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SDG 1. No Poverty

Tracking Report on Specific Indicators for 2020/2021

Research

  • Centre of Research and Innovation in Social Services, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
  • Centre for Social Policies, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
  • A multidimensional approach to social exclusion in later life – health consequences for ageing populations, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work

University anti-poverty programmes

  • The University of Bucharest has targets to admit students who fall into disadvantaged categories, as defined by legislation and the specific national context in Romania.
  • Article 205 of the National Education Law no.1/2011, with subsequent amendments and additions, states in paragraph 6: “Candidates from high socio-economic risk or socially marginalised backgrounds – Roma, high school graduates from rural areas or towns with less than 10,000 inhabitants – may benefit from several guaranteed subsidised places, according to the law“. Thus, the Ministry of National Education assigns yearly places to universities for Roma candidates and rural high school graduates (see DECISION No. 327/2020 of 23 April 2020 on the approval of the enrolment figures for state pre-university education and state higher education for the academic year 2020 – 2021) and who thus can apply separately for undergraduate degree programmes (respectively master and doctorate for Roma candidates), under the same conditions as Romanian citizens, on places financed from the state budget allocated by the Ministry of Education specifically for this category of candidates. For the undergraduate admission session 2020-2021, the University of Bucharest has obtained and made available to the two categories of candidates 196 places out of a total of 4415 places, i.e. 4.43%, of which 150 for rural candidates and 46 for Roma candidates. Roma candidates were also offered 9 places in the Master’s entrance examination. To underline the degree of involvement of the University of Bucharest in the inclusion of these categories, we mention that at the national level, the University was allocated 7.04% of the total number of funded places at the undergraduate level, but for the subsidised places for thee rural graduates, it obtained an additional 0.50%. These study places are allocated based on previous performance.
  • It should also be mentioned that both graduates of high schools located in rural areas and Roma candidates can apply both for places subsidised from the state budget allocated specifically for these categories of candidates, and places subsidised from the state budget for all Romanian citizens or European Union citizens, or fee-paying places, thus maximising their chances of being accepted to university studies. The University’s strategy is to maximise the occupancy of all available study places.
  • At the same time, to facilitate the access of candidates at high socio-economic risk to higher education, orphans or candidates from foster homes are exempted from the admission fee.
  • Also, the University of Bucharest, through the UB SEED project – Educational Support for Disadvantaged Students, aims to increase the chances of university admission of students from families with financial and material deprivation through actions carried out over a period of 5 years. As a result of the selection held in 2021, 30 students in the 7th grade were accepted into the program.
  • The University is working with clear targets for the completion of studies, which include students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • The Strategic Plan for the period 31.12. 2020 – 31.12. 2023 establishes the indicator IV.10.9. Graduation rate per cohort (Ratio between the number of students enrolled in the first year and the number of graduates with a degree – per cohort) and has a reference value in 2019-2020 of 72% bachelor and 80% master. The strategic plan set a 5% annual decrease compared to the previous year in dropout per cohort. Students in the above-mentioned categories are taken into account in setting this target. To manage their needs and to ensure retention in higher education, an Office for Social and Educational Inclusion has been set up and a strategy to prevent dropouts is being implemented.
Number of graduates 2019/2020 2020/2021
Bachelor
Graduates with diploma 54.47% 55.3%
Graduates without diploma 10.75% 8.8%
Dropout 34.78% 35,9%
Master
Graduates with diploma 58.32% 61.3%
Graduates without diploma 18.01% 15.4%
Dropout 23.67% 23.3%

Evolution of number of graduates

University dropout rate 2019/2020 2020/2021
Bachelor 34.78% 35,9%
Master 23.67 23.3%

Evolution of university dropout rate

Success rate in the final exams-out of total graduates 2019/2020 2020/2021
Bachelor 94% 98%
Master 84% 89%

