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Sibiu is paving the way for the “jobs of the future”, through a dual education system and a dynamic university environment

Thanks to one of the oldest universities in the country, Sibiu grew into a true academic centre that attracts students from Romania and abroad, young people looking for jobs for the future. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, dual education system classes are being set up, with the support of the City Hall and private investors. This allows the training of young people living in Sibiu for the jobs the labour market needs.

 

ULBS, the engine for the development of Sibiu

The history of the “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu (ULBS) started over 225 years ago and. The university centre in Sibiu rapidly grew and has recently achieved a competitive education process respecting EU-regulated quality standards. This allows for the graduates to acquire international academic and professional recognition. In this university, unique majors in the Romanian academic system are promoted, and a high trust level recommends ULBS as a powerful institution, engaged in raising the quality of the education process.

During the last year, ULBS has known a rapid development and obtained valuable scientific results. The international visibility of the institution has hence grown. It is now the 7th of 24 universities in Romania mentioned in the annual meta ranking on the external presence of universities. “Our goal is to contribute to the development of science, knowledge and society”, stated ULBS president, Professor Ioan Bondrea, EngD, in his last activity report.

These values are promoted in nine faculties, created in 2012, after the University was restructured: Theology, Law, Engineering, Letters and Arts, Socio-Humanistic Sciences, Sciences, Medicine, Agricultural Sciences, Food Industry and Environment Protection, as well as the Faculty of Economic Sciences.

But, in addition to the primordial mission of the University – that of education and research – the entrepreneurial approach has become, for ULBS, the result of changing the way in which it approaches the practices of education, research or governance, thanks to the socio-economic transformations on a national and global level. This aspect is mirrored by the multiple partnerships – ULBS as a whole, and each faculty in particular – with different companies in Sibiu, state or education institutions in Romania and abroad.

It is worth mentioning that ULBS has the most modern university library in Romania. This was possible after the inauguration of the new library centre in 2009 – a worthy model thanks to the latest IT and communication technologies.

At the beginning of 2019, the total number of students enrolled in university graduate and post-graduate studies was of 13,950, and the number of teaching staff – 671.

 

Dual education – Sibiu is finding solutions for labour market shortages

 

2019 is the fifth year since a dual education system has been implemented in Sibiu. The trade school of yesteryear has been consequently elevated to the “highest ranking” – as Sibiu Mayor Astrid Fodor declared at the start of the school year. This year, local authorities have without hesitation supported the development of the dual education system, helped by foreign investors in the city. Over 280 students are enrolled in dual system technical courses this year. The specializations are diverse: tool and die maker, mechanical engineer, machinery operator, textile manufacturing maker, store keepers, cook, hotel worker, steward and waiter – all of which are highly sought-after jobs in Sibiu.

“The old saying a handful of trade, a handful of gold still applies today. A skill is the best guarantee for a future job. Dual education has re-established respect for vocations. It offers young people solid training, and, consequently, a decent and well-paid job.” (Astrid Fodor, Mayor of Sibiu)

The “Independența” Technical College, for example, has three dual education system classes. This type of education is a process unfolding in two directions and in two learning environments: in school, students acquire theoretic knowledge, and, in the factory, they acquire practical knowledge and skills. This is a popular vocational education model in Germany. This year, the institution is collaborating with eight companies that decided to offer scholarships to the students willing to learn a trade: Continental (scholarships for 33 students), Brandl (14 students), Marquardt (ten students), ODU (ten students), Kuka (eight students), Wittenstein (seven students), Harting (six students) and CBS (four students). The students learning in those three classes will master the following trades: mechanical engineer (industrial machines and rigs), numerically-controlled machine operator and tool and die maker.

Comparing this year to 2018, in 2019 there have been three times as many applications from students and parents for enrolling in such a class, in the “Independența” College. The young people whose applications are accepted receive a 500 lei (105 euro) scholarship – of which 200 lei (42 euro) are offered by the City Hall and 300 (63 euro) by the companies. In addition, at the end of each tear, the best students will receive merit scholarships of 2,000 (420 euro), 1,500 (315 euro) or one thousand lei (210 euro).

In Sibiu, the dual education system has been implemented in the following teaching institutions: “Independența” Technical College, “A. Iancu” Technology High School, “H. Coandă” Technology High School, “G. Barițiu” Economic College and Cibinium Technical College. Sibiu City Hall is offering the space in these education centres and is investing in the high schools enrolled in this programme, in order to create the best conditions in labs and workshops.

 

Articol publicat în ediția de colecție a revistei Transilvania Business – Enjoy Transylvania! A jewel of Romania at the heart of Europe, ediție distribuită, cu sprijinul Primăriei Municipiului Sibiu, la Consiliul European informal de la Sibiu – 9 mai 2019

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