Education in Bulgaria

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As Bulgaria aligns itself for EU accession in 2007 the countryís government are working on ensuring that the children of Bulgaria have free access to a quality, well structured but open education system that will allow them to learn the skills and gain the knowledge necessary to compete equally with their European counterparts on the world business and economic stage.

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General Bulgarian education consists of two parts: from I to IV grade and from V to VIII grade. These stages of the Bulgarian education are compulsory. Usually the age of entry is 7.

After graduating IVth grade, children are awarded with Basic Education Completion Certificate and with Form IV-Leaving Certificate after finishing their general education.

After graduating VIIth grade children apply for secondary education in three types of schools: comprehensive, profile-oriented and vocational (technical) schools.

The length of the high-school programs is 4, 5 or 6 years, depending on the school and after graduating (usually at the age of 18) children are awarded with Diploma of Completed Secondary Education.

After completing Secondary Education, people in Bulgaria obtain Higher Education through universities, academies and institutes. The qualification of Specialist can be obtained in a three-year course of post-secondary study.

In order to get a Bachelorís Degree, people are required to study at least four years at university level. Bachelorís Degree is a prerequisite for Masterís and Doctorís Degrees.

The second stage of university level education, the Materís Degree, can be obtained one year after obtaining Bachelorís Degree, or five years after obtaining Secondary School Education.

The third and last stage of university level education, the Doctorís Degree, can be obtained three years after obtaining Masterís Degree. It is based on personal research and defence of a thesis.

The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for the higher education in Bulgaria.

Bulgariaís grading system is numeric: 2 Ė poor, 3 Ė sufficient, 4 Ė good, 5 Ė very good, 6 - excellent. 2 is lowest on scale and 6 is the highest; 3 is the lowest passing grade.