WHY STUDY IN EUROPE
A small but charming country located on the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria is full of attractions for both international students and tourists. If you want to study in Bulgaria, you will find an impressive range of natural landmarks: from warm, sandy beaches to striking mountains and ski resorts – and it’s also a relatively low-cost international study destination.
Established in the year 681, Bulgaria is one of the oldest European countries. Its rich history has left behind many historical sites, and plenty of stories and perspectives to explore. In 2007, it became a member state of the European Union, making it even easier to travel to and around the country.
Most of Bulgaria’s international students come from Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Nigeria, Germany, Italy, Israel, UK, Ghana, South Africa, India, etc. International students are attracted by the country’s well-developed higher education system, internationally recognized degrees, highly reasonable tuition fees and living costs, and the safe and friendly living environment.
There are 51 higher educational institutions in Bulgaria (37 public and 14 private). They are divided into four types: colleges (upper-secondary, non-tertiary), universities, technical universities and academies.
The higher education is regulated in the Law on the higher education (1995) and the Law on Academic Degrees and Titles. The universities and the higher schools provide training in the following degrees:
- –“Professional Bachelor” or “Specialist” – the degree is acquired after 3 years of study; after graduation students have the right to continue their studies at Bachelor’s level
- –“Bachelor” (four-year programmes)- However, there are some fields where the Bachelor’s degree does not exist and where studies lead directly to the second stage of studies (Master’s degree level). According to the most recent amendments to the Law on Higher Education, the Bachelor’s degree also gives access to doctoral studies with duration of four years.
- –“Master” (five or six year programmes or minimum one year after the degree “Bachelor”)
- –“PhD” degree (minimum 3-year programmes). This stage is the third degree in the higher education system and leads to the title of “Doctor”. It is obtained on the basis of individual research and following the defence of a thesis.
In order to be admitted at the university, an entrance exam may be acquired. Being autonomous each university determines independently the content of its examinations. The academic year in Bulgaria runs from September to June. In most cases, September 1st is the application deadline.
Higher schools may engage in research, production, art, sports, curative and other activities in accordance with their specificities. The higher schools provide quality education and research through a system of internal assessment and keeping the quality of education and academic staff, which includes the examination of students’ view at least once a year. The functioning and structure of this system as well as the procedure to study students’ opinion and to disclose the results are set out in the Rules of Procedure of each university. Every higher educational institution issues a diploma
for degree completed in higher education, a European Diploma Appendix, a vocational qualification certificate and other relevant documents specified by an ordinance adopted by the Council of Ministers. The diplomas are recognized by the state when the training is conducted in accordance with the Law on Higher Education and state requirements. Furthermore, the diplomas are recognized all over the world and Bulgarian education is appreciated on international level. Thousands of graduates from Bulgarian universities are working in UK, France , Germany, Canada and all over the world.
The quality of high education in Bulgarian is assured by NEAA (Bulgarian National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency), which is a full member of ENQA (the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) and EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) and by the Council of Ministers. This Agency is a budgetary supported legal entity based in Sofia. It operates in accordance with this Law and under Rules and Procedures approved by the Council of Ministers. The National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency performs postaccreditation monitoring and control on:
- – the ability of the institution and its main units and branches to provide high-quality education and research through an internal evaluation system and by maintaining quality;
- – the implementation of the recommendations given within the evaluation and accreditation process.
- – the observance of the capacity of the higher school, the capacity of professional fields and specialities of the regulated professions.
Bulgaria ranks 26-th among the countries of the Bologna process in higher education quality with 3.7 of all possible 5 points – as much as France and Greece.