Romania National Overview

Updated in November 2016 by Valentina Sandu-Dediu, Professor at the Department of Musicology and Education at the National University of Music Bucharest.

Overview of Higher Music Education System

The professional music training in Romania is provided by state music universities, academies and faculties, and by few private faculties. Most of them are financed by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research in accordance with their number of students. The latest years many changes took place as a result of the Bologna process regarding the three cycle system, implementation of ECTS, Quality Assurance and Supplement Diploma. A new legislation framework issued by the Romanian government on this matter made easier the transition from a traditional system to a European compatible one. Currently, not all of the music institutions teach their students in a three cycle system. Some of them provide only undergraduate studies (Studii de licență), others offer in addition the Master Studies (Master în muzică) and five institutions provide to their students three cycles for a high level professional music training (in Bucharest, Iași, Cluj, Brașov, Timișoara).
The requirements of the student entry:

  • Undergraduate (first cycle): College Diploma (Diploma de bacalaureat) and a successful passing of the admission exams
  • Master (second cycle): Bachelor Degree (Diploma de licenta) and a successful passing of the admission exams
  • Doctoral Studies (third cycle): Bachelor Degree (Diploma de licenta), Master Degree (Diploma de master) and a successful passing of the admission exams

So far the ECTS was applied to all music subjects and cycles not only as a transfer system but as an accumulation system as well. From 2007 onwards a Diploma Supplement is issued by all the music institutions to their graduates. It provides information about the Romanian university system, about attended curricula, learning outcomes and competencies, about number of credits and grades, and also about the respective metier.
Pre-university professional music training is provided by approximately 40 music colleges (Colegii de muzică) and music schools (Școli de muzică). The music colleges teach all music subjects for elementary, secondary and high-school levels and the music schools provide music education only for elementary and secondary levels.

The Romanian Law No.1/2011 provides the frame for the governance structure of the universities, and each university respects also its own charter (Carta). The Rector and the administrative council (vice-rectors, deans, administrative director, general secretary, a student representative, and a syndicate representative) provide the operational management. The University Senate has an important role in discussing/approving decisions, documents, internal rules, etc., in organising various professional and ethical committees, if necessary. Other governance structures are: the council of a faculty, the head of a department. All members of a governance structure are elected for a mandate of 4 years, maximum two mandates (8 years). The Rector is elected by the whole academic community and appointed by the Ministry of Education. The President of the Senate is elected by the members of the Senate.

Total number of institutions
Nine
Total number of music students
Approximately 4.000, of which enrolled at the National University of Music Bucharest:
1st level - Bachelor studies "Studii de licență" (BA): 647
2nd level – Master studies "Studii de master" (MA): 170
3rd level – Doctoral studies "Studii doctorale": 95
 
Funding
The financing of the higher music education institutions, in accordance with the number of students enrolled annually by the institutions, is assured by the Ministry of Education at an average cost/student of 5221 RON/year to which the following multiplier index are applied: Bachelor studies (index 1), Master studies (index 2) and Doctoral studies (index 3). In respect with the number of students, the basic financing which covers scholarships, fees for the student hostel, investments, etc. is covered. The available funds for each institution are covered in cca. 82% by the government and in 18% by own incomes (fees, etc.) Every institution offers a limited number of places under the tuition fee payment. 
Curricula
There is a significant autonomy of universities regarding the teaching contents and subjects but not about the Educational Plan.
Genres
Performing arts: Classic instruments, Singing
Music (general knowledge): Composition, Musicology, Conducting (Choir and/or Orchestra), Pop and Jazz Music, Sacred Music.
2-cycle system
Since the academic year 2005-2006 Romania has adopted the two cycle system with the following durations:
  • Undergraduate (Studii de licență): 4 years: Performing Arts, Composition, Musicology and Conducting Music. 3 years: Sacred Music. 
  • Master: 4 semesters.
In Romania there is a specific legislation for organising of the two cycle system (see more on www.edu.ro).
Qualifications
Undergraduate (Studii De Licență
B.A. In Music: Music Performance - Instruments; Music Performance - Vocal Studies; Music Composition; Music Composition - Jazz; Music Composition - Pop Music; Musicology; Conducting - Orchestra; Conducting - Choir; Music Pedagogy; Religious Music - Byzanthine Music.

