The high rate of dropouts, the preference for quantity instead of quality, the quality of the university education in Romania and its connections in Europe are still suffering while research is insufficiently supported and foreign language learning needs still coherent programs, European Commissioner for Education Jan Figel says in an interview for with Valentin Cotarta, an EC independent expert.

In the interview, Figel says according to statistics some 70% of young Romanian adults have followed at east a secondary-level education, which places the country at a comparative level with Portugal, Spain, Malta and Luxembourg. But he warns the number of those who have opt to continue studies is a lot below the lowest limit of the European Union.

Meanwhile, Romania invests only 0.5% of its GDP in research, which is yet again too little, while the number of school dropouts grew consistently up to 20% in the period of 1993-2003, for which statistics are available, Commissioner Figel says.

He added that Romania has to consider a more coherent policy for education and research as these have an important impact on the economy.

According to Figel, as Romania and Bulgaria will be part of Europe their people must understand the importance of learning foreign languages, which is important in a multicultural, multilingual space like this.

And he said the European Commission will soon submit to the European Parliament the European Qualifications Framework directive aimed at adapting the educational systems in member states - including Romania starting next year - to the European labor market.

According to Figel, it is not a mistake of the European Union that Romania is not yet part of the eLearning European programme, but an inability of the Romanian government, which must be tackled with.