According to andyeducation, the educational system in Romania is divided into four main levels: pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education. Pre-primary education is offered to children aged 3 to 6 and consists of a variety of activities aimed at preparing children for primary school. Primary education is compulsory and free for all children between the ages of 6 and 14. It consists of eight grades of instruction, culminating in a final exam which determines the student’s eligibility to pursue further studies at the secondary level. Secondary education is available to students who have completed primary school. It consists of three years of general studies and two years of specialized studies, leading to a National Diploma or a Technical Diploma. At the end of this stage, students are awarded a certificate or diploma which allows them to pursue further studies or enter the labour market. Higher education in Romania is offered by both public and private universities, as well as other institutions such as polytechnics, academies and colleges. Public universities are funded by the state while private universities are funded by tuition fees paid by the students. Higher education consists of Bachelor’s (3-4 years), Master’s (1-2 years) and Doctoral (3-5 years) degrees. The curriculum at all levels is regulated by the Ministry of Education (MEd). In addition to traditional academic studie, Romania also offers non-formal educational opportunities such as apprenticeships, distance learning courses and vocational training programmes. These non-formal programmes provide individuals with additional skills which can be useful in their professional career or everyday life. The Romanian education system has been undergoing a process of reform since the early 1990s. The reforms have aimed to make the system more effective and efficient, and to increase access to quality education for all citizens. In recent years, the government has also focused on increasing public spending on education in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools. See educationvv for Romania educational systems.