Public Administration Education and Professional Practice in Romania: Exploring Students’ Perceptions

Octavian Moldovan, Horia Mihai Raboca

Abstract


During professional practice stages students use the skills and knowledge previously acquired via formal classes, create networks, find mentors, enter into contact with citizens and their problems and obtain much needed professional experience, while simultaneously improving their theoretical knowledge and skills as a result of working side by side with practitioners in host organizations. As such, the main goal of this paper is to provide a general overview of professional practice in Romanian public administration education by looking at the undergraduate students’ satisfaction regarding the practicum stage in different host institutions.
The data (N = 89) collected from undergraduate students in a public administration program allows us to explore: their satisfaction with different aspects of professional practice (ranging from resources to new knowledge acquired), the strengths and weaknesses of practicum, the perceived utility of such activities and potential improvement measures. Going further than a simple descriptive analysis, our data also shows that the perceived benefits of professional practice can be reduced to two latent classes of utilities/benefits: those related to the new skills and knowledge acquired and the interactions with practitioners and citizens.


Keywords


practicum; public administration education; curricula improvement; Romania; undergraduate students

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24193/tras.57E.5

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