Each year tens of thousands university applicants in Bulgaria are faced with the choice of where and how to continue their education. There are 51 accredited universities and colleges offering education in hundreds of majors classified into 52 professional fields. The Bulgarian University Ranking System helps university applicants to orient themselves in this diversity of opportunities and make an informed choice about their future education. Being highly informative and functional, the system also contributes to an informed public debate and the development of evidence-based public policies in the field of university education.
“The Ranking System is a peculiar cornerstone in the development of the system of university education”
The Ranking System contains information about the accredited universities in Bulgaria and the majors, professional fields and degrees they provide education for. Itis the biggest web-based publicly open source of information about university education in the country and allows users to compare and rank universities by each of the existing professional fields based on dozens of indicators measuring the quality of the teaching and learning process, science and research, teaching and learning environment, welfare and administrative services, prestige and и regional importance of the universities, as well as graduate’s career realization at the labor market. In addition, the system provides information about the trends in the development of the Bulgarian universities, as well as the most common professions among graduates of each field.
“I think this is the most transparent and clearly structured university ranking system I’ve ever come across,” said the late Cyrus Reed, former provost of the American University in Bulgaria. “It is really a major step forward.”
The Ranking System uses dozens of objective indicators based on detailed and reliable statistical information from various sources, including the universities and colleges, National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency, AdminUni module of the educational information system, National Social Security Institute, as well as the international bibliographical databases Scopus and Web of Science. The system also comprises indicators based on surveys among students, employers, lecturers and university administrators.
“What makes the Bulgarian ranking genuinely innovative is the data on student employment … these Bulgarian rankings were accomplishing precisely what the Obama ratings plan wanted to do but could not. Unsurprisingly, the rankings were so successful and the data so powerful that rumblings began inside the government that perhaps the data needed to be used as part of the funding formula.”
Global Rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education, Routledge, 2017
The system’s web-platform allows users to both view the standardized rankings of the universities by professional fields and make their own custom rankings based on their individual interests and preferences, using the indicators and functionalities available within the system.
“The nationwide Bulgarian University Ranking System provides reliable information about graduates’ realization.”
The Bulgarian University Ranking System was created in 2010 by Open Society Institute – Sofia Foundation in partnership with Sirma Solutions AD and MBMD Consulting at the request of the Ministry of Education and Science. Since it’s development in 2010, the Ranking System has been updated annually.
The website of the Ranking System has been visited by over 300 000 users and is accessible at rsvu.mon.bg
The annual data from the Ranking System is used as basis for dozens of analyses and publications, including the specialized publications Bulgarian University Ranking System aimed at facilitating the informed choice of university applicants.
Since 2017, 24 Chasa newspaper has been organizing an annual public ceremony whereby the best Bulgarian universities are awarded based on their performance in the standardized rankings of the Ranking System.
“The Ranking System is a guide to the new horizons for professors, students and the younger generation.“
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, 2018