World Bank Project to Help Romania Reverse Increasing High School Dropout Rates and Declining University Enrollment

March 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2015—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a EUR 200 million loan for the Romania Secondary Education Project (ROSE), which will be implemented by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Scientific Research over seven years.  ROSE aims to increase Romanian students’ chances of successfully completing tertiary education.

While Romania’s high school enrollment rate has increased in the last decade, so has its dropout rate.  University enrollment has also been declining, linked closely to poor performance on the Baccalaureate.

“Although enrollment in upper secondary education in Romania is high, the transition to tertiary education is hindered due to increasing dropout and poor performance on the Baccalaureate. The ROSE project was designed to help the Government of Romania address these issues,” said Janssen Edelweiss Nunes Teixeira, World Bank Senior Education Specialist and Project Team Leader.

By focusing on schools and student groups at risk of failure, ROSE aims to reverse these trends and increase the rate of successful completion of tertiary education.

“Data show that approximately 100,000 school students either failed to pass or did not take the Baccalaureate in 2013-2014,” said Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Romania. “There are 20,000 university students who were at risk of dropping out in the first year of study. This project is designed to help these students. With a proper education completed, they can play a fundamental role in Romania’s future, helping their country to sustain its economic growth, while it is confronted with a shrinking and aging population.”

ROSE activities include grants to public high schools to support academic interventions, such as remedial courses, tutoring, and counselling.  Support will also be provided for extracurricular activities, renovations, in addition to systemic interventions to improve the quality of upper secondary education, including curriculum revision, teacher training, and revisions to national learning assessments and examinations. ROSE also finances grants to public universities to support activities such as academic interventions, guidance and coaching, as well as high school-university summer bridge programs and learning centers.

In addition to ROSE, the World Bank has assisted the Government of Romania to tackle the education and skills agenda through technical assistance focusing on pre-university per capita funding, functional reviews of the pre-university and higher education, and capacity building in impact evaluation for evidence-based policy advice under a regional technical assistance for higher education.  

Since 2013, the World Bank has also supported the preparation of education strategies, such as on lifelong learning, reduction of early school leaving, tertiary education, and strengthening the administrative capacity of the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research through reimbursable advisory services agreements that are also helping the Government of Romania meet EU ex-ante conditionalities to access EU 2014-2020 program funds.

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