Evolution of success rate

  • The University of Bucharest provides different forms of support to students from high-risk socio-economic or socially marginalised backgrounds. Support directions cover the following:
  • Administrative and legal support: through the Office of Social and Educational Inclusion created with the following tasks: developing and implementing a mechanism to identify vulnerable students; developing internal institutional mechanisms to support the integration of students from vulnerable groups into the UB university community; implementing and strengthening a monitoring system for students at risk of dropping out; developing a programme to provide assistance, support, monitoring and improving access to quality education for students with special educational needs and other students from disadvantaged groups; identifying and attracting financial resources and using them to provide effective interventions that will increase access to and improve the quality of education for vulnerable groups; in collaboration with UB structures, to carry out programmes and campaigns to raise public awareness on promoting diversity and combating stigma and discrimination.
  • Access to free healthcare: the University offers free medical services to all its students, through the University Medical Office located in the Mihail Kogălniceanu Student Dormitory.
  • Affordable food: the UB canteen offers students low-cost meals, affordable to all students.
  • Affordable/ free accommodation: the University of Bucharest offers students around 5,300 accommodation places in 18 student dormitories. Accommodation in student hostels is based on the principle of previous academic performance but 15% of the places are awarded on social or medical criteria(about 600 places). Students who have obtained the minimum number of credits required to pass the academic year and whose families do not have an average net monthly income per family member higher than the minimum net salary in the economy in the 3 months before the application are eligible under the social criterion. For the academic year 2020/2021, the accommodation fees for budget students varied between 130 lei-160 lei (26-32 EUR). Certain categories considered vulnerable are exempted from paying the accommodation fee: students orphaned by one or both parents, students under social protection and students with severe disabilities and their companions (Art. 25 of the Methodology on accommodation in university hostels).
  • Subsidised transport: in the academic year 2020/2021, students benefit from free train transport and a 50% discount on monthly passes to the public transport network in Bucharest (bus, tram, metro). Our students benefit, on request, from full reimbursement of public transport costs in Bucharest.
  • Unrestricted access to educational resources: the students of the University of Bucharest have free access to the central university library and its branches.
  • Students are informed of the facilities provided by the university. To this end, a Student Guide has been created and includes provisions on accommodation, canteen, transport, scholarships, library, medical office, student mobility, counselling and career guidance and the UB Learning Centre. 
  • To support students from low-income families to complete their studies, the University of Bucharest offers scholarships and other necessary resources and develops support programmes. 
  • Students who do not have a good financial situation (whose family has not earned in the 3 months before the beginning of the academic year an average monthly net income per family member higher than the minimum net wage), students with medical problems, orphans or those from children’s homes/family placement can benefit from a social scholarship of 640 lei. The social scholarships are intended to ensure minimum living conditions for the beneficiaries complete the university study programmes in which they are enrolled and are awarded for the duration of the academic year. Of the scholarship fund available at the University, a minimum of 30% of the total is allocated to social scholarships. The existing methodology also provides that social scholarships can be combined with other forms of support, for example, performance scholarships. The forms of support offered by the UB also include occasional social scholarships which involve social aid for clothing, maternity, or in the case of the death of a family member.
  • The UB Mentor Programme was created to provide financial and material support for the completion of studies, targeting students with good academic results who come from disadvantaged backgrounds/vulnerable communities and who are admitted to master’s degree programmes at the Faculty of History, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Faculty of Political Science. In the academic year 2020-2021, this programme included providing students with laptops.
  • The University of Bucharest ensures that students from lower-middle-income countries receive the necessary support to complete their studies and offers them support under the same conditions as Romanian students from disadvantaged categories.
  • As such, students in these categories can benefit from accommodation in university dormitories, social grants and subsidised transport. The International Relations Office offers students support in this direction.
  • To facilitate the integration of international students, the International Relations Department implemented a project in 2021- “Online education during pandemic times. Acting nationally, teaching internationally”- that included in its objectives the academic and social integration of international students.

