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STAGES - Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science
The FP7 project implemented by the Centre for Social Management and Community Development
UAIC Project Coordinator
Doina Balahur
Prof. univ. dr. Doina BALAHUR
Professor, PhD, Department of Sociology and Social Work, CSMCD
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FP7European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY 2011-1, STAGES, Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science (SiS.2011.2.1.1.-1)

Project co-funded by the General Inspectorate for relations with the European Union of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (IGRUE).

Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance
UAIC Research Group on Gender Equality in Science

UAIC Research Group on Gender Equality in Science is a multidisciplinary research team set up within the frame of the STAGES project in order to conduct scientific studies and evaluations on Gender Equal Opportunities in Romanian educational and research institutions, particularly at the UAIC (see the main objectives, research group members, research and publications).

Young Women Researchers -
Career Development

Steps towards excellence in science (see the profiles)

Young Women Researchers
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"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iasi

Centre for Social Management and Community Development
"Gender Equality in Science" -
a theme for PhD studies

Cover women technological Since 2013, "Gender Equality in Science" is a theme for PhD studies at the UAIC. Prof. dr. Doina Balahur, scientific coordinator for PhD in Sociology, announced the topics and the bibliography for 2014 candidates competition. As for 2013, the research will be carried out in cooperation with the FP7 European project STAGES at the UAIC. (more info here).

Work-life balance conditions

UAIC Action Programs for Gender Equality in Science

Creating organizational conditions that make possible a balance between the demands of professional work and the needs of personal life is an important component of the programmes aimed to promote gender equal opportunities in science. In order to make more known the conditions offered by our University, like childcare services and other facilities provided for the UAIC’ personnel and students within the frame of the programme “Junior” as well as the possible work arrangement based on legal provisions the usefull information have been periodically updated and disseminated in the UAIC-STAGES actions.

Childcare services and other facilities provided by the UAIC for personnel and students within the frame of the “Junior” programme

2012 - On the UAIC’s “Junior” programme

Last year, on 28 September 2012, in a info-day session, there were presented the two existing institutions integrated in the UAIC program for supporting and improving the work-life balance conditions of women in academic and science: the UAIC "Junior" Kindergarten, inaugurated on the 1st October 2003, for children between 3 and 6 years old, the first initiative of this kind in a Romanian University, and the UAIC “Junior” Primary School, inaugurated on the 12 September 2007, which offer childcare services for the families of the UAIC employees and students.

Childcare services Childcare services Childcare services

2013 - Developing the UAIC’s childcare services

Childcare services Interview with Prof. dr. Gheorghe Iacob, vice-rector of the UAIC

In many countries across the world (from Europa, USA, Japan, Australia, Canada and others) the universities provide childcare services (nursery care, kindergarten, school placement) as part of Gender Equality Programmes, initiated by the management team of those universities. In Romania the initiative and functioning of the UAIC “Junior” Primary School and “Junior” Kindergarten that are in place for some years now is rather a rare occurrence (if not singular cases of the childcare facilities and conditions offered by an university for its staff and students who are parents). How could be presented these UAIC institutional structures?

Based on the educational infrastructure and the large number of the students (about 30.000) University Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iasi could be considered like a city. The kindergarten and the school that run alongside University have access to the same resources that were accessed at the initiation of the project, which makes it one of the high quality departments of the “UAIC academic city “.
The main activities provided by both Junior school and Junior kindergarten aim to develop innovative learning skills that helps to stimulate the creativity and positive self-development. These two institutions focus on developing competitive standards for teaching and tend to follow the following goals:

  • Providing programmes for two main type of beneficiaries:
    • Direct beneficiaries – preschool and school age children - for whom there are programmes delivered by school and kindergarten;
    • Indirect beneficiaries – University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Iaşi staff which are parents for pre-school and primary school age children ( 1/3 kindergarten level children and over a half of school age children have parents which are University’s employees)
    Another category of beneficiaries are the University’s students who find here training and practice programmes for future primary school teachers. At the same time, the two institutions are open to other members of the public (outside University staff), aiming to make a bridge towards potential sponsors.
  • Promoting a positive and high quality learning environment, both competitive and friendly where children can feel encouraged, appreciated and protected.
  • Development of extracurricular activities with access to the exceptional resources of the University : museums, laboratories, Botanical Garden, Planetarium, Astrological Observatory.
Childcare services Childcare services

What competitive advantages do you consider for UAIC’s “Junior” Kindergarten and “Junior” Primary School?

The curricular resources are diverse and they get access to all parts of the UAIC organisational culture; these represent a framework in developing the formal educational process as well as representing a continuous source of inspiration and commitment to improve the teaching activity. The educational curriculum is put in practice by collaboration between teachers, parents and children and tries to balance both the educational offer and the children interests.

The formal educational process is accompanied with services (lunch, leisure, pedagogical assistance) and extracurricular activities - after school clubs that provide a range of activities aiming to meet children’s abilities and choices: sportive dance, painting, sculpting, learning German, playing chess, ‘young explorers’, drama, ballroom dancing, piano lessons. These extracurricular activities were developed in joint collaboration with teachers and students and include cultural activities, physical education, day trips and other activities aimed to develop children’s creativity. Such activities aim to engage all the pupils based on their age, abilities and skills. Engaging the children in extracurricular activities will promote their emotional wellbeing and they will enjoy and achieve success beyond formal education. They also participate in competitions that encouraged them to put in practice their ideas and creativity and made them feel involved in finding solutions for their school and their community.

