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The Youth Strategy includes development of entrepreneurial skills and youth entrepreneurship among its main objectives. The Youth Strategy is a legal document adopted as a Government Decision (no. 24/2015). The specific objectives in this area are:
- Increase self-employment among young people
- Increase self-employment among young people in rural areas
- Promote entrepreneurship at all youth education and training levels
- Help young entrepreneurs adjust to European integration and globalisation processes
However, an action plan allowing systematic implementation of the strategy, monitoring and evaluation the strategy, was not adopted until December 2016. For the development and adopting of the action plan and for monitoring the Youth Strategy implementation the Ministry of Youth and Sports needs cooperation and support from other sectorial ministries (Education, Employment, Economy etc.).
Entrepreneurship education is organised and regulated in the formal education system only at the secondary level of education, being a mandatory class for some secondary education specialisations, for pupils being 16-17 years old. However, analysing the curricula one can observe that the focus is on competences and skills and less on the attitudes that young entrepreneurs should have or should acquire.
At the level of higher education, all the major universities in Romania offer business classes, including an introduction to entrepreneurship. However, given the cultural traditions prevailing in the Romanian university system, the greatest impact stems from the separation between theoretical and practical knowledge, the former being considering superior to the latter. This is reflected not only in the content of courses but also in the teaching methodology, which is almost exclusively based on lectures with less consideration for the active role of students.
Analysing the presentation of university courses on business including entrepreneurship education in Romanian universities based on the information published online by the Universities (websites of 10 biggest universities in Romania have been analysed), one can note three aspects that characterize entrepreneurship courses:
- they are present almost exclusively in economics and management faculties;
- their main focus is on the start-up of new businesses;
- their main aim is to transfer knowledge and skills to the development of the business plan.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports launched, in 2017, a large project of entrepreneurship training, targeting 200 young people in 8 counties: Bihor, Covasna, Dâmbovița, Giurgiu, Iași, Satu Mare, Teleorman and Vrancea.
Until 2015, while funding was available, entrepreneurship education has been a priority of the Romanian main youth and youth work organisations, but their initiatives were only project-based and did come at and end as soon as the granting scheme came to an end, having no follow up plans in place. European programs implementation in Romania included and funded training for young people willing to be entrepreneurs, but evaluations shows that the lack of targeting these activities generated their lack of effectiveness. The strengths of entrepreneurship learning are mainly determined by the extensive investment done to support start-ups and youth entrepreneurship initiatives through the European Social Fund projects. But, at the same time, this investment also came with a challenge – the lack of systematic entrepreneurship education made in schools and universities leads to a sluggish development of entrepreneurial culture in Romania.
The efforts that the young entrepreneurs’ associations with private funding have been doing in order to create schemes for young entrepreneurs should be appreciated, as well as the specific schemes to young women entrepreneurs. More than this, important the peer education programmes for young entrepreneurs were also appreciated by the public.
In order to support educators (teachers and youth workers) in developing skills for entrepreneurship education, Romania is promoting the implementation granted by Erasmus+ programme. No systematic information is provided on the number of teachers or youth workers benefiting from training projects in the field within Erasmus+. After participation in trainings on entrepreneurship education, the multiplication phases depended on teachers’ willingness and motivation to transfer the methods of non-formal learning and training education in class and to promote entrepreneurship among young people.
No other top-level national Romanian initiative has been launched for the educators support in entrepreneurship education.