Romanian education continues to throw off the shackles of the past, although the fact that a parallel private tutoring system exists at all suggests that the ministry of education and research still has a way to go with restructuring schooling that is mandatory for the first 10 grades. Primary school follows optional kindergarten at age 7, and takes 4 years. For their entire public school life education will be free, although students may be required to pay for supplementary materials and uniforms. The school year runs from september through to june.
After 4 years of primary education pupils move on to Gymnasium where for the first time they receive exact marks as opposed to grades. The also adapt to multiple teachers and a schedule of up to 32 hours per week, and must adhere to the national curriculum too. Some schools add 1 or 2 subjects more.
Ongoing vocational training takes place through a network of local, national and sector structures under control of the national council for the vocational training of adults. Employers are bound by law to put programs into place that create conditions in which their employees may develop further, and receive tax credits in return.
Romanian universities, historically regarded as the most advanced in Eastern Europe enjoy a high level of administrative independence with own rules for admission, examination and graduation. They include the Universities of Iaşi, Bucharest, Babeş-Bolyai, and the Technical University
of Cluj-Napoca UCTN).
Of these, the University of Iaşi (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University) founded in 1860 is the oldest, and in many ways the most respected too. It has 15 faculties (History, School of Law, School of Business and Administration, Philosophy, Literature, Math, Computer Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, School of Teacher Training, Geography, Orthodox Theology, Catholic Theology, Sport) and over 38,000 students.