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Nov Bulgarski Universitet
Sofia, Bulgaria


University description (as per official university website)

New Bulgarian University was established on September 18, 1991 by decision of the Grand National Assembly. On July 5, 2001 NBU received institutional accreditation from the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation for a maximum 5-year period, and in December 2006 received institutional accreditation for a maximum period. In 2004, the NBU is accredited by The Open University in Great Britain. The University in Bulgaria introduces first credit system, the teaching of professional degrees, bachelor's and master's degree, distance and continuing education. Personalities of world renown are honorary professors and honorary doctors of the NBU, including - Richard Rorty, Vera Mutafchieva, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Pierre Vernant , Milcho Leviev, Robert Young, Raina Kabaivanska, Lord Ralf Dahrendorf, Terry Eagleton and others.


The mission of New Bulgarian University is:

to be an educational institution oriented to give its students autonomy towards building up the sense of entrepreneurship and responsibility
to be a place for those socially motivated in order to get ready to live in democracy, in a society of citizens, under the condition of market relations, integrated in Europe and the world.
to be liberal academic institution, based on the relationship between education, research and enterprise.
to provide interdisciplinary general and specialized education based on research and practice connection.

NBU's educational philosophy is based on the idea of liberal education, connecting the acquisition of knowledge and professional specialization with general spiritual development.


NBU determines its academic profile on:

-sciences of man and society
-natural sciences and new technologies

In July 1989 some university teachers and research-workers established the Society for New Bulgarian University. The aim of the Society was to work for reforms in the Bulgarian university. On 18th September 1991 the Society obtained university status from the Great National Assembly under the name of the New Bulgarian University (SG, ? 80/1991).

The first period of NBU development - 1991-1993 was related to the establishment of the institutional framework of the university and to its identification in the public domain. On 17th October 1991 the General meeting of the Society formed, out of its members, the Interim Board of Trustees of NBU. Prof. Bogdan Bogdanov was elected Chair and provisionally exercising the functions of the Rector. The Interim Board of Trustees developed the general directions for development of the university and specified its program for action; established the university structures, approved their compositions and internal regulations.

In 1991/1992 were established two main units, functioning as schools: the Free School and Correspondent School (Radio-university). They provided courses, qualification programs and distance learning. At the Free School were established the departments – the research structures of the university.

During this period, the educational programs were experimental by nature and with professional orientation, but still then was introduced the credit system, which encouraged student mobility and initiated the inclusion of NBU into the national, and later on into the international, academic community.
The courses had an unlimited freedom of topics and involving of lecturers, of content and forms of teaching, of ways of attracting the students. The students freely combined courses that they have selected into their educational programs. The principle of educational programs’ formation – teams, united by enterprising personalities – laid the foundations of the self-government of the university structures.

During the second period of the NBU development - 1993-1998, was formed the regular Board of Trustees of the University (1994). It had large public representation - the local authorities, the business, and non-governmental organizations. On 14th March 1994 were adopted the Regulations for the Structure and Activities of NBU, which contained a detailed structure of the university and defined the forms of management and self-government. The Academic Council was established (1994), which together with the Board of Trustees became the other fundamental managerial body of the New Bulgarian University. In 1995 the functions of the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Rector were differentiated, which initiated the beginning of the division of the strategic and financial from the academic power at NBU. The Chair of the Board of Trustees of NBU was Prof. Bogdan Bogdanov, and Prof. Ivanka Apostolova was elected Rector of NBU.

In 1993 were established the Undergraduate School and the Graduate School, as well as a wide range of educational programs. At that time, for the fist time in Bulgarian university, there were introduced the educational degrees bachelor, master and doctor. There were also established the departments, whose main functions were research and development of the programs. The departments unite the teachers from a single scientific community. In this period were established the local centers in Varna, Plovdiv and Veliko Turnovo, and later on - those in Vidin and Vratsa.

In the middle of the period 1993-1998 the management of the university headed towards planned development. In 1997 NBU worked out its first business plan, naming it “Document for self-evaluation and institutional development”. Its elaboration was internationally supported by means of a sequence of seminars, workshop sessions and all-university conferences. After 1998, NBU started realizing its mission, turning it into structural and educational policy. During the academic year 1999/2000, 16 basic programs were formed, as the basis of the bachelor programs; therewith NBU started the realization of its idea of liberal education. Education of Artes Liberales type was discussed at the NBU conferences - “All-university education – aims and need” and “NBU programs and program policy”, as well as with the representatives at the Saltsburg seminar.

