Joint programs with foreign universities in Bulgaria in 2021


– Foreign degrees in Bulgaria can be obtained through 75 joint programs

– 24 Bulgarian universities offer joint programs in 24 professional fields

– Almost 4900 students have studied in joint programs in the spring of 2021

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 2021. 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:

  1. Agreements for combined educational activity with foreign universities providing for the award of double degrees and/or joint degrees.
  2. Education Franchise Agreements with foreign universities.
  3. 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.

As a whole, 24 Bulgarian universities offer a total of 75 joint programs, in which some 4900 students and 101 PhD students have studied in the spring of 2021.

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 General Mechanical Engineering for obtaining both Bachelor and Master degrees. In 2020, there is a boom in newly created joint programs – eight universities have created new joint programs with 11 universities and institutions from countries such as Germany, France, Britain, China, Austria, Russia, Mexico and others.

The greatest number of joint programs have been launched by the „St. Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University (10), Technical University of Sofia (8) and the Higher School of Management – Varna (8), followed by the New Bulgarian University. 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). Six universities offer doctoral training in joint programs.

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 24 different professional fields are covered, with most joint programs focused on the following fields: Economics (17), Tourism (10), Administration and Management (10), Informatics and Computer Sciences (7), Communication and Computer Technology (6), General Engineering (6).

A comprehensive list of all joint programs with foreign universities.

The Bulgarian University Ranking System for 2021 has been 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.

The ranking system is available online at