Access to education for third country nationals

If you are a foreigner legally residing in Romania you have unrestricted and free access to education.

If you have been granted a long-term residence permit you receive equal treatment in the same conditions as Romanian citizens concerning access to all forms and levels of education and vocational training, including scholarships. You can also get equivalence for your education and recognition of your certificates and degrees, vocational certificates and professional certifications, in compliance with applicable regulations.

  1. What are the Romanian state obligations towards the foreign citizens legally residing in Romania?

The Romanian state provides the necessary requirements for the integration of foreign citizens legally residing in Romania, in the economic, social and cultural life of the country, as well as their access to the educational system.

The foreign citizens’ access to education is also guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution which stipulates this right and refers to the language used for teaching at all stages as: “teaching in Romania is done in Romanian language, in the language of national minorities, as well as in other languages of international circulation”.

  1. How is the Romanian education system organized?

In Romania, the compulsory education is up to the level of 10 grades and comprises the primary, secondary and high-school education.

The obligation to attend the mandatory 10-grades ceases at the age of 18.

2.1 The education system for schools teaching in Romanian language has the following structure:

  • The national pre-university education has the following levels:
  • Early education (0-6 years old), which comprises Nursery (0-3 years old) and Kindergarten (3-6 years old) with the youngest, middle-aged and oldest group;
  • Primary education, comprising the Preparatory class 6/7 years old;
  • Secondary education, comprising:
    • Gymnasium: grades V-VIII (10 – 15 years old);
    • High-school: grades IX-XII (15 – 19 years old), with one of the following profiles: theoretical, vocational and technological;
  • Vocational School, with a duration of 6 months to 2 years;
  • Post-secondary education, comprising the post-secondary education.

 2.2 The national higher education system encompasses 3 levels of study:

  • Bachelor studies
  • Masters studies
  • PhD studies

The academic year usually starts in the first working day of October and comprises two semesters.

  1. Can I have my certificates recognized in Romania if I received them in another country?

To work or study in Romania, employers and schools will want to see what education and qualifications you have obtained in your home country. Because your country of origin is outside of the EU space (a system of automatic recognition of diplomas and qualifications was approved in this area), all study papers and diplomas obtained should be recognized so that they can be used in Romania

In order to begin this procedure, the diplomas must have been issued by an accredited institution on the territory of that state and must be legalized or apostilled, as the case may be.

To do so, you should contact the National Center for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas ( with attributions in the recognition of foreign diplomas obtained in other countries.

  1. What is the procedure for my education documents to be recognized by the Romanian state?

For recognition of the high-school certificates or university and postgraduate certificates, as well as professional qualification certificates you need to submit an application and your documents with the National Center for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas. The application is to be submitted at the Registration Office of the Ministry or Education; they can also be sent by mail, at the address of the Ministry of National Education, for the National Center for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas.

The National Center for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas will accept certificates or documents attesting studies when they are authentic and the result of an education system similar to that in Romania. If the curriculum differs substantially, the National Center for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas may decide to apply differential examinations or other compensatory measures, etc.


Important to know!

Diplomas and studies are automatically recognized if obtained from education institutions accredited in the EU, EEA and the Swiss Confederation; diplomas and studies from other states are only recognized in case the structure of studies in the respective country is the same as in Romania or the two countries have an agreement for mutual recognition of diplomas. Automatic recognition is a simplified procedure.


  1. Can I receive a scholarship in Romania?

Scholarships offered by the Romanian state are granted to foreign citizens for three levels of studies: bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate.

The tuition language is Romanian, and the primary fields are: political and administrative sciences, education sciences, Romanian culture and civilization, journalism, technical studies, oil and gas, agricultural sciences, veterinary medicine, architecture, arts, music.

What the scholarship does for you is:

  • Covers the school tuition fees;
  • Covers the accommodation fees, within the limit of places available in the student dorms.
  • Provides a financial aid in the equivalent in RON of 65 € per month for bachelor’s degree students, 75 € per month for master’s degree students and 85 € per month for doctor’s degree students.

Important to know!

  • You can apply for a scholarship only through the Romanian diplomatic missions, which will also take care of the sending of the documents so as to have the applications evaluated and the results communicated.
  • Accepted candidates will receive a letter of acceptance for studies. The long-stay visa in Romania for studies is only issued on the basis of that letter of acceptance and submission of the following documents: certificate of criminal records or another document of equal legal value; medical insurance for the entire validity duration of the visa; agreement from your parents or legal guardian for your stay and studies in Romania, if you are underage.
  • Following entry in Romania the next steps will be taken to enroll you in the preparatory year, where you will learn the Romanian language (if necessary) and obtaining your residence permit in Romania for the purpose of studying.

Authorities in charge:

  • The County School Inspectorates
  • National Center for the Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas.
  • Romania’s diplomatic missions to other countries.
  • The General Inspectorate for Immigration from your county of residence.