Moldova has 30 institutions of higher education structured into academies, institutes and universities of which 21 are public. The majority are in Chisinau, the capital and largest city of the country. Since the fall of the Soviet Union from which Moldova was a part of, the number of students is constantly growing, especially for international students. In the academic year 2019/20, out of 56,800 people studying in Moldova, 4,600 were foreigners, with 500 more than in the previous year. There are 4,300 faculty members (on average, 1 professor per 13 students). 2,500 of them hold a PhD, while 13,4% hold the highest academic degree: habilitation. Implemented between 2013-2018, the “Reform Education in Moldova (PRIM)” project’s mission helped improve the education system to reach international standards. For further information, the Ministry of Education’s website is https://mecc.gov.md/.
Institutions of higher education of the country offer students the opportunity to study at a Bachelor’s (licență), Master’s (master) and PhD (doctorat) level. Studies can be made full-time, part-time (fără frecvență) or at distance. Undergraduates study for 3-4 years to obtain 180-240 credits while Master’s students study for 1,5-2 years and obtain 90-120 credits. For part-time and distance learning, students will be required to attend one more year than full-time ones. Doctoral studies last for 3 years, accumulating 180 credits. Also, Integrated Master’s are available especially for Medicine related subjects that integrate the first two cycles. The academic year starts on the 1st of September and lasts for 42 weeks with 2 semesters (17 weeks each) and 2 exam sessions (7-8 weeks).
Admission requirements, timetable or fees will differ from university to university. However, students are, in general, required to sit an admission exam and provide evidence of a high school diploma (Diplomă de Bacalaureat) or an equivalent recognised by the Ministry of Education when applying for at an undergraduate level. International students will be provided with a ‘compensating’ year to support their studies. In the same way, students who wish to pursue a master’s degree will sit an admission exam, provided they already hold a bachelor’s degree. The same process is available for foreign students. Proof of language capabilities will also be required depending on the context. In Moldova, 54,6% of the population would usually speak Moldovan, 24% Romanian, 14.5% Russian, 2,7% Ukrainian and Gagauz, 1,7% Bulgarian, and the rest is divided into other languages or did not specify. For this reason, almost all universities will offer the same courses both in Romanian and Russian, with options of English or French as well.
Tuition fees range between 210-520 euros per annum, depending on the course and university with Medicine or Law being one of the most expensive.
Information for International Students
Moldova is a very affordable country to study and live in. By comparison with the living costs in Europe, Moldova is fairly cheap. It is 72% less expensive to rent here than in the UK. For example, renting a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre is 240 euro/month (approximately £204). Altogether, living costs are 72% lower than in the UK. With its remarkable landscapes and history, Moldova became one of the most impressive countries to study in. After years of living under a communist regime, the country is now independently flourishing and continues to grow economically, attracting tourists and students every year from all around the world.