Studies in sociology of education in recent decades have consistently found an advantage for students in denominational schools - those with religious subordination - in terms of educational performance, compared with those in secular schools. Although in Romania a large part of the students from pre-university education attend confessional sch...ools this advantage has not been investigated for the Romanian case. Taking advantage of the increased validity of the Romanian baccalaureate exam, following the measures from 2011-2012 and the availability of the statistical data regarding the schools in Oradea (Bihor county), we checked whether the hypothesis of such an advantage is confirmed in the Romanian case. Applying bivariate analyzes by type of schools (secular vs. confessional) and by types of tracks of the net pass rates (from the total of the graduates) we find that, although the promotion rates are higher for denominational schools, the support for the hypothesis of an advantage of denominational schools is fragile as much of the difference can be attributed to the academic orientation of denominational schools and to the fact that they succeed, probably, in selecting students with better educational skills.
In our paper we sought for the answer to the question: based on which motives do students from various types of high schools (in our case, denominational or non- denominational school) make their choice of educational institution? The target group of our research consists of the 9th and 11th grade students of Harghita County’s denominational...(Roman Catholic, Reformed, Unitarian) schools and the non-denominational ones added to them. All in all, eight high schools got into our sample. We conducted a survey by questionnaire, the sample including 1,064 people. We analyzed the decision criteria formed based on motives behind the decision (primary and secondary effects) on the one hand, and followed the decision making process on the other. The non-denominational sector is often chosen by the elite- and institution-oriented student group, who has great expectations of the institution, e.g. - top of the line standards of education, outstanding achievement indicators, prestige of the institution, local reputation. According to the clusters created from the motives, the value- and community-oriented student group, as well as the one following the orientation of the peer group, can be found in significantly higher proportion in denominational schools.