According to non-official foreign sources the Bulgarian students which are studying abroad are about 80 000. That is the approximate number of the pupils graduating from secondary schools. According to the National Statistical Institute there are 274 200 students in Bulgaria.
According to the Eurostat data from 2008, the Bulgarians at the different universities in Europe are 22 800. In the timeline of eight years (from 2001 to 2009) their number has doubled because in 2001 there were only 10 800. In 2009 the number of students which have applied abroad has also risen to 50%.
The most popular degrees among the Bulgarian students are Economics, Law studies, Psychology, Architecture, Fashion and Design, and Computer technologies.
One of the most preferred educational destinations of the Bulgarian students is Great Britain. Compared to last year, the number of those who want to study in Great Britain has increased with 56.3%.
According to UCAS which is an organization that is centrally concerned with candidates for higher education in Great Britain explains that Bulgarian candidates who have submitted their documents to British universities were 1 651, whereas last year their number was 1 056.
Now that Bulgaria is part of the European Union the tuition fees for the Bulgarian students in Great Britain have declined significantly. Before 2007 they had to pay between 9 000 and 12 000 pounds, whereas nowadays charges rarely exceed 3000 pounds. Apart from that our students have another privilege, which is that they can draw low-interest loans from the British agency.
The Bulgarian students are also interested in the provided courses in Denmark and Holland universities. The reason for that is the targeted policy of the governments of the countries that attracti foreign students with favorable conditions for admission.
The candidates choose to study themselves to Denmark because of the tuition free education. Holland is preferred because it is a state with traditions in the practical oriented education.
Most of the Bulgarian students study in Germany because a figure of having 12 500 students is known. The second biggest group of Bulgarians is to be found in the USA which caters for 3 500 Bulgarians.
USA and Canada
If we exclude the number of Russian foreign students, the Bulgarian students are the first major group of foreign students from the East European countries in the universities of the USA and Canada. According to the last research made in April 2008 the number of the Russian students in the USA is 5 073, whereas the Bulgarians are only 3 664. The students from Romania and Poland are currently in second and third place regarding the number of students, who study in the universities of the USA.
Information for the international students in Bulgaria
According to the Ministry of Education for the 2008/2009 academic year, 13 700 international students were studying in Bulgaria. However more than 8500 come from the neighbouring states such as Turkey and Macedonia. The other international students come from Greece, Cyprus, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine, which means that Bulgaria is a regional center for higher education. The foreign students choose to study in Bulgaria because of the cheaper education, the easy acceptance at the universities and the states membership in the EU. The young people say that they can get a better education in Bulgaria, than in their own country and that there are better job opportunities after their graduation. Those who have chosen to study in Bulgaria orientate themselves to the bigger universities. Most of the foreign students are found in Sofia.
Sofia University “St. Clement Ochridski” (SU) is the university with the largest number of international students having around 1 921 students. The Technical University (TU) in Sofia with its figure of 1 812 foreign students is in the second place of being most popular and then in third place is the Medical University in Plovdiv where the number of the international students is just 1 230. Theuniversities are the prefered universities throughout Bulgaria because of being in a well populated place.