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Home / Library / Analytics / Educational systems in other countries /

Bulgaria



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 in
Bakalavr
Magistr
Doktor
Doktor Naukite

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM
Pre-higher education:
Duration of compulsory education:
Age of entry: 7
Age of exit: 18
Structure of school system:
Basic
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
Basic
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: Form IV-Leaving Certificate
Upper Secondary
Type of school providing this education: Gimnazii (form IX to XII)
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 14 to: 18
Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za  Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of  Completed Secondary Education)
Upper Secondary
Type of school providing this education: Professionalni gimnazii I/ili technikumil
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 15 to: 18
Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education) and Certificate of Professional Qualification.
Upper Secondary
Type of school providing this education: Professionalni utchilichta
Length of program in years: 6
Age level from: 14 to: 19
Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education) and Certificate of Professional Qualification
Upper 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)
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 VIII.Upper 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, institutes and academies. Higher education is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Science. Some universities are private. Education is based on the Law on  Higher Education (1995) and the Law on Scientific Degrees and Scientific Titles (latest amendments 1996). Post-secondary institutions have academic autonomy. In 1995, the National Assembly approved five new private higher education institutions.
Main laws/decrees governing higher education:
Decree: Higher Education Act and subsequent amendments Year: 1995
Concerns: Higher education institutions
Decree: Law on Scientific Degrees and Scientific Titles (last amendments) Year: 1996
Decree: Law on the Level of Schooling, the General Education Minimum and the Syllabus Year: 1999
Decree: The Law for Public Education (last amendments) Year: 1998
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 leading 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). According to the last amendments to the Higher Education Act, the Bachelor's degree also gives access to doctoral studies with a duration of 4 years.
University level second stage: Magistr (Master):
This stage of study at HEI lasts for five 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 Doktor. 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 right to use the title Doktor.

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 Tarnovo, the University of Shumen, St Padssdi 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:
Ministry of Education and Science (Ministerstvo na obrazovanieto I naukata)
Head: Vladimir Atanassov, Minister
Administrative officer: D. Mitev, Secretary-General
International relations: Lubov Draganova, Head of European Integration and Bilateral Cooperation Department
2A Kniaz Dondukov Blvd.
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria
Tel: +359(2) 988-4974
Fax: +359(2) 988-4974
WWW: http://www.minedu.government.bg

Role of governing body: Administrative and educational responsibilities

Bulgarian Rectors' Conference
Head: Kamen Velev, President
University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, 8 Kliment Ohridski Blvd.
1768 Sofia
Bulgaria
Tel: +359(2) 681-513
Fax: +359(2) 685-488
EMail: velev@uctm.edu
WWW: http://www.uctm.edu

National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency
Head: Nikolay Maztinov
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

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION
Admission to university-level studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie
Alternatives to credentials: University entrance exams
Numerus clausus/restrictions: There is a numerus clausus at institutional level
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 do not live in Bulgaria.
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) 981-49-51
Fax: +359(2) 988-27-85

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):
Bulgarian ENIC/NARIC, Ministry of Education and Science/Natzionalen center za academitchno I mobilnost
Head: Rossitsa Velinova, Director
Knjaz Dondukov Blvd. 2A
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria
Tel: +359(2) 988-4974
Fax: +359(2) 880-600  +359(2)  988-4974
EMail: r.velinova@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.

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
Title: Study Abroad 2000-2001
Publisher: UNESCO/IBE
Year of publication: 1999

STUDENT LIFE
Main student services at national level
Institut des Etudiants etrangers de Sofia
27, Costa Loultchev
1111 Sofia
Bulgaria
Tel: +359(2) 720837
Fax: +359(2) 723877

Category of services provided: Special services/Centre for foreign students
Services available to foreign Students: Yes

Stoudentski Obchtejitya i Stolove (housing service)
Stoudentski Grad, blok 5
1156 Sofia
Bulgaria
Tel: +359(2) 681314
Fax: +359(2) 681242

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) 656863
Fax: +359(2) 656863

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:
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) 981-49-51
Fax: +359(2) 988-24-85
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: COPERNICUS
Name of exchange programme: ENIC
Name of exchange programme: EURYDICE
Name of exchange programme: LEONARDO
Name of exchange programme: PHARE
Name of exchange programme: SOCRATES II
Name of exchange programme: TEMPUS
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: 2001-2002
Source: Ministry of Education and  Science, Sofia, 2002



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