Master:
Stylistics Of Instrumental Performance / Stylistics Of Vocal Performance
Contemporary Musical Education; Religious Musical Cultures - Bizantine Music; Music And Pop Culture – Jazz; Stylistics In Conducting – Orchestra; Stylistics In Conducting - Choir Conducting; Style And Language In Composition; Musicological Synthesis.
Entry requirements 1st cycle
College diploma (Diploma de bacalaureat) and a successful passing of the admission exams.
Entry requirements 2nd cycle
Bachelor Degree (Diploma de licență) and a successful passing of the admission exams.
% of students who continue with 2nd cycle approximately 50%
3rd cycle
At present, doctoral studies are organised by the following institutions: National University of Music Bucharest; Music Academy „Gh.Dima”, Cluj; Arts University „G.Enescu”, Iași; West University of Timișoara (Faculty of Music and Theatre); Transilvania University, Brașov (Music Faculty)
There is a single type of doctoral diploma issued by the Ministry of Education for the music field: Doctorate in Music. However, the 3rd cycle is organised within the universities in two main categories: the musicological one and the professional one. The second one deals with artistic research, and aims the performers and composers (for more details, for example, click here).
Credit point system The credit system adopted by the Romanian universities is the ECTS as a transfer and accumulation dimensions with 30 credits/semester and 60 credits/year. The allocation of ECTS was made for all the disciplines and levels.
Internationalization
The internationalization is one of the main objectives of the higher music education’s development strategy. This goal is reached by the inter-institutional cooperation activities, carried out – at regional, European and international level - by the universities, faculties and music academies from Romania, on different directions: as project promoters/coordinators, as partners or as active members in organizations and professional networks (such as the AEC, Thematic European Platforms).
The students and teachers are beneficiaries of study/teaching/training mobility organized inside the frame of the ERASMUS +, Fulbright and CEEPUS Programmes or within Mutual Agreements between universities. They can also be awarded grants/scholarships by the Romanian Government.
Taking part at the international artistic events represents another important dimension of the internationalization strategy. The students and teachers are invited to participate at festivals (as performers or as part of contest’s juries), competitions and recitals, which play an active role in widening the international experience and in promoting the music values within a multicultural environment.  
The internationalization “at home”: The tradition and high artistic qualification of Romanian graduates and teachers lead to a significantly increasing of the incoming students from abroad intercultural approach of academic life.
The eligibility criteria and the admission requirements (all three study levels) for the international students are governed by the national law (www.edu.ro – Study in Romania) and by the university’s regulations.
The recognition of the studied abroad and of the diplomas awarded by international institutions (for transfer or admission) is regulated by the national law and by inner procedures stipulated by the universities. 
Quality assurance
The National Council of Academic Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEAA) were established in 1993 by law 88 and were tasked with the evaluation and accreditation process for over ten years. It disappeared in 2006 when the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) and Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-university education (ARACIP) were organized as the national authorities in the matter of accreditation. Quality assurance is organized institutionally. However, each specialisation, department or faculty (including in the music field) is assessed by ARACIS. The process is compulsory and makes use of a self-evaluation report as well as a visitation by experts. (For more information see here)
Employability
The graduates of the higher music education benefit of career and information counselling, provided by the Centre of Information and Career Orientation throughout the study period and after graduation.
At the national level, there are developed projects, such as the Graduates and the Labour Market, coordinated by governmental institutions, in which the National University of Music Bucharest has been an active partner and benefited of an advanced technology in collecting the most relevant information for the graduates’ insertion on the labour market.
Academic Year
The academic year is divided into two semesters: winter semester: October – February (including Christmas holidays) and summer semester: February – July (including Easter holidays). Between the two semesters there is (in February) a week of holidays. Each University establishes its own planner of activities within this frame, taking into consideration the compulsory rule of having 14 weeks of classes each semester.
Overview of the Pre-College Music Education System
Romania knows a system of music education embedded in the general education system. Primary Music Schools and Music and Arts Colleges together provide a complete trajectory of pre-university education that leads up to the entrance level of higher music education

Types of Pre-College Education

Primary Music School
Children from 6-7 years of age can attend general schools and, in parallel, music schools that provide primary education and music education on an advanced level: instrumental/vocal tuition as well as theory classes. There is also the possibility of attending - from the 1st to the 12th class - a Music and Arts College.
Music College
Youngsters from the age of 14 can choose a Music College, a secondary school that provides music education at an advanced level together with general education. The curriculum includes instrumental/vocal tuition and theory lessons, and is aimed at preparing students for the entrance level of higher music education institutions.
Graduates are prepared to proceed to Universities/Faculties of Music. 
Music School
Music Schools provide music education in parallel with the general education system. Some of them are state-funded, and therefore provide their tuition for free; others are private institutions. The curriculum includes instrumental/vocal tuition and theory lessons as well. State music schools are only open to students from 6 to 14 years of age.
Popular School of Music
Popular Schools of Music provide amateur training in pop and folk music. Pop and folk music is becoming increasingly popular. 
Private tuition
There are professionally qualified teachers that provide instrumental and vocal tuition, outside of the general education system, or affiliated to private schools.

Additional Information

Romanian higher music education institutions (Universities/Academies/Faculties of Music) do not have Pre-college Departments, Junior Departments, or Preparatory Courses.
There are formalised links between Universities of Music and music schools. Romanian music school teachers, for example, are obliged by law to take refresher courses at Universities. Thus, they can receive different professional degrees.

Music and Arts in General Education
Music and visual arts are compulsory subjects in general education for the first 8 years; they are subjects at the college level (9th-12th class) only for students in a humanist field (philology, social sciences). Children (6-14 years) receive general music education for one hour/week; the curriculum changes for the college years, music being less studied (for instance, one hour every two weeks).
Students entering Higher Music Education
Most students come from Music Colleges.  A small number comes from other Colleges, being prepared as children in Music Schools, in Popular Schools of Music or by private tutors.
Special Facilities for Talented Students at Pre-College Level
Romania has many competitions and festivals, at different levels of age and difficulty, organised by state or private institutions.

