Data from the latest issue of the Bulgarian University Ranking System (BURS) shows a tendency for restructuring of higher education and rationalization of the choice of university applicants who become more and more oriented towards professional fields with better opportunities on the labor market, said Georgi Stoytchev, Executive Director of the Open Society Institute – Sofia while presenting the data from the latest issue of the Ranking System. He gave as an example one of the most popular professional fields – Economics in which the number of students for the last two years has fallen from 60 thousand to 42 thousand. Meanwhile, there are professional fields in which the opportunities of the university graduates are traditionally favorable and the number of students is increasing. A good example in this respect is Medicine in which the number of students has increased from 6 to 11 thousand for a period of five years.
“All indicators for the relation between education and the labor market followed by us are clearly improving”, Stoytchev also said. The unemployed among the young university graduates are only 2,4 % which means that practically there are no registered young specialists in the unemployment offices. However, the structural problem that university graduates continue to work at positions for which no higher education is required still remains.
Georgi Stoytchev outlined the three types of professional fields which developed on grounds of the the data from the Ranking System. The first type includes this group of professional fields for which it is important not only what you study but also where you study it. The most popular fields are included here (e.g. Economics) as well as most engineering fields and these related to natural sciences where there are substantial differences in terms of the professional opportunities on the labor market depending on the higher education completed. For the second group of professional fields it is important not where you study but what. Such a field is Medicine for which the differences according to most of the indicators between the various universities where medicine is taught are negligible. And the third group includes those fields for which what is important is not the choice of the field itself but the specific major selected by the students. An example of such a field is Architecture, Construction and Geodesy.
“The Bulgarian University Ranking System (BURS) developed as an instrument not only for information – it is also an essential instrument for the preparation of an assessment of the quality of education in our country and its relation to the labor market”, Krasimir Valchev, Minister of Education declared. He pointed out that the Ranking System leads to policy changes – both of the policies of the Ministry of Education and those of the universities. The Minister gave as an example the changes internal rules in some universities which are used for the purpose of stimulating the development of scientific research. In the mean time, Minister Valchev continued, the data from the BURS gave the Ministry grounds to make amendments to four of the most essential acts related to higher education which would be reflected on the policies of financing of universities and the admission of students.
The press conference was also attended by the rector of the University of Mining and Geology Prof. Lyuben Totev, Angelina Lambreva, Director of the Higher Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Science, Assen Nelchinov from Sirma Solutions and others.
The Ranking System is available in Bulgarian and English on the Internet at: http://rsvu.mon.bg
The issue of the Bulgarian University Ranking System for 2018 was updated on request of the Ministry of Education and Science by the OSI-S consortium consisting of the Open Society Institute – Sofia and Sirma Solutions.