Education in Bulgaria

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Education in Bulgaria


The education system in Bulgaria does not differ much from the generally accepted one in the CIS countries.

The length of the school training in Bulgaria is twelve years. The tiers it comprises are as follows:

  • Primary education: its first stage – elementary education (from Year 1 to Year 4), and the second one – middle school (from Y5 to Y8);
  • Secondary education – (from Y9 to Y12).

In Bulgaria the schools are of the following types:

  • Elementary – from Y1 to Y4;
  • Middle – from Y5 to Y8;
  • Primary – from Y1 to Y8;
  • Secondary – from Y9 to Y12;
  • Secondary comprehensive – from Y1 to Y12.
  • Vocational secondary schools: technical, sports, of arts and culture, etc.

Our clients will be interested to know that in the larger cities in Bulgaria there are also Foreign Language Schools where teaching can be provided in different foreign languages.  Training under an individual learning plan is also possible.

After the successful completion of Year 12 and the successful sitting of the examinations, students obtain a secondary education certificate, after which the youths decide whether they will continue their education in a college or university.
Undoubtedly, the advantage of receiving one’s higher education in Bulgaria is the fact that Bulgarian diplomas are recognised in Europe. In addition, thanks to the individual approach and the language courses, the adaptation to and incorporation of foreign students in the education process runs very fast and easily. Another advantage of education in Bulgaria is also that the standard of living in the country is lower than that in other capitals in Europe and third countries.
In Bulgaria higher education institutions enjoy academic autonomy, which means intellectual freedom of the academic community and creative nature of the education, research and artistic and creative process.
In Bulgaria higher education institutions are state-owned and private, and in terms of type they are divided into:

  • Universities – they train a wider circle of specialities of professional subjects in at least three out of the four scientific areas (humanities, natural, public and technical sciences). They have scientific staff employed under a full-time employment contract. The students are awarded the degrees “Bachelor”, “Master” and “PhD” in the respective basic scientific areas.
  • The specialised higher education institutes carry out research or artistic and creative activity and conduct instruction in one of the four basic areas of the science, arts, physical education and military science. The name of the SHEI corresponds to the specific area in which it trains the specialists.
  • The colleges provide training for acquiring the educational and qualification degree “Bachelor”. The college has academic staff employed under full-time employment contracts that provide not less than half of the lectures and seminars in each speciality.

Let us specify the existing degrees of higher education in Bulgaria:

  • Professional bachelor – length of training – not less than 3 years;
  • Bachelor – length of training – not less than 4 years;
  • Master – length of training – not less than 5 years;
  • PhD / Doctor – the PhD student training is provided under an individual learning plan and includes preparation and sitting exams, pedagogical activity and defence of a dissertation.

Main educational institutions in Bulgaria:
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
 The first Bulgarian higher education institution, founded in 1888. Today Sofia University is the largest and most prestigious research centre in the country.
Technical University of Sofia
The largest technical higher education institution in Bulgaria with 60 years of history in the preparation of engineering cadres. It offers instruction in English, German and French.
University of National and World Economy – Sofia
 A higher education institute where the state, political and business elite of Bulgaria is trained.
National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts – Sofia
The first Bulgarian higher education institute and one of the most prestigious among the European educational institutions in the field of stage and screen arts. Founded in 1948.
University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy – Sofia
 The only university in the country providing training in the subject of Architecture. Officially recognised by the Ministry of Culture of France and the Royal Institute of British Architects. The students acquire the degree “Euroengineer”, as it is accredited by the largest and most competent professional organisation of engineers in Europe – FEANI. The only one in Bulgaria that provides instruction in unique for the country specialities in the field of water resources engineering. There is an option for holding the instruction in German and obtaining two diplomas (Bulgarian and Austrian one under the programme for cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology)
Plovdiv University “Paisiy Hilendarski”
A leading cultural, educational and scientific centre in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy
With 130 years of history, specialising in the development of scientific activity in the field of naval sciences and maritime technologies.
Medical University of Varna
50 years of history. The University is a member of one of the most prestigious international associations – the European University Association.
Technical University of Varna
 With more than 60 years of history, specialised in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and shipbuilding.

University of Economics – Varna
 Founded in 1920. It has about 260 full-time lecturers. The education process at the University of Economics is carried out in 17 specialities. The university library is one of the oldest university libraries in the country.
Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar” (VFU)
Founded in 1991. The university offers full-time and part-time training in 35 specialities.

In Bulgaria the higher education for foreign nationals is paid one. Its cost is between EUR 1,500 and EUR 4,000 per year depending on the prestige of the university and the chosen speciality.

Naturally, this is not a comprehensive list of all universities and opportunities for education in Bulgaria. To learn more about the schools and higher education institutions, the cost of the training, the application procedures and the other steps, you can refer to our consultants!

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