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In the Republic of Bulgaria the education system is centrally managed by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES). The country spends 4.2 of its GDP on the education sector.

Early childhood education and care is managed by local authorities, and is not part of the State's responsibilities, between the ages of 0 – 3. Between the ages of 3 – 6/7 it becomes part of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Education and Science.

Primary and lower secondary education is organised as a single structure system, beginning at the age of 7 (or 6 at the discretion of their parents) and consisting of 8 years of compulsory schooling.  It falls under the responsibilities of the Ministry of Education and Science. The administration of school education is organised on four levels: national, regional, municipal and school level.

Upper secondary education is compulsory for students until they reach 16 years of age, but the vast majority of the population continues studies up to 12th grade. Upper secondary education is also managed by the Ministry of Education and Science. 

Higher education is provided exclusively by colleges and universities. In accordance with the Higher Education Act, they are all self-governing and autonomous institutions.

Adult education is a priority and takes many forms, ranging from formal class-based learning to self-directed and e-learning. Local authorities are responsible for framing adult education policies for their respective regions. Adult education is most often provided by Licensed Vocational Training centers, as well as Trade Unions.For a brief description of the different levels of the education system and other related topics such as teachers and special needs education, please read the Eurydice National System Overview.

For further information, please consult the introduction articles of Organisation and Governance and of each educational level: Early Childhood EducationIntegrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education, Upper Secondary Education and Post Secondary Non Tertiary Education, Higher Education and Adult Education and Training

For a brief description of other main topics regarding the national education system, please read the introduction article of Funding education, Teachers and education staff, Management and other educational staff, Educational support and guidance, Quality assurance, Mobility and internationalisation

For information on recently adopted or planned reforms and policy measures, please consult topic Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

While Eurypedia provides comprehensive and comparable information, further information may also be found on the websites of the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as that of the National Statistical Institute.

Structure of the national education system 2014/15

Age of students                                                                                                                                                                                      Programme duration (years)

Diagram 2015 Bulgaria.png

 Key Notes.3.PNG


source: Eurydice

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