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Bulgaria



Structure of Educational System
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition  of Foreign Credentials 
Student Life 
International Cooperation and Exchanges   

INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

Universitet (University)

Spetzializirano Visshe Uchilishte (Specialized Higher School)

Kolej (College)

 

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie

Specialist

Bakalavr

Magistr

Doktor

 

 

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 7

Age of exit: 19

Structure of school system:

Basic First Stage

Type of school providing this education: Natchalno utchilischte (form I to IV)

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 7 to: 10

Certificate/diploma awarded: Grade IV Leaving Certificate

Basic Second Stage

Type of school providing this education: Progimnazialno utchilichte (form V to VIII)

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 10 to: 14

Certificate/diploma awarded: Basic Education Completion Certificate

Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Gimnazii (form IX to XII)

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 14 to: 19

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za  Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of  Completed Secondary Education)

Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Profilirani Gimnazii (form IX to XII)

Length of program in years: 5

Age level from: 15 to: 19

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education)

Vocational Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Professionalni gimnazii I/ili technikumil

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 15 to: 19

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education) and Certificate of Professional Qualification.

Vocational Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Professionalni utchilichta

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 15 to: 19

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education) and Certificate of Professional Qualification

School education:

Basic education comprises two stages: basic education first stage from form I to form IV and basic education second stage from form V to form VII. School children who have successfully completed the first stage of basic education are awarded a Form IV Leaving Certificate. Completion of basic education is attested by a final certificate for the completion of basic education at the end of form VII.Secondary education lasts for four or five years after completion of the basic education course and is provided in three types of schools: comprehensive (general secondary) schools, profile-oriented schools, vocational (technical and vocational-technical) schools. Studies lead to the Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie and to a certificate of professional qualification awarded by professional schools.

Higher education:

Higher education is provided by universities and specialized higher schools. Some universities are private. Higher education is regulated by the Law on Higher Education 1995 (latest amendements 2004) and the Law on Scientific Degrees and Titles (latest amendments 2000).

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Higher Education Act and subsequent amendments Year: 1995

Concerns: Higher education institutions

Decree: Law for Public Education (latest amendments 2004) Year: 1998

Decree: Law on Scientific Degrees and Scientific Titles (latest amendments 2000) Year: 1972

Decree: Law on the Level of Schooling, the General Education Minimum and the Syllabus Year: 1999

Decree: Vocational Education and Training Act Year: 1999

Academic year:

Classes from: Sep to: Jun

Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 15 Sep

Languages of instruction: Bulgarian

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Non university-level post-secondary education generally consists of a 3-year course of study after completion of secondary education and leads to the qualification of Specialist in different fields. Studies culminate in a state final examination.

 

University level studies:

University level first stage: Bakalavr (Bachelor):

This stage of study at  higher education institutions (HEI) lasts for at least  four years and leads to the Bachelor's Degree (Bakalavr) in many fields. This is a degree created by the Higher Education Act of 1995. However, there are some fields where the Bachelor does not exist and where studies lead directly to the second stage of studies (Master's Degree level).

University level second stage: Magistr (Master):

This stage of study at HEI lasts for five/six years after completion of secondary education or one year after obtaining the Bachelor's Degree. Students must (usually) complete a thesis and pass a state examination. The former Diplom za Visse Obrazovanie, awarded before the 1995 law, is officially regarded as equivalent to the Master's.

University level third stage: Doktor (Doctor):

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 after the defence of a thesis. It replaces the former Kandidat na Naukite (Candidate of the Sciences). The Higher Education Act of 1995 grants all Kandidat na Naukite holders the rights of a holder of a Doctor's degree.

 

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Primary school teachers are trained at Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia, Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Valiko Târnovo, the University of Shumen, St Paďssďi Hilendarski University of Plovdiv and at some Academies of Arts. Courses, which last for four and five years, lead to the professional qualification of teacher.

Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary school teachers obtain their professional qualification of teacher after four or five years of post-secondary studies (at a university or at some Academies of Arts), during which they receive special training in teaching.

Training of higher education teachers

Higher education teachers are trained at universities.

 

 

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministerstvo na obrazovanieto I naukata (Ministry of Education and Science)

Head: Igor Damyanov, Minister

Administrative officer: Dimitar Tanev, Secretary-General

2A, Dondukov Bld.
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359 2921 7799

Fax: +359 2988 2485

EMail: press_mon@minedu.government.bg

WWW: http://www.minedu.government.bg

 

Role of governing body: Administrative and educational responsibilities

 

Bulgarian Rectors' Conference

Head: Yordania Kuzmanova, President

Agrarian University
12, Mendeleev Bld.
4000 Plovdiv
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(32) 633 232

Fax: +359(32) 633 242

EMail: rector@au-plovdiv.bg

WWW: http://www.au-plovdiv.bg

 

 

National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (NEAA)

Head: Ivan Panayotov Ivanov, President

Administrative officer: Patricia Georgieva, Secretary-General

International relations: Mina Slavcheva, Senior staff officer

Council of Ministers
125 Tzarigradsko chaussee Blvd. BI.V
1113 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 971 2102

Fax: +359(2) 971 2068

EMail: info@neaa.government.bg

WWW: http://www.neaa.government.bg

 

Role of governing body: NEAA is the specialized national body for quality assurance, evaluation and accreditation of the activities of Higher Education Institutions: teaching, research, artistic, etc. that correspond to their specific features. There are two types of accreditation: institutional accreditation and programme accreditation (for all educational degrees). NEAA developed and adopted evaluation and accreditation criteria in accordance with the Higher Education Act and adopted state requirements. NEAA also evaluates projects for the establishing or transforming of higher schools or colleges and their main units, as well as the opening of new specialities.

