The University Year starts on Monday and officials have attended the opening ceremonies in various cities throughout the country. President Klaus Iohannis has attended the festivities in Iasi (north-eastern Romania), a university centre hosting more than 50,000 students every year.
The ceremony, hosted by all the five universities in Iasi, took place at the National Theatre, with more than 750 attending – politicians, professors and students.
In his speech, President Iohannis stressed the special moment this year, as Romania celebrated the centennial.
“Iasi is a historical landmark and one of the places where we celebrate the centennial also as a connection with the ideals that led to the Great Union. (…) The city’s contribution to the development of Romania was essential throughout the time for the development of education. In 1860 the first modern university in Romania was initiated here, with traditions reflecting today the prestige of higher education in Iasi,” the President said.
The head of state mentioned that the legal framework instability and the lack of a clear direction in education has made him launch the project ‘Educated Romania’, the result of more than two years of consultations and discussions.
“Beyond education, in order to capitalize on his potential, Iasi needs infrastructure in order to turn it into an important European city. A highway is absolutely necessary, to connect Moldavia to the rest if the country and to the pan-European network of highways. (…) It is unacceptable to travel by train more than six and a half hours from Bucharest to Iasi, longer than 20 years ago,” President Iohannis said.
He added that a positive development cannot be obtained without the contribution of professors, students and researchers in Iasi.
“I strongly believe that the second century of existence for Romania as unitary national state should be dedicated to reducing the gaps against other EU states and to the unlocking of the creative potential of the Romanian people,” the head of state said.
Klaus Iohannis argued he expects the universities, and Iasi makes no exception, to be creative, adaptable, active and to assume the mission to educate the students so that they become the artisans of changing Romania for the better.
“Dear students, it is a lot of work on countless ways, but I am convinced you will play a crucial part in completing a national vision of Centennial Romania, as you represent the next generations,” the President said.