Photo: Centrul de Evaluare și Analize Educaționale
25 %
FROM ALL THE STUDENTS
are studying in techology and innovation disciplines. These numbers fell sharply from the 90s, when 68% were studying in the area of techology and innovation.

Romanian American-Foundation works with teachers, schools and strategic business and NGO partners to develop programs that provide students of all ages with the right skills and knowledge needed for the development of the high-added value and innovative tech sector.

Technology and innovation have become more and more important for Romania’s economic development of late. Both on the domestic and international market, there are increasing opportunities for Romanian entrepreneurs to develop and sell products and services in various economic fields. Concurrently, the more companies advance in sectors with higher added value, the more skilled and knowledgeable their employees must be.

At present, however, graduates of technical universities are little or not at all familiarized with product development or market mechanisms. There are also few academic programs aimed at preparing students for economic fields with a higher added value. Those who become entrepreneurs have limited access to business support and knowledge services.

As far as secondary education is concerned, lack of performance in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) has long-lasting negative effects. Results in international tests are below average and place Romania very far from advanced countries in the field.

RAF programs are focused on two important areas:

  • Contributing to an increased performance and interest in STEM secondary education, so that more and more young people are prepared for a career in technology and innovation.
  • Supporting a market-oriented university education system whose graduates can become entrepreneurs and employees creating added value.

PROGRAMS AND STRATEGIES

Entrepreneurship in higher education

We work together with technical universities in Romania to provide students with an opportunity to gain a set of technical and soft skills that help them develop their entrepreneurial potential, understand market mechanisms and think innovatively.

Innovation Labs
Innovation Labs is a pre-accelerator for start-ups designed to encourage creativity in technology and entrepreneurship among students and young professionals. After Bucharest, the program has now expanded to four other technical universities in Romania, namely Cluj, Iași, Sibiu, and Timișoara.
Entrepreneurial University
The program assists Romanian universities in the application of the HEInnovate entrepreneurial capacity assessment tool and provides 5 universities with accredited entrepreneurship curricula.
Fulbright-RAF Scholar Award
The RAF Scholar Award program will provide 24 Romanian professors from technical universities around the country with the opportunity to gain U.S. university-based experience in developing and sustaining entrepreneurship education. In turn, upon returning to Romania, the participating professors would broaden the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
STEM Education

In secondary education, RAF has intervened to promote teaching methods meant to stimulate both the students’ interest in science as well as their critical thinking and creativity. The long-term stake for the foundation is to contribute to the formation of a new generation of graduates who are able to take development opportunities in technology and innovation and match the requirements of an increasingly competitive market.

Fizica Altfel (Physics Curriculum Reform)
This program was designed to strengthen the teaching of physics through investigative methods.
After piloting and successfully testing the methods, the program entered the expansion and consolidation phase.
Code Kids – Coding for Kids in Libraries
The program aims to assist children in rural areas and small towns to learn basic coding attending coding clubs activities in public libraries.
Teaching the Future
The program pilots an intervention aimed at supporting computer science teachers to adopt project-based teaching strategies for their class and to create active-learning environments in their schools.
Științescu Fund
This program supports setting up a local funding mechanism for education micro-initiatives aimed at raising children’s interest in sciences.
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