AVE: 9 years dedicated to education, with programs and projects at national level

  • AVE has allocated approximately €5.9 million to programs and projects in its 9 years of activity

  • Principal of the Year Awards Gala brought 30 school principals into the spotlight

  • By 2028, AVE aims to work with 1,000 schools in the Romanian School Transformation Program

Bucharest, 27 March 2024. AVE (Association for Values in Education) has been contributing for 9 years to the transformation of the educational system in Romania through programs and projects developed from the needs of schools. AVE was born out of the desire of seven Romanian entrepreneurs to help Romanian schools become one that promotes respect, honesty, team spirit and responsibility. Education is the most important investment, and AVE facilitated from the beginning the involvement of private companies and civil society in the effort to transform it together.

5.9 million for programs and projects in schools

Over the past 9 years, AVE has developed and implemented programs designed to have an impact on school management, teachers and students. AVE’s work has benefited from the financial support of the business sector, with a budget of around €5.9 million allocated to programs and projects. 

More than 16,000 teachers took part in the programs coordinated by AVE: the School Leadership and Management Academy, HumanKind, Edu Networks or Alfabetar. The total number of pupils learning in schools involved in AVE programs amounted to over 230,000. 

290 principals have implemented AVE programs in their schools and 685 others have participated in other AVE projects and initiatives. In its 9 years of existence, AVE has interacted with 5,800 principals and vice-principals.

Over 400 business leaders have understood the importance of the school principal as a driver of change, worked 1-on-1 with a principal and played a key role as a business mentor in training principals.

The first company to believe in the AVE mission was Arval – BNP Paribas Group, which understood that education is the foundation of a better life. “At Arval we have always had initiatives to make a positive impact on society. Some people dear to me were, at that time, looking for an idea through which business could act in a coordinated and systemic way to accelerate change for the better in Romania. It was they who convinced me that education is, in fact, the ultimate cause of everything that needs to change. Our vision of investing today for real effect in the distant future was not an easy “sell” at the time, let alone a project in the idea stage. I am extremely proud that we saw the potential of this wonderful group of people back then”, said Dan Boiangiu, currently General Manager Arval Belgium.

Director of the Year Awards Gala

Director of the Year Gala is an event that has become a tradition and has been providing support and recognition for seven years to school principals whose stories have real impact in transforming the schools they lead and can be role models. Through this Gala, AVE aims to create an environment where education is appreciated and valued, inspiring and mobilising the whole community and leaders from different sectors to get involved in transforming education. 30 principals have been honored so far and have become role models of leadership and entrepreneurial approach.

AVE, involved in modernising public policies

Beyond the grassroots work, an important component is AVE’s involvement in the modernisation of public policies. Together with other NGOs, chambers of commerce and business groups, AVE contributed to the new Law on Pre-University Education. As a result, 34 critical reforms were included in the final draft. Also, with AVE’s support, 2500 principals and deputy principals from across the country signed up to an open letter proposing three urgent action scenarios to the government to increase principals’ salaries.

AVE’s mission continues through the Romanian School Transformation Program 

AVE’s accumulated experience is now reflected in a unique program that aims to support schools more effectively. The Romanian School Transformation Program integrates the expertise honed in previous projects and is designed to ensure that the schools involved receive support according to their specific needs. Each school’s journey in the program will last three years, and the project targets all schools in urban and rural areas with the aim that every child makes visible progress in key life skills relevant to the 21st century.

“The European Commission has set out 8 skills that every young person should have, whatever career they choose, to be truly prepared for the future. The newest program through which AVE is supporting the transformation of 1,000 schools in Romania over the next 5 years is making progress on 3 key skills: critical thinking and literacy, socio-emotional skills, digital skills. We set out on this journey 9 years ago because we believe that every child deserves the chance for an education through which they can realize their potential, and the Transformation Program is another way in which AVE supports this”, said Andreea Nistor, Executive Director of AVE.


About AVE (Association for Values in Education) 

The Association for Values in Education (AVE) is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to bring Romania’s education system into the top 10 in Europe by 2035. AVE wants to support the transformation of the Romanian education system into one that promotes respect, honesty, team spirit and responsibility. You can keep up to date with AVE’s actions by following the pages of LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.