The higher education system in the Republic of Moldova
Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news
Projects and initiatives
TAMs and SPHERE seminars in 2018
According to Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the right to education is a fundamental right of every citizen. The access to education is equal, free and merit-based, and the state education is free and secular.
The national education sector is regulated by the Education Code, in force since 23 November 2014, which sets the legal framework of legal relations concerning planning, organisation, functioning, and development of the education system in the Republic of Moldova.
The “Education 2020” strategy is the main policy document in the area of education. It sets the medium-term tasks and objectives for education development and defines the priority development, directions and orientations of the education system in the Republic of Moldova. Therefore, the Ministry of Education, Culture has developed its sector strategies and annual action plans based on those stipulated in the strategy.
In the Republic of Moldova, higher education is optional and represents the highest level of education. Any person who holds a high school diploma (baccalaureate diploma) can benefit from higher education. Free higher education, funded from the state budget, can be accessed by one person only once for each cycle of higher education, within limits of available places. At the same time, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova can benefit from studies with mixed funding, as well as studies for a fee.
Higher education is performed in two ways – academic and advanced professional – and is structured in three cycles (with exception of architecture; medical and pharmaceutical education):
Cycle I – Bachelor (3-4 years; 180-240 credits);
Cycle II – Master (1.5-2 years; 90-120 credits, 30 credits for each semester);
Cycle III – Ph.D. (3-4 years; 180 credits).
Higher education in the Republic of Moldova is provided by universities, academies, and institutes. All of them acts under the university autonomy principles and this status entitles them to set their own education programmes, human resource policies, and to manage their budget.
After joining the Bologna process, Moldova has assumed responsibilities and has been actively involved in the reform and modernisation process of higher education, in order to align it with European standards.
Thus, the Government of the Republic of Moldova approved, on 14th of November, 2014, the Education Development Strategy for 2014-2020 “Education 2020”. The strategy sets out seven strategic development directions (DS) for the education sector, oriented towards access, relevance, and quality:
- To enhance life-long access to and participation in education and professional development;
- To ensure the relevance of studies for life, active citizenship and career success;
- To integrate efficiently information technologies in education;
- To develop, support and motivate academic staff so as to ensure quality education;
- To design and institutionalise an efficient quality evaluation, monitoring and assurance in education;
- To improve resource management in education;
- To ensure social cohesion so as to offer quality education.
Another key document is the Code of Education that has replaced the old 1995 Law on Education. After adopting the new Code of Education, several changes have been introduced in higher education in Moldova, aimed at modernising the system and aligning it with European standards. These changes include the development of new university curricula; the organisation of the internal and external quality evaluation and monitoring system, by establishing the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Professional Education.
The primary responsibility for implementing the objectives of the strategy falls on the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova. The main policy updates in 2018:
- The national regulatory framework regarding the access to higher education studies has been modified for the 2018 enrolment.
- The culture of quality in higher education has been promoted in 2018 - Based on the results of external quality evaluations carried out by ANACE, the Government approved the accreditation of about 230 bachelor programs for strategic areas: Economics, Medicine, Information Technologies.
- A performance-based financing methodology for higher education institutions is developed to strengthen the financial autonomy of Moldovan universities.
- A new Regulation for conferring the scientific-didactic titles to university staff has been issued in order to boost the career promotion of university staff.
- New salary conditions for university staff methodology, implemented at the end of 2018, differentiate the categories of employees in institutions, forming new managerial positions of dean, vice-dean, head of department, chief of program, etc. who were previously considered as additional work of the teaching staff.
- During 2018, seven (7) of the most important public universities of Moldova have developed a common vision on National Strategy for HEIs Internationalisation (Erasmus+ CBHE Project ELEVATE).
- The Regulation on recognition and equivalence of educational documents and qualifications in educational institutions has been developed.
- The Methodology for the financing of projects in the field of research and innovation has been elaborated.
 National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research - www.anacip.md
ELEVATE - Elevating the internationalisation of higher education in Moldova
Enabling national HE bodies and HEIs to strategically manage comprehensive internationalisation in the provision of education, research, mobility, and services are regarded to be the project’s overall objective and the main underpinning of Moldova’s accountable and complementary role in EHEA and ERA.
- The national strategy of internationalisation of higher education and research;
- The national standards of accreditation for joint & double degrees;
- The national strategy of academic mobility and recognition of degrees;
- University Internationalisation strategies/each Moldovan partner;
- University guidelines for academic recognition of degrees and mobility periods/ each Moldovan partner;
- University strategies for increasing the quality and scope of academic mobility/ each Moldovan partner;
- University guidelines for recruitment of foreign Ph.D. students, teachers and researchers/ each Moldovan partner;
- University Action plan for participation in the European Research Area / each Moldovan partner;
- Recommendations for university research project management and talents development
- Online benchmarking tool of internationalisation of higher education and research.
PBLMD - Introducing Problem Based Learning in Moldova: Toward Enhancing Students'Competitiveness and Employability
Improving the quality of teaching and learning methodologies and higher education programmes in Moldova while enhancing their relevance for the labour market and disadvantaged groups in society.
- Change existent pedagogical culture and approaches that are teacher-centred and focused on the transmission and recall of knowledge from teacher to individual students
- Install an alternative pedagogical culture that is student-centred
- Improve the quality of teaching and learning methodologies
- Improve higher education programmes and respective curricular
- Enhance the relevance of study programmes for the labour market
- Enhance the relevance of study programmes for disadvantaged groups in society
- Offer mobility opportunity for bachelor students and academic staff from Moldova
- 7 redesigned - partly or fully - study programs based on Student-Centred Action Learning (SCAL) or other new methods of teaching and learning
- 6 Pedagogical training programmes, developed by each participating Moldovan University:
TEACHME - Creating Moldovan E-network for Promoting e-teaching in the Continuing Professional Education
Improving pedagogical and digital skills of teachers in Moldova.
- Elaboration and implementation of new continuing education courses for teachers enabling them to design and deliver ICT-based learning provisions
- Adaptation of continuing education services to innovative teaching and learning strategies
- Creation of Moldovan network of innovative teachers
International Academic Mobility management improvement - a boost for HEIs Internationalisation (November 16, 2018) goo.gl/4UjZKo
- Diversity of organisational structure of HEIs;
- How to manage international cooperation: agreements, student exchange, funding opportunities;
- University interdepartmental cooperation for the development of the internationalisation;
- Good practices and examples of institutional regulations on the international academic mobility management within EU HEIs;
- The recognition and marks equivalence procedure after the student mobility/ case-studies
Improvement of academic professional competencies of university staff (25-27 of February 2019), goo.gl/JiYsoF
- role of HEIs structures in supporting university staff to enhance learning & teaching;
- improving the quality of teaching & learning - HEIs strategic priority;
- modalities of encouraging teachers’ development;
- support for innovation, experimentation & enhancement;
- particularities/criteria to promote teacher development programmes;
- the experience and best practices of EU HEIs to establish internal mechanisms of academic development;