On 5th July 2001, NBU obtained institutional accreditation for the maximum 6 year period.

During the academic year 2001/2002 started the basic program Artes Liberales, consisting of optional courses, covering the basic spheres of knowledge. The tendency of extending the general education in the other basic programs intensified. An accompanying program (minor) was introduced at the Undergraduate School, the training being carried out in parallel with the main program (major). The Graduate School programs were reorganized for attaining of narrow specialization. The Schools started the process of development and introduction of more distance leaning courses, provided in parallel with the full-time form. In September 2001 Raina Kabaivanska carried out her first master class in Bulgaria at the New Bulgarian University.

In 2002 Assoc. Prof. Segei Ignatov, Ph.D. was elected Rector of NBU. During the academic year 2003/2004 the university implemented a new program reform, oriented towards liberalization of the education, incorporating the basic programs into the bachelor degree programs and creating 24 bachelor programs.

The University’s activity is managed by a system of plans – five year strategic plans, three year development plans and semester action plans.

In December 2005 NBU passed through the second procedure of institutional accreditation, carried out by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency.


The structure and governance of NBU are organized on the principle of division of powers and the internal initiative freedom of the university units.

The strategic and financial management of the University is within the powers of the Board of Trustees and the Chair of the Board of Trustees. They formulate the general structure of the university; adopt the Regulations for its structure and activity; develop the institutional and public policy of the University; define its educational, financial and economic strategy and raise funds for its development.

At the Board of Trustees there function the following commissions – for strategic development, for development of the academic staff, for management of projects for strategic development, Financial and Economic Commission and Publishing Council.

The work of the Board of Trustees is assisted by administration with director and units, working on the activities, related to the planning and development, funding, publishing production, archival funds, information technologies, legal and economic affairs.

The Academic management is within the powers of the Academic Council and the Rector. They are in charge of the implementation of the educational and scientific policy of the University. They manage the educational, research and international activity of the University. At the Academic Council of NBU are represented the university structures, teachers, students, post-graduate students, administration.

The academic activity is supported by Vice-Rectors, Rector’s Council, Conference, Extended Academic Council and Central Administrations.

The educational process is organized by the Schools and the Centers for continuing education. The Schools are established on the principle of educational degrees. They relate the education to the research activity and to the practice. The schools are managed by School Councils and Deans. The Schools of NBU are: School of Basic Education – provides the education in the first two years of the bachelor programs, Undergraduate School – provides the education in the third and fourth year of the bachelor programs, and Graduate School – provides the master and doctoral programs.

The education is organized in educational programs, which are managed by Program Councils and Directors. The practical training activity of the students and of the teachers is carried out at the laboratories of the Schools.

The Centers for Continuing Education provide education for clients of different professions and ages through a system of academic lectures, courses, educational programs and master classes. The Centers for Continuing Education at NBU are managed by Center Council and Directors. The Centers for Continuing Education at NBU are: Center for Continuing Education, School of Management, Center for Foreign Languages and School of Politics.

The research and creative activity is organized by the departments and by the research centers. The Departments unite teachers and researchers, working in one scientific direction and connect NBU with the outside world. They work on international and national projects, suggest the development of new educational programs, involve teachers and monitor the quality of education. The departments are managed by Departmental Council and Head of department. The departments at NBU are - Anthropology, Archeology, Economics and Business Administration, Informatics, History, History of Culture, Cinema, Advertising and Show business, Cognitive Science and Psychology, Mass Communications, Medicine and Biology, Musical Art, Earth and Environmental Sciences, New Bulgarian Studies, Mediterranean and Eastern Studies, Applied Arts, Political Sciences, Law, Foreign Languages and Literature, Foreign Language Training, Theatre, Telecommunications, Philosophy and Sociology. The research centers at NBU that have departmental status are – Center for Public Administration, Central and East European Center for Cognitive Science, South-East European Center for Semiotic Studies, Center for Social Practices and Bulgarian Center for Human Relations.

The research activity of the students, post-graduate students and teachers, as well as the consulting activity for externals clients, is carried out at the laboratories of the departments.

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