- Foreign degrees in Bulgaria can be obtained through 88 joint programs;
- 23 Bulgarian universities offer joint programs in 25 professional fields;
- Almost 3400 students and 28 PhD students have studied in joint programs in the spring of 2020
The information on the number and type of joint programs with foreign Higher Education Institutions has been collected for the purposes of the Bulgarian University Ranking System in June 2020. These data were provided and verified by the universities themselves.
The term „joint programs“ involves the following forms of student training cooperation between Bulgarian Higher Education Institutions and foreign universities and/or accrediting institutions:
- Agreements for combined educational activity with foreign universities providing for the award of double degrees and/or joint degrees.
- Education Franchise Agreements with foreign universities.
- Accreditations from foreign accreditation agencies for separate professional fields studied in Bulgarian universities or foreign accreditation of an entire Bulgarian university.
In addition to the type of the joint program, the information also contains the name of the foreign partner university and the country, language of tuition, majors and professional field, as well whether the training is in a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD program. Such information is being collected and published for the first time in Bulgaria.
As a whole, 23 Bulgarian universities offer a total of 88 joint programs, in which some 3400 students and 28 PhD students have studied in the spring of 2020.
The oldest active joint program was created back in 1990 by the Technical University of Sofia and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and provides German language education in Mechatronics and Information Technics and in General Mechanical Engineering for obtaining both Bachelor and Master degrees. Curiously enough, the newest joint program from 2020 is also a collaboration of the Technical University of Sofia, this time with Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, and offers German language training in Business Informatics for Bachelors.
The greatest number of joint programs have been launched by the Technical University of Sofia (8) and the Higher School of Management – Varna (8), followed by „St. Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University (6). The largest share of students study in joint programs of the American University, where all trainees obtain two degrees (a Bulgarian and a US one). Nine joint programs offer training to doctoral students, with the education taking place at the Technical university of Sofia, the University of Food Technology – Plovdiv and the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy – Sofia.
More than half of the joint programs involve teaching in English, but numerous programs also offer tuition in Bulgarian, Russian, German, French, etc. A number of the joint programs are with universities from EU member countries such as Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Greece; however, there exist many joint programs with other countries like United Kingdom, USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, etc.
A total of 25 different professional fields are covered, with most joint programs focused on the following fields: Economics (15), Tourism (10), Administration and Management (9), Informatics and Computer Sciences (6), Communication and Computer Technology (5), General Engineering (5).
The Bulgarian University Ranking System for 2020 is maintained and updated by a team from OSI-S Consortium (Open Society Institute – Sofia and Sirma Solutions) under a contract with the Ministry of Education and Science with the financial support of the Science and Education for Smart Growth Operational Programme, which is co-financed by the European Union through the European Structural and Investment Funds
The ranking system is available online at https://rsvu.mon.bg