Named after “Stephen the Great and Holy”, the most famous ruler of Moldavia, the ‘Stefan cel Mare University’ of Suceava (USV), is a modern academic institution with more than 50 years of tradition in higher education. The University is located in Northeast Romania, in Bukovina – one of the most beautiful historical regions of the country featuring picturesque landscapes, medieval architecture, unique painted monasteries and a strong folkloric influence. USV was initially born in 1963 under the name of ‘The 3 Years Pedagogical Studies Institute’ and gradually gathered around it technical specializations until the Romanian Government officially granted it the University title on March 7th, 1990. Since then the University of Suceava is internationally recognized for its high-quality education and research activity.
Having 9 faculties covering a wide range of areas of specialization from Sports and Physical Education to Forestry or Educational Sciences, over 10.000 students and more than 20 research & development labs, the University of Suceava is a center of excellence and is ranked on the first place in Romania for the number of patents and inventions registered locally and in Europe. The University has also been ranked the fourth in a top created by KIENBAUM Management Consultants in cooperation with CAPITAL Magazine meant to illustrate the vision that employers, graduates and students have on universities.
Running the university professionally thanks to his 28 years of experience in the Academic sector and 8 months involvement in the governmental activity as Head of Ministry of National Education, Rector Valentin Popa is highly preoccupied by academic consolidation. In 2008, the efforts of creating a high-quality study environment and achieving performance in education and research have been rewarded by the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) with the High Level of Trust qualification.
OPEN DOORS AND ADVANTAGES FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS
As Minister of National Education, professor Popa proposed bills to improve the functioning of the entire higher education system, while as Rector of USV, he strives to fulfil the mission of the university by running projects and programs targeting the issues and deficiencies in tertiary education. For instance, regarding the internationalization, The University of Suceava has numerous programs meant to attract foreign students. They are addressed mainly to the ones in the Eastern Europe, but also in the Chinese Republic and Northern Africa, as professor Popa claims: “It’s understandable that the citizens of developed countries won’t come to study here and that is the reason why the internationalization policy targets young people coming from developing countries, such as the ones in the Eastern Europe like Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, but also and China, the countries in Northern Africa or the ones in the Middle East”.
To further increase internationalization, The University of Suceava has a pioneering policy that provides the worldwide accepted double-diploma for the foreign students, as the rector explains: ‘we prefer the two-diploma studies, that have the advantage of registering them both in Romania and in their native country. Thus, when students graduate, they get two degrees: one from their native country and one from the University of Suceava in Romania. The last one is accepted worldwide. This program has many benefits and it is designed to encourage the young people to remain where they live’.
ERASMUS scholarships are not to be forgotten when speaking of the University of Suceava. According to professor Valentin Popa, although the international courses are not many, all the foreign students benefit from a support course and assistance from academic staff, that strive to offer students the sense of belonging during their stay.
The university has continuously developed since its foundation therefore, today the university campus offers a wide range of facilities such as: modern libraries and laboratories, research units, high standard accommodation, free full time internet, a swimming and kineto-therapy complex, modern football ground, astronomical observatory, auditorium for concerts and cinema, high standard student restaurant.
GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC AND SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION
One of the most important projects for The University of Suceava is the ‘Networks of European Universities’ along the lines French President Emmanuel Macron proposed at his Sorbonne speech in September 2017. Professor Valentin Popa explains: ‘the concept described by Emmanuel Macron as „networks” means to even up the study programs in such a way that every student in one department, no matter the university, gains the same knowledge and the same qualification’, which, in his opinion, will unify and consolidate the European study programs and will open horizons to foreign students.
The University of Suceava has one of the most important research & development centers in the country with teams engaged in a wide range of research activities, such as testing the water quality, nanotechnology, biotechnology and high-performance computers. The impressive number of patents and the recent infrastructure investments attract fruitful collaborations with some of the best researchers and engineers. As an academic partner of many local companies, the University aims to become better known nationally and internationally, especially for the R&D department. Valentin Popa points out that ‘During the last competition, only ten nanotechnology projects were funded. And one of them was ours. To encourage and facilitate the cooperation in these fields we purchased the latest infrastructure, that attracts foreign researchers. Thanks to this, many Romanians from abroad came to our university.’
In his final message, professor and rector Valentin Popa invites foreign students and researchers to the University of Suceava: ’Here you will find innovation, quality and vision’ and encourages anyone who desires a collaboration to visit them in Suceava. ’We are permanently interested in partnerships with companies and also concerned to improve our study programs. It is about constantly trying to balance the knowledge the business environment requires and the one we offer to our graduates so they can choose from a wide range of jobs. We are confident that a visit to Bukovina and a tour of our University will help you rediscover the values of an authentic life-style based on liberty, knowledge, morality, tolerance, responsibility and excellency’, concluded professor Popa.