonomy" for Hungarians
in Transylvania. With Iliescu's defeat in the November
elections, the most ultranationalist tendencies diminished,
relations with Hungary improved, and this opened a consulate
in the capital of Transylvania, Cluj. Yet the specter of
nationalism emerged again when Parliament voted down a
proposal for university education to minority groups.
The winner of the November presidential election, Emil
Constantinescu inaugurated a new government that was tasked
with fighting corruption and organized crime. Prime Minister
Victor Ciorbea devised an economic program for structural
adjustment inspired by proposals from the IMF: Public
budgets needed to be reduced, privatizations expanded and
administration decentralized. However, the constant disputes
between the parties that formed the basis of the government
slowed down the reforms, and Parliament's adoption of laws
The popular dissatisfaction with government policy led to
a new wave of protests, which reached a tentative peak in
October 97. One of the main objectives of Romanian foreign
policy in 98 was the acceleration of accession in NATO and
in the EU.
The new government coalition failed to create either
economic or political stability. In June 98, Daniel Daianu
resigned from the post of finance minister when his proposal
to cancel the purchase of 96 helicopters abroad was
rejected. A majority of the government also decided to
reject the proposal to open a Hungarian-language university,
which further destabilized the coalition. The party
representing the Hungarian minority in Romania threatened to
withdraw from the government if the university was not
established. Eventually, the parties agreed to open a
"multicultural" university to teach in Hungarian and German.