Community anti-poverty programmes

  • The University of Bucharest proposes and implements projects and initiatives to provide assistance and financial assistance in the local community supporting the start-up of financially and socially sustainable businesses.
  • Between January 2018 and January 2021, the University of Bucharest implemented two projects aimed at supporting entrepreneurship through the implementation and development of urban businesses for two distinct development regions of Romania, respectively:
  • DREAM – Regional Development through Multisectoral Entrepreneurial Expertise” Project: South East Development Region (counties of Brăila, Buzău, Constanța, Galați, Tulcea and Vrancea;
  • SUCCESS – Startups built on Sustainable Economic Skills for Success” Project: South Muntenia Development Region (Argeș, Călărași, Dâmbovița, Giurgiu, Ialomița, Prahova and Teleorman counties).
  • In the framework of the two projects, the trainees participated in nationally accredited entrepreneurial training programmes: Start-Up Academy/ Start-up School where they learned the principles of translating a business idea into a business plan and were financially supported to launch businesses. In the end, trainees were able to enter a project competition which resulted in 93 business plans being funded with 160,000 lei each. During the project implementation phase, entrepreneurs were supported in ensuring the sustainability of their businesses through two Support and Promotion centres. Each of the 93 funded projects also included the creation of two jobs. It should be noted that the target group included people living in the two development regions.
  • In 2018 the University of Bucharest established the Student Entrepreneurial Society UNIHUB to offer a series of activities dedicated to the development of entrepreneurial skills and initiatives. Some of these activities include support for generating new businesses by students and graduates of the UB; development of entrepreneurial skills and competences; workshops dedicated to the creation and development of professional skills and soft skills; mentoring activities for students who want to set up a start-up; meetings with entrepreneurs, on various topics related to entrepreneurship, creating a business, challenges in developing and managing a business, etc.; workshops dedicated to identifying sources of funding for start-ups; internships for students in entrepreneurial companies; working visits to companies to understand business processes; fairs of entrepreneurial companies to make students aware of their experiences; exchange of experience with entrepreneurs and students from other universities in the country and abroad; support for the establishment of a business incubator. Also, within UNIHUB, teams of students who want to launch a start-up can meet and work on their business plans while receiving advice from experts and teachers. There is also a mentoring and consultancy programme within UNIHUB. Applications for the mentoring and consultancy programme are held annually. The goal of these activities is to connect students who aspire to have their own business (or who have already started a personal initiative) with members of the business community, professors and business specialists who have gained professional experience in this field. Through such actions, UB not only offers support to direct partners (students) but also contributes to the development of skills that are reflected in the wider community through job creation.
  • In autumn 2021, a micro-production was established at the Faculty of Administration and Business, which aims to familiarise the students of the University of Bucharest with the means and equipment for the production of promotional items.
  • The University of Bucharest implements programmes to improve access to basic services for all. These initiatives can start either from the centralised level or at the initiative of members of the academic community, including students.
  • A concrete action, aimed at supporting groups in financial difficulty is the UB SEED (Educational Support for Disadvantaged Students) programme. In the summer of 2021, 30 students with potential in the 7th grade, coming from low-income families in disadvantaged environments, who cannot develop educationally due to material and financial deprivation, were selected to be part of the program. After being accepted, they will benefit for 5 school years from online courses, activities/events, mentoring, material and/or financial support. Another UB action that aims to contribute to increasing access to higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and vulnerable communities and to develop a relevant human and material infrastructure for this purpose is the UB Mentor platform.
  • The Entrepreneurship Week 2021 offered young people with entrepreneurial initiatives access to various workshops such as Emotional Intelligence, How to develop a successful online business in Romania, Niche Businesses, or Accounting while allowing interaction with experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Another model of involvement is represented by the activities organised by the student circle “Business, Ethics and Social Responsibility” (AERS) which has implemented 3 social responsibility projects resulting in numerous donations to those in need.
  • The members of the academic community get involved either through research that fundaments certain policies, through projects that promote concrete change, or by initiating or participating in dialogue with policymakers. Some examples for 2021 include:
  • Debates are launched from the University’s highest leadership level. In November 2020 the Rector of the University of Bucharest, Professor Marian Preda, PhD, held the conference “The really disadvantaged. Where to direct social solidarity“. On this occasion, he spoke about poverty and disadvantaged groups in Romania today, but he also insisted on the need to implement concrete policies of solidarity and social equity. The event was open to the general public, representing a form of direct involvement of the UB in actions aimed at drawing attention to a sensitive problem of Romanian society, but also to the need to rethink policies that combat it.
  • The Orienta4YEL project – Supporting educational and social inclusion of youth early leavers and youth at risk of early leaving through mechanisms of orientation and tutorial action – implemented between January 2019 and December 2021, by UB, together with three other European higher education institutions, aimed to develop, implement and evaluate a set of strategies and practices to promote inclusive education among youth at risk of dropping out. The project is also aimed at disadvantaged young people who, due to their circumstances or the material condition of their family, are exposed to this risk with medium and long-term effects on their material well-being, their family and even their community.

Marc, 21 – International Forest Day
March, 22– International Water Day
April, 22 – International Earth Day
May, 10 – Birds and Trees International Day
May, 15 – International Day of Climate Action
May, 22 – International Biodiversity Day
June, 5 – World Environment Day
June, 8 – World Oceans Day
June, 21 – World Sun Day
September, 23 – World Cleanliness Day
October, 1 – World Habitat Day
October, 31 – International Black Sea Day
December, 5 – International Soil Day
December, 11 – International Mountain Day

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