Where are Bulgarian Students Looking to Study?
Early applications for the Netherlands increase 80%. Belgium is becoming a preferred destination, interest in the United States is growing
The growth of early applications for study in the Netherlands in the next academic year is over 80%, announced the company "Integral" - organizer of the forum "World Education", which this fall is held for the 42nd time in Sofia (October 9-10). Plovdiv (October 11), Burgas (October 12) and Varna (October 13). In some areas, such as Varna and Burgas, this increase reaches two or even three times. The data is from the already held virtual format of the exhibition in September. The specialties in the Netherlands, which Bulgarian graduates will focus on next year, are Computer Science, Business and Management, Game Design, Animation, Psychology. The destination filled a niche that opened up after Brexit and the abolition of student loans in the UK.
In the list of the top three most sought-after destinations for higher education abroad are the Netherlands in first place, Germany in second place and the United Kingdom in third place, with only ¼ of the candidates fixing their choice on one country.
The other rising destination, according to Integral, is Belgium. Interest in training in this country is nearly five times higher than the previous year, albeit from a low base. Belgium attracts interest with its affordable fees (962 euros for a bachelor's degree and for most master's programs), the opportunity to choose an academic or practical profile, as well as the programs offered in English such as Media and Communications, Computer Science, Business and Economics, Tourism.
After Brexit, there is an interesting trend of increasing interest in US universities, Integral reported. The cost of studying there is equal to that in the United Kingdom, and in some cases even lower. At the same time, the quality of higher education in the United States continues to be as high as possible.
Bulgarians are even interested in studying at Harvard, for which the current social situation in the country may be important, said Nikolay Hristanov, a higher education consultant at Integral. Currently, 25 Bulgarians study at Harvard, according to a public report by the world-famous university. "The first thing we have to say to our clients with an interest in studying at Harvard is that this is a very demanding task! For information only - for 2021 more than 50,000 people have applied there, and a little over 2,000 have been accepted ", added Hristanov. Applications and admissions are based on documents, and Harvard is part of the universities for which the requirement for applicants to submit a document for a successful SAT, as a result of the pandemic, has been dropped. The ideal candidate for Harvard must have an excellent academic profile, active participation in quality school and extracurricular projects, motivation, dedication, determination.
About 50 percent of the registered participants in the online exhibition, organized by Integral in mid-September, indicated interest in only one specialty.
However, preferences as areas show the same trends, regardless of whether those interested are in 10th, 11th or 12th grade. The highest interest is in Business, Economics and Finance, followed by Computer Science and Information Technology in second place and Art and Design in third place. The top 10 also includes: Media and Communications, Humanities, Politics and International Relations, Engineering and Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Law, Tourism. There is also interest in specialties such as Medicine, Language and Literature. New preferences are emerging that have been absent so far, such as Physiotherapy, Music and Vocal Singing, Food Processing and Technology.
Traditionally, most students apply from the French High School in Sofia, Second and First English High School, SMG, NPMG, Plovdiv Language High School, National Trade High School in Plovdiv, Romain Rolland High School in Stara Zagora, Geo Milev High School in Burgas, Ioan Ekzarh High School in Varna, Hristo Botev Language High School, Kardzhali.
The forum, which will be held this weekend (October 9-10) in the building of the International Business School in Sofia, will be attended by 30 schools from around the world, including 4 from the USA, 6 from the Netherlands, 8 from Great Britain, 6 from Switzerland, as well as from Belgium, Austria, Germany, Cyprus, Spain, Bulgaria. For the first time in Bulgaria, four prestigious American universities will present their stands: University of Connecticut, Pace University, Arizona State University and Simmons College. Some of them offer up to 50% discount on tuition fees.
Among the visiting institutions for the first time is the Swiss Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), which occupies a leading position among hospitality management universities (QS World University Rankings 2019, 2020 and 2021), and its gastronomic restaurant Le Berceau des Sens is the only school in the world to have a Michelin star. The prestige of Swiss education in the field of hospitality and tourism is complemented by the participation of 4 schools from the Swiss Education Group, which are also ranked in the top 10 of the QS ranking.
Secondary and boarding schools from Europe will also have their own stands. For the first time, David Game College will participate - an independent private college for secondary education in the heart of London. The college is proud of the outstanding achievements of its students and it’s partnering with over 98 universities. Over 70% of the graduates are admitted to top universities by the Russell Group. The college offers a scholarship of 30% of the tuition fee for science (chemistry, physics or biology) and a music scholarship of 20% of the tuition fee.
Other participants in the field of secondary education who come to Bulgaria again are Kings Education (UK), Aiglon College (Switzerland), Sidcot School (UK), d'Overbroecks (UK), Oxford Sixth Form College (UK), Oxford International College (UK), ACS Cobham International School (UK).
During the exhibitions in Sofia and the country, in addition to the opportunities for direct meetings with the universities and high schools that will participate, an accompanying program is provided from seminars for specific destinations and on topics relevant to prospective students and their parents.
Preliminary registration for participation in the exhibitions in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas is done at https://www.world-education.eu/ . All necessary anti-epidemic measures have been taken for the peace of mind of the visitors.
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