Romanians place a high value on education. Families are willing to spend money on the education of their children. Romanians trace their educational tradition back to Transylvanian confessional schools and Moldavian and Wallachian princely academies in the 17th century. Monasteries ran schools as early as the 15th century. The first printed works were traced back to this time. Organized education was established in the 1800s.

The first Communist educational reform abolished all private schools and established free and compulsory schools for all Romanians. In the post- communist period, education was reformed. Institutes of higher learning were given autonomy. Now professionals are trained in local schools and universities, the most renowned being in Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi.

Schooling is free and compulsory until secondary school level or until the student is 18 years old. Elementary school lasts for eight years. Then students take an entrance exam for secondary school. One-half of the students go to vocational schools where they learn the basic skills needed to work on farms or in factories. The other half of the students take training in advanced technical skills, in the arts, or in teaching. The top 5 % of secondary school graduates are assigned courses that prepare them for university.
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Students from approximately 70 foreign countries attend Romanian universities, mostly to study art and medicine.

State universities are supplemented by a network of private universities. Usually the French system of education is followed in Romania. The most famous schools offer training in medicine, engineering and mathematics. Romania has won many international competitions in science, mathematics, medicine, drawing and music. State universities grant a considerable number of scholarships. There are ten universities in Bucharest alone and many more in other major cities.

After 1990, private education was permitted, but is still not recognized by the state. All graduates have to write the State Examination in order to get their diploma.