In the context of published for public comment a draft "Strategy for Development of Higher Education in the Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2014-2020 Economic and Social Council (ESC) has developed an own-initiative opinion on the subject, which was adopted on 02.28.2014. The Economic and Social Council calls for achieving a public consensus on the future of Bulgarian higher education (HE) and science.

The document states that Bulgaria is seriously lagging behind in development of the higher education compared to the European level and calls for serious actions to build a modern and efficient system of education and training.

The ESC raises a number of questions about the ways of development of higher education in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Council proposes several key policies and measures that through finding appropriate place in the Strategy for Development of Higher Education should be implemented by the government on the one hand and by the higher education on the other.

1.  In order for the higher education in the country to approach the average European indicators the public funding for higher education should gradually increase to reach the average European level. It is necessary to overcome the restrictive fiscal policy towards the higher education and science, mostly focusing on fiscal consolidation, and to create better conditions for attracting funds from other sources.

2.  The ESC recommends the creation of a mechanism for compliance of the programs of the higher education institutions towards the needs of the business, the economy and the society, thereby increasing the competitiveness of higher education in Bulgaria.

3.  A change is needed in the system of subsidizing state higher schools. It should depend not only on the number of students but also on the assessment of their performance output (level of employability of graduates, quality of education, accordance to the labor market).

4.  The timely improvement of laws and regulations for HE /incl. The Higher Education Act and the development of academic staff in Bulgaria/ is recommended, as well as reducing of bureaucracy and finding a new approach on the selection of competent persons in the governing bodies of universities.

5.  The Council calls for enabling the universities to freely determine their organizational structures, but also for election of academic staff members in the governing bodies of only one university, where they are primarily employment.

6.  It is necessary to establish a National Council on Science and Higher Education with representatives of the public administration, universities, research institutions and the social partners.

In conclusion the ESC insists that the Ministry of Education and Science and the high education schools must actively work to develop links between universities, research institutions and the businesses which should pledge its modernization and the assurance of qualified and much needed specialists for our country.



is the “bridge” between citizens and the national government. Its mission is to support such “bridging” so as to facilitate the communication between the society and the national government. It is the new and modern institution of the civil dialogue.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

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