The ceremony Bulgarian “Academic Oscars” for 2023, held under the patronage of the newspaper “24 Hours”, took place in Sofia on January 12, 2024, in the NV Tower. The honoured guests of the prominent event were Prime Minister Acad. Nikolay Denkov, Minister of Education and Science Prof. Dr. Galin Tsokov; Minister of Innovation and Growth Milena Stoicheva, The Mayor of Sofia, Vasil Terziev, representatives of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, politicians, business and industrial leaders.
The results of the educational institutions are based on the Rating System of Higher Education Institutions in Bulgaria. The annual ranking has been organised by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) and a consortium of the Open Society Institute and Sirma Solutions for the thirteenth consecutive year.
According to the latest rankings, Sofia University is among the top higher education institutions in Bulgaria for the year 2023. It is recognised for providing a high-quality education and offers the highest number of majors. Medical University Sofia is another notable winner, claiming the first position in Bulgaria for professional fields such as “Health Care”, “Medicine”, “Public Health”, “Dentistry”, and “Pharmacy”. Other renowned higher education schools on the list include Technical University Sofia, American University in Blagoevgrad, Naval Academy “N. Vaptsarov” in Varna, which tops the category of “Military Affairs”, Thracian University in Stara Zagora, which ranks first in both “Veterinary Medicine” and “Animal Husbandry”, and many more.
The rating system acts as an unbiased professional career guide for young people and their parents. It equips them with comprehensive and objective information about universities and professional fields that offer the best prospects for success. The system also indicates the majors that almost guarantee 100% placement and employment immediately after graduation. This valuable information empowers young people and their families to make informed decisions and understand the importance of investing in higher education.
“Our ranking system is one of the best not only in Europe but also in the world. It provides extremely valuable information about each university and helps to fill the information vacuum by simply presenting the important selection criteria. This information should not be locked away in files and ministries, but should be accessible to young people - whoever wants to become a doctor should know where to study,” said Prime Minister Acad. Nikolay Denkov. He also pointed to the second goal - to use the system to improve the policy for the development of higher education institutions by linking them either with scientific publications or with close cooperation with businesses, which is involved in the preparation of students.
The rating of higher education institutions in Bulgaria in recent years has become part of the complex assessment of the quality of the performance of universities, which is very important for their funding. The rating and its data are used for policy-making in higher education, and the overall assessment of the quality of universities depends on it. In 2024, more than two-thirds of the overall assessment for funding universities will be made up of their individual ratings.
The positive trends identified in this year’s edition:
- Improving the link between the quality of higher education and the labour market;
- Decrease in the number of unemployed graduates in Bulgaria (in some specialities less than 1%);
- Steady increase in the number of foreign students in Bulgaria;
- Increase in the number and quality of publications of Bulgarian scientists in international databases.
The Rating System of Higher Education Institutions in Bulgaria (edition 2023) has been developed and updated at the Ministry of Education and Science request by the consortium “OSI-S”, consisting of the Open Society Institute - Sofia and Sirma Solutions.