Bulgaria Gives Universities Academic Title RightsEducation | April 15, 2010, Thursday // 19:26| views
Bulgarian parliament adops Higher Education Act of Education Minister Sergey Ignatov, photo by BGNES
Bulgarian universities will be allowed to bestow academic titles with the under the new Higher Education Act adopted Thursday.
Until now academic titles in Bulgaria were granted by an independent outside body, the Higher Attestation Commission, which will be closed down within 8 months.
The Higher Education Act has replaced the existing law for academic degrees and titles.
“It was high time the state stopped interfering with the work of universities and the academia,” declared Bulgaria's Education Minister Sergey Ignatov during parliamentary discussions on Thursday.
He added that the changes to the country's higher educational system will boost the “competitive spirit” of Bulgarian universities and “will finally reveal which one of Bulgaria's academics are really good in their field.”
Minister Ignatov has also explained that no “boom” of academic titles is expected because of the change since the procedure for receiving one is really tough.
According to the new Act, Bulgaria's Higher Attestation Commission will be shut down within eight months.
Minister Ignatov has pointed out that there are about 15 universities in Bulgaria that shape the “backbone” of the country's higher educational system and if other universities fail to appoint their own associate professors and professors, some of the existing departments in those institutions will have to be closed down.
“The newly appointed associate professors will not be required to have a certain period of work experience. Instead, they'll be asked to present a certain number of academic publications,” the Minister explained adding that the new Act will give a career boost to Bulgaria's young and promising scholars.
Ignatov, who has authored most of the provisions of the new law, noted that it allows people at the age of 23 to become professors of physics, chemistry or mathematics.
Back in February, when Minister Ignatov made public his idea to reform the higher educational system in Bulgaria, he made it clear that the changes are going to allow universities to have common councils and unite on the basis of their specialization.
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