by Lilia Parhomenco
Higher Education in the Republic of Moldova follows an obsolete pattern that is not performance-based, nor does it foster accountability and sustainability of Higher Education Institutions. International expertise is crucial for the development of a new framework for funding and governance of universities, US universities being specifically important for Moldovan context, as they are known to have been developed a sense of personal responsibility by means of entrepreneurial abilities which are poorly developed among Moldovan universities. Also, as Moldovan legislation was revised in terms of participation of universities in research and innovation, this factor must compulsorily taken into account when appropriating funds to institutions.
While the number of students decreases dramatically, funds are divided traditionally to universities, thus, the result of an inappropriate management of finances leads to massive migration of students to universities abroad, as well as an unbalanced funding of institutions providing internationally and nationally accredited study programmes.
1. Foster good governance and accountability of higher education in the Republic of Moldova
2. Incentivize the Moldovan stakeholders to re-conceptualize the funding formula, by exposing them to the American experience, with a focus on Californian system.
1. Work-session with representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research and rectors of public universities in the Republic of Moldova. The topic of the session focused on the Master-Plan for Higher Education in California, which set up a new framework for post-secondary education, and served as an example for other states in the US and other countries, where institutions of higher education have been hierarchized and grouped according to some specific principles and interests of the state in a peculiar moment in time. Discussions will be held after each point approached in the work-shop. Very positive feedback was offered by the participants.
2. Seminar for representatives from the eight teacher training universities on programs for incentivizing teachers to stay in the system and linking state funding to work-force outcomes. Debate method was used, group work was be also used to exchange ideas for potential strategies. Personal plans and strategies drafted in working groups taken into account as feedback during the session.
3. Info-day for three Southern universities on the Californian voucher-system in terms of financial-aid offered to students and ways of attracting funds from other sources. The system might be transposed in to Moldovan legislation, or can be adapted by institutions themselves into their institutional policy, thus attracting students, addressing migration and building capacity.
The project lasted a week and it involved two wide events with the implication of all stakeholders in higher education in the Republic of Moldova.
The first event took place in Chisinau, with the involvement of representatives from the administrative staff of public universities, and was very appreciated by the people present. There has been present the State Secretary for Higher Education and Research of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova, the public affairs officer of the US Embassy, Mr. Joseph Gerathy, and the invited expert, Mr David O’Brien.
The Second even was a regional one, and involved regional universities. The Seminar took place in the South of the country, in Comrat, and focused more on stressing out the importance of regional higher education institutions for the development of the country and their possibilities for development in a small context and with limited resources.
The expert David O’Brien was also invited as a guest speaker to Moldova State University, where he held a lecture on opportunities for international students in the United States of America as undergraduate or graduate candidates.
The project incentivized Moldovan stakeholders to approach governance and financing of universities in a different perspective, as well as it offered a broad insight into concrete solutions to specific problems common both to the Moldovan and the Californian higher education systems
Also, the project helped in developing a sense of responsibility among the universities, and while seeing the example of the United States, which strategically planned its system back in the 60s of the 20th century, our institutions developed a common goal and inspiration.