The human resources available for the Junior School and Junior Kindergarten is one of the main organizational values. The staff working are 100 qualified teachers and educators and all of them have an university degree. They are also proven to provide a high quality work by succeeding to win different national and international contests.

The educational offer allows the opportunity for developing a modern learning environment that encourages pupils to succeed by meeting their diversity needs, learning styles, age, abilities and interests.

The physical environment and resources are adapted to meet the age requirements for pre-school and primary school age children. These resources include: computers, TV, smart pads, libraries, CD players, media room, playground, sports ground and free access in various University locations: Botanical Garden, Natural Sciences and History Museum, Astronomic Observatory, the sports facilities of Physical Education and Sports Faculty and other facilities.

Engagement of children’s families to take part in school’s culture and development helps to improve the decisions that are taken regarding the school’s activities, organisation and policy. The school and kindergarten are also running social events that encourage parents to attend and get involved. These events are sponsored by the project called “Junior - a school without limits” and these events are: “A flower for my school’, ‘Mother’s day”, ‘Father’s day”, “Parent - a teacher for a day”.

The children from Junior School have obtained several awards at the international and national contests like for example: Diploma of Excellence – Winners International School and Preschool Contests; first place at the “National Festival of Drama in foreign languages” or Special prize for poetry and images at the ‘Let’s go the Theatre” Festival. The School developed a series of beneficial partnerships with: Romanian - Japanese Association Himawari; Romanian Literature Museum; Luceafărul Theatre; Environmental Agency, Iași; Botanical Garden, Iași; ,,Save the Children” Association; Children’s Palace Iași; the Romanian Olympic Committee – Branch Iasi etc.

Childcare services Childcare services Childcare services

Does UAIC provide other services and facilities for University staff and students in order to improve work-life balance (as a part of Gender Equality work - life balance measures)?

As regards the facilities University currently offers, we could mention:

  • reducing the school fee for the employees who are parents and who register their children with Junior school and kindergarten;
  • medical services offered at the University’s medical base;
  • providing lunch at the University’s canteens -Titu Maiorescu, Gaudeamus, Akademos.
  • educational and psychological support from professionals based at the Faculty of Psychology and Education;
  • visiting University museums and booking holidays at reduced prices or free (in the University’s locations Agigea, Potoci, Iezareni);
  • leisure opportunities - concerts, air Balloon trips, sport events, New Year’s Eve Party;
  • free access at the internet and intranet within the UAIC area;
  • cultural events (conferences, celebrations, personalities meetings);
  • relaxing spaces – Botanical Garden, Coffee and bookshop Tafrali;
  • engaging staff in creative and artistic activities.

What future opportunities to develop childcare services and work-life balance measures are planned by the University management for the years to come?

UAIC has encouraged all its employees and their families and will further support the childcare services for their children. We observed that every year there is a higher number of requests for kindergarten and school places. This being the case there is a need for the space for kindergarten and school to be extended, as well for creating new opportunities for these children to continue the secondary school in the same premises, as a continuum after they finish the primary school. It could also be noted that from this year the kindergarten has extended its activities during the summer holidays at the request of the parents.

2014 - News about the UAIC’s “Junior” programme

News about the UAIC’s “Junior” programme News about the UAIC’s “Junior” programme

At the beginning of 2014 the Kindergarten “Junior” and the Primary School “Junior” have established the number of places and the composition of the classes for the new scholar year 2014-2015 and on the period 2.02.2014 - 7.02.2014 will receive applications for enrolling new pupils starting with the 15th September 2014. As a novelty, based on the provisions of the National Education Law nr.1/2011, a preparatory class before the primary school cycle will be also organized. These two institutions within the UAIC continue to be, after more than 10 years from their setting up, a unique project in Romania in the domain of childcare services provided by a University for its staff and students in order to improve the “work-life balance” conditions, as a component of the UAIC’s institutional programme for promoting gender equal opportunities. (See photos)

2015 - Evaluation research on child care services at the "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University

(UAIC, "Junior Kindergarten" and "Junior Primary School")
Evaluation research Evaluation research Evaluation research

Within the period 1st – 30 October 2015, Dr. Magdalena Vicovan, postdoctoral researcher of the UAIC-STAGES project, carried out a research study on the new child care services offered to the academic and research staff from our university within the frame of "Junior programme". The research was based on interviews with female and male academics and researchers whose children are enrolled at the "Junior Primary School" and at the "Junior Kindergarten" and with Liliana Minea, the Director of "Junior Programme", Primary School teacher. From the interviews taken it resulted that the "Junior programme" became more flexible and delivers more services so that to be better tailored, on the one hand, to the irregular working time of the academic and research staff of the university and, on the other hand, to better meet the diversity of learning interests of the children and also their play needs. The interviews with the parents, young researchers and academics from the university, indicated a high degree of satisfaction both with the new daily and weekly programme of the school and with the more diverse offer of extracurricular activities and balance between learning activities and play/relaxing ones. The creation of the "teacher on duty" for emergency situations and the possibility to prolong the daily programme till 8-9 PM was highly appreciated by the interviewed parents. Among the most appreciated new measures aiming at supporting the parents after the close of the school's regular programme are the "summer school" and "summer campus".

European CommissionUAICCSMCD