Bulgaria - Introduction

country: Bulgaria

The mission of Bulgarian Tertiary Education over the next decade is to fulfil personal as well as public educational, scientific, and professional, qualification and cultural needs through high quality preparation for effective professional and personal realisation in the society of knowledge. Under the conditions of developing a democratic civil society in Bulgaria, since the beginning of the transition period, higher education has aimed at forming active civil consciousness through all its educational and training activities.

At present, the process of modernising its system is related to two main challenges, namely: integration in the European higher education space (Bologna process) as well as research at a European level and reformation of the system of achieving adequacy to market economy and labour market.

According to the priorities for the economic development within the European Union, in answer to the global social and economic changes, Bulgarian higher education is being thoroughly reformed in terms of its institutional structure and content. The main characteristics of the reform (which started in 1990 but became purposeful in 1995 with the adoption of the Higher Education Act) are as follows: Granting and guaranteeing higher schools academic autonomy.

Developing mechanisms for providing the quality of tertiary education. Granting equal, life-long access to higher education for all social groups. Applying measures for the effective public funding and resource provision for higher education. Including higher education users in the development of policies and procedures for its quality assurance.

At present, there are 51 higher education schools in the country, which are either public (state-owned) or private. This number includes universities, specialised higher education schools and colleges. The management of the system is done at a state and at an institutional level. The state is responsible for the development and carrying out of a long-term state policy and creation of conditions to grant academic autonomy, quality preparation of students and adequate conditions for doing research. Institutions are managed according to the principles and rights of the academic autonomy but the state supports the development of modern institutional management through distributing resources on a competitive basis.

The higher education reform is further assisted by its growing internationalisation at national, institutional, programme level as well as the level of human resources (academic staff, students, and administrative staff).

Bulgaria participates actively in the bologna process as a party, which has signed the Common Declaration of European Ministers of Education in 1999.

A list of higher education schools:
• Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
• Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”
• Veliko Tarnovo University “St. Cyril and Methodius”
• South-western University “Neofit Rilski” – Blagoevgrad
• Shumen University “Episkop Konstantin Preslavski”
• Russe University “Angel Kanchev”
• Thracian University “Stara Zagora
• “Asen Zlatarov” University – Burgas
• National and World Economy University – Sofia
• Economics University – Varna
• Economic Academy “Dimitar Tsenov” – Svishtov
• University of Architecture, Construction and Civil Engineering – Sofia
• Technical University – Sofia
• Technical University – Gabrovo
• Chemical Technologies and Metallurgy University – Sofia
• Mining and Geology University – Sofia
• Forestry - technical University – Sofia
• Food Technologies University – Plovdiv
• Agricultural University – Plovdiv
• Medical University – Sofia
• Medical University – Plovdiv
• Medical University – Varna
• Medical University – Pleven
• National Sports Academy – Sofia
• National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts - Sofia
• National Academy of Arts – Sofia
• State Music Academy – Sofia
• Academy of musical and dance arts - Plovdiv
• New Bulgarian University - Sofia
• Burgas Free University
• Varna Free University
• American University in Bulgaria – Blagoevgrad
• National Military University “Vasil Levski” – Veliko Tarnovo
• Naval Academy – Varna
• Higher School of Construction – Sofia
• Higher School of Transport – Sofia
• Academy of the Ministry of Interior – Sofia
• Military Academy “G. S. Rakovski” – Sofia
• Specialised Higher School of Library Services and IT – Sofia
• Telecommunication and Postal Services College
• Management, Trade and Marketing College – Sofia
• Agrarian College – Plovdiv
• Drama College “Lyuben Grois” – Sofia
• Higher School of Insurance and Finances – Sofia
• “Telematics” College – Stara Zagora
• International Business School – Botevgrad
• Economics and Administration College – Plovdiv

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Date: 2009
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