Overview of Music Teacher Education System

The music teacher training is made exclusively within universities, faculties and music academies. Both general education music teachers and instrumental/vocal music teachers benefit from this training.  The Teacher Training Modules are optional for all music students.
In Romania, the Diploma of Music Teacher accompanies the BA Music (Profile) Diploma and Master Music Diploma, when the student attends and graduates from the Teacher Training Modules, coordinated by the Department of Teaching Staff Training (Departamentul de Pregătire a Personalului Didactic, DPPD). This kind of department is integrated in all accredited higher music education institutions and it has a predetermined curriculum, in accordance with the legislation established by the Ministry of Education and Research; it also has an independent structure within an university: director of the department, didactic and secretarial staff.
The status and the role of the teacher (including music teacher) in Romania are regulated through legislation at national level. The legislation is valid for both public and private educational systems and for all education levels and forms

Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Education

Institutions
Music teacher education is offered exclusively by the universities, faculties and music academies with programmes recognised by national legislation.
Structure and Curriculum
The Diploma of Music Teacher accompanies the BA Music Diploma upon completion of the First Teacher Training Module. Departments of Teaching Staff Training, called DPPD, are integrated in all accredited higher music education institutions. The First Teacher Training Module is optional for all music students. Training for future music teachers is also offered at Master levels, optional. The postgraduate Second Teacher Training Module is designed and leads to qualification for teaching in higher music education.
Students who choose the First Teacher Training Module attend for three years its courses, and upon their graduation they receive the DPPD Graduation First Teacher Training Module Certificate. Students of instrumental/vocal subjects are then qualified to teach their speciality (instrument or voice) in public or private music schools and youth orchestras up to 8th Grade (Secondary School).  
Students who choose the Second Teacher Training Module attend for two years its courses, and upon their graduation they receive the DPPD Graduation Second Teacher Training Module Certificate. Students of instrumental/vocal subjects are then qualified to teach their speciality (instrument or singing) in public or private music schools and youth orchestras in all accredited higher music education institutions. Music graduates who have a theoretical and/or practical training as major (e.g. composition, musicology, music, conducting), who wish to become music teachers and who graduate the modules offered by DPPD can teach general music education in general schools, as part of the general education, or specialised disciplines in universities, colleges, music schools, public youth clubs, etc. 
Genres Teaching: Instrument, Singing, Music (different theoretical topics)
Internationalization
The music students as future teachers are beneficiaries – during their study levels (Bachelor, Master and Doctoral studies) and also during their first year after graduation – of placement mobility in European schools/institutions, inside the frame of the ERASMUS + and CEEPUS Programmes. This represents an opportunity in developing new skills and competences for teaching within a new cultural environment and in a foreign language.
Inviting international professors - inside the frame of institutional programs (both for the theoretical and practical disciplines) – to hold master classes, workshops and lectures allows all the students (not only the outgoings) to benefit of the internationalization “at home”.
Employability
Students are qualified to teach in higher music education institutions. The condition is that they obtain a Master in Music Diploma and then the Diploma of Doctor in Music.
Within the formal system of music education institutions, the music teacher status is valid also for some traditional organisations which have a purpose to complement formal music education: popular art schools, children and youth clubs, etc. These organisations are subordinated to the Ministry of Culture.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Continuing professional development for music teachers is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Research, especially for pre­-university level. In this matter, all teachers have to pass distinctive stages and exams along their career: confirmation as teacher (after maximum 4 years of employment), teacher status II (grade II) and teacher status I (grade I, after minimum 10 years). Organisation and monitoring of the continuous training is carried out by university teachers.
Courses within the modules offered by the DPPD can be attended by musicians who did not choose the modules during their university training, but feel the necessity of educational skills later in their career. 

Education for Music Teacher in General Education (primary and secondary school)

Institutions Music teacher education is offered exclusively by the universities, faculties and music academies of higher education with programmes recognized by national legislation.
Structure
General music education teachers are required to possess the Teacher Training Graduation Certificates mentioned above. Music graduates with the Teacher Training Graduation Certificate can teach general music education in public schools or in music schools. They are also qualified to teach in higher music education institutions, provided they obtain a Master in Music Diploma and then the Diploma of Doctor of Music.
In addition to the undergraduate studies described above, there are two other forms for training future music teachers for postgraduate levels (Master and Doctoral studies). The programmes lead to qualification for teaching in higher music education.
All teachers have to pass distinctive stages and exams along their career: confirmation (after maximum 4 years of employment), teacher status II (grade II) and teacher status I (grade I, after minimum 10 years). University teachers carry out organisation and monitoring of the continuous training.
Musicians who did not choose the DPPD module during their university training, but feel the necessity of educational skills later in their career can attend courses within the module offered by the DPPD
Employability
Please note that although the Teacher Training Modules are attended by a large percentage of students from all music profiles (in the case of the National University of Music in Bucharest 95%), the number of students who wish to pursue a teaching career is probably lower. Some students are found to consider this career only as a possible alternative to another job.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Please see above.