58.5% of Medical Students in Bulgaria are Foreigners
The number of foreigners studying higher education in Bulgaria is increasing. In the academic year 2021/2022, their number is 16,525, which is 8.2% of all students in the country, reported the press center of the Council of Ministers. In 2013, their share was twice as small - 4.1%. This is shown by data from the National Map of Higher Education in the Republic of Bulgaria, which was updated today by decision of the Council of Ministers.
According to the document, Bulgaria is the leader in the entire EU in terms of the share of foreign students in medical specialties. 58.5% of those studying "Medicine" in the country are foreigners.
The total number of students in Bulgaria is 200,781. This is less than half (48%) of the total capacity of all higher education institutions in the country, which have places for 415,472 students, determined by the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation (NAAA). Last year, active students occupied 53% of the capacity determined by NAAA.
The average social security income of university graduates in Bulgaria has almost doubled over the last 10 years. In 2013, it was BGN 868 per month, and this year it is BGN 1,646. Only 2.5% of university graduates in the country in the last 5 years are now unemployed, and in 2013 their share was 4.15%. However, there are significant differences in terms of realization by vocation in individual professional areas. For example, 95% of Medicine graduates work in their specialty, while in Tourism only 21% of graduates take up positions corresponding to their education.
What else does the updated National Map account for in the structure of higher education?
The trend of more women pursuing higher education continues. Their number is approximately 114 thousand (57%), while men are about 86 thousand. In some professional fields, the students are almost entirely female - these are "Pedagogy" (96%) and "Educational Theory and Management" (89%). Men are a large majority - over 80% share in "Metallurgy", "Electrical engineering, electronics and automation", "Energy" and "Mechanical engineering".
The largest number of higher education institutions (28) are in the South-West Planning Region, which includes Sofia. At the other pole is the North-West region, where only two higher schools are based (the Medical University in Pleven and the Higher Air Force School in Dolna Mitropolia), and another three operate through affiliates.
The National Map of Higher Education was adopted by a Decision of the Council of Ministers in 2021. It is updated annually, and the information from it is used to determine the state policy for higher education, including admissions in certain fields and specialties and the opening of new universities or affiliates. The goal is to have a balanced development of the network of higher education institutions, which meets the real needs of the regions and the forecasts of the labor market, recalls the press service of the Ministry of Education.
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