Your bookmarked countries have an update since your last login. View Bookmarks x

ARCHIVED COUNTRY STUDY: (PDF)

There is 1 archived country study available. Log in to view them.

Bulgaria

Archived Country Study (pdf): 1995

Overview

Bulgaria is a southeastern European country that borders Greece, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania and the Black Sea. Bulgaria has been the site of several great civilizations including the legendary Thracians. The first Bulgarian Kingdom was established in 681 AD. During the middle ages, especially in the tenth and eleventh centuries, it was the center of early Slavonic culture and home of Orthodox Christianity. In 1396 Bulgaria was conquered by the Turks and remained under Turkish rule for nearly five centuries. Bulgaria has enjoyed several national revivals, and regained its independence in 1876. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. In 1989 a peaceful end to the communist regime in Bulgaria put the country on the road to democratic development and a free market economy. At present, Bulgaria is a NATO member and carries out successful negotiations for its accession to the European Union, which is expected in 2007. The population of Bulgaria is 7.9 million, the capital is Sofia (1.2 million) and the official language is Bulgarian.

Education

 After 1990 a transformation of the specialized higher schools into universities and a joining of the independent colleges to the universities and the specialized higher schools began. At present this network includes fifty-one higher schools, including forty-two universities and specialized higher schools; forty-one colleges within the structure of the higher schools; and nine independent colleges.

During the period between 1990 and 2004, a number of democratic changes occurred both in society as a whole and in the education system in particular. A new Education Act was adopted (1991), and Bulgarian legislation underwent serious changes. As one of the signature countries of the Bologna declaration, Bulgaria started to change the old education system in compliance with the requirements of the Bologna Process, i.e. to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010 in which academic staff and students could move with ease and have quick fair recognition of their qualifications.

In the Higher Education Act adopted by the Bulgarian Parliament on June 4, 2004, Bulgaria mandated the implementation of the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and the Diploma Supplement in their capacity as measures supporting mobility and assisting recognition in Europe.

Currenty, Bulgaria's education system is overseen by their Министерство на образованието и науката.

Primary and Secondary Education

Basic primary education (first stage) lasts from grades one through four. The second stage includes grades five through eight. The secondary level is from grades nine through twelve, ending with the award of the Diploma of Completed Secondary Education.

Post-Secondary Education

The school year is September to June. There are four types of higher education institutions in Bulgaria:

  1. College (three-year non-university tertiary institution, similar to the junior college in the US; can be a structural unit in the higher schools or self-dependent higher schools)
  2. University
  3. Technical University/ Higher Education Institution
  4. Academy

There are non-university level postsecondary studies that are vocational/technical, lasting up to three years.

First Cycle

The university-level first-stage is the bachelor’s degree lasting for at least four years of study. This degree was created by the Higher Education Act of 1995. There are some fields where the bachelor does not exist.

Second and Third Cycles

The university-level second-stage is the master’s degree, lasting five or six years after secondary education or one year after obtaining the bachelor’s degree. Students usually complete a thesis and pass a state examination. The former Diplom awarded before 1995 is officially regarded as equivalent to the master’s degree. University-level third-stage is the doctor, awarded on the basis of individual research and defense of a thesis. It replaces the former Kandidat na Naukite (candidate of the science). The Higher Education Act of 1995 grants all Kandidat na Naukite holders the rights of a holder of a doctor’s degree.

Teacher Training

Teacher education for primary school teachers takes place at higher education institutions and lasts four to five years, leading to the professional qualification of teacher. Training of secondary school teachers is the same and requires additional special training in teaching.


BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION. JOIN OUR LISTSERV. Subscribe

Upcoming AACRAO Events

Crises as Catalysts for Transformation

Fall 2020 | virtual conference

Join us this fall for a virtual Strategic Enrollment Management Conference - Crises as Catalysts for Transformation: 2020’s Impact on Higher Education and Enrollment.

This three day, virtual conference will feature models for adapting to change, meeting challenges, and planning strategically post-pandemic.

Explore the SEM Conference
SEM_2020_1440x400 update

106th AACRAO Annual Meeting

March 28 - 31, 2021 | National Harbor, MD

AACRAO’s Annual Meeting is our largest convening of higher education professionals from around the world. Join more than 2,000 administrators in person or online as we work to address the issues facing today’s campuses, share goals and guidelines for meeting those challenges, and provide a forum for learning and sharing experiences.

Explore the Annual Meeting
240047_AACRAO_1440x400_LandingPg