 

 

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Yes

Other admission requirements: For less demanded specialities, candidates may enrol on the basis of document submission, graded according to academic record.

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student: Students who are not Bulgarian citizens.

Quotas: The quotas are established each year according to the specific conditions of the Bulgarian higher education institutions.

Admission requirements: Each foreign student must hold a Secondary School Leaving Certificate equivalent to the Bulgarian Secondary School Leaving Certificate and must be officially admitted by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Entry regulations: Candidates should have a valid passport or a visa and be recommended by qualified persons and institutions in their home country.

Language requirements: A pre-university year of studies in the Bulgarian language is required.There are examinations after 1 year of studies in the Bulgarian language at the Institute for Foreign Students.

Application procedures:

Apply to individual institution for entry to: All forms of colleges and higher education institutions.

Apply to national body for entry to: Colleges and higher education institutions.

Apply to:

Ministry of Education and Science

2A, Knjaz Dondukov Bld.
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 921 7554

Fax: +359(2) 988 2785

 

Application closing dates:

For non-university level (technical/vocational type) studies: 1 Sep

For university level studies: 1 Sep

For advanced/doctoral studies: 1 Sep

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): The National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency at the Council of Ministers (http://www.neaa.government.bg) evaluates universities and colleges and accredits their programmes.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

Commission fo Recognition of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and  Science/Natzionalen tzentur za academitchno priznavane i mobilnost

Head: Rossitza Velinova, Head, European Integration Division

2a. Kniaz Dondukov Bld.
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 921 7635

Fax: +359(2) 988 0600

EMail: r.velinova@minedu.government.bg

WWW: http://www.minedu.government.bg

 

Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession

Services provided & students dealt with: The Ministry is responsible for the final decisions in the field of academic recognition.

 

National Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency

Head: Ivan Panayotov Ivanov, President

125, Tsarigradsko shosse blvd., bl. 5
Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359 2 971 2102/2 971 2039

Fax: +359 2 971 2068

EMail: info@neaa.government.bg

 

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region

Year of signature: 1997

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Higher Schools in Bulgaria

Author: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Sofia, Bulgaria

Publisher: MEST, Sofia, Bulgaria

 

STUDENT LIFE

Main student services at national level

Institut des Etudiants étrangers de Sofia

27, Costa Loultchev
1111 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 720 837

Fax: +359(2) 723 877

 

Category of services provided: Special services/Centre for foreign students

Services available to foreign Students: Yes

 

Stoudentski Obchtéjitya i Stolové

Stoudentski Grad, blok 5
1156 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 681 314

Fax: +359(2) 681 242

 

Category of services provided: Social and welfare services; Employment services

 

National student associations and unions

Bulgarian Student Union

1, Hristo Smirnevtski Bld
1421 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 656 863

Fax: +359(2) 656 863

 

Health/social provisions

Social security for foreign students: Yes

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By rail: Yes

By air: Yes

Available to foreign students: Yes

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES

Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

European Integration and Bilateral Cooperation Department, Ministry of Education and Science

Head: Lubov Draganova, Head of European Integration and Bilateral Cooperation Department

2A Kniaz Dondukov Blvd
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria

Tel: +359(2) 921 7445

Fax: +359(2) 988 0600

EMail: l.draganova@minedu.government.bg

WWW: http://www.minedu.government.bg

 

Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: 2000+ Project

Name of exchange programme: Blue Danube Project in Secondary Education

Name of exchange programme: CEEPUS

Name of exchange programme: LEONARDO

Name of exchange programme: PHARE

Name of exchange programme: SOCRATES II

Name of exchange programme: UNESCO Chair for Civic Education/CEPES

Name of exchange programme: UNESCO-Culture of peace

Name of exchange programme: UNEVOC

Name of exchange programme: VIFAX-ACCT-FRANCOPHONIE

 

GRADING SYSTEM

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: 2-6; 6: otlichen (excellent); 5: mnogo dobur (very good); 4: dobur (good); 3: sreden (sufficient); 2: slab (poor).

Highest on scale: 6

Pass/fail level: 3/2

Lowest on scale: 2

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: A numerical grading system is used: 6 - otlichen (excellent); 5 - mnogo dobur (very good); 4 - dobur (good); 3 - sreden (sufficient); 2 - slab (poor).

Highest on scale: 6

Pass/fail level: 3/2

Lowest on scale: 2

 

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

 

 

Data for academic year: 2004-2005

Source: International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Education and  Science, Sofia, 2005

Note on Higher Education Institutions: Also Voenna Academia 'G.S. Rakovski' ('G.S. Rakovski' Military Academy), URL: http://www.rakovski-defcol.mod.bg; Natzionalen voenen universitet 'Vassil Levski' (Vassil Levski National Military Academy) and Akademia na MVR - Sofia (Academy of the Ministry of the Interior - Sofia)



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