Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar"
Chaika Resort Complex, 9007 Varna, Bulgaria
The academic year is divided into 2 semesters, each of them with duration between 13 and 15 weeks (October through June). These semesters are usually separated by a short vacation in addition to non-study periods around official holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Each semester is followed by an exam session with the specific number and date of the exams announced by the faculties in specified periods for the university.
Academic year 2015/2016
Start of the academic year – 1st Octomber
Christmas holiday – from 21.12.2015 to 03.01.2016
At the end of the first semester – from 22.02.2016 to 28.02.2016
Summer vacation – from 11.07.2016 to 25.09.2016
VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" provides education to up to 10 000 students studying at the various faculties, majors and modes of study in accordance with the Classification of Higher Educational Areas and Professional Fields. VFU’s academic staff comprises approximately 500 lecturers from all scientific spheres of knowledge.
Enrolment of Bulgarian Students:
Bulgarian students are admitted into VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" in accordance with the requirements of the Law for Higher Education, following the procedure established by the Rules and Regulations of the organization, management and the activity of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar", as well as the Regulations for admission of students of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar", by an exam, in full-time or part-time form of education. The students are trained in various specialities for acquiring of higher education and the following educational degrees:
(1) Educational and qualification degree "bachelor"
(2) Educational and qualification degree "master"
(3) Educational and qualification degree "doctor"
The admission exams are prepared in agreement with the entry level requirements of each specialty. Taking an entrance exam is covered by an exam fee.
Rating of student candidates
Only students that have successfully passed the exams required for the respective specialty are rated.
Registering of newly admitted students
The newly admitted students are registered in the time terms set in the academic calendar of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar".
Tuition in VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" is covered by the students themselves or other physical or legal persons. The amount of the tuition fees and the time terms for its payment are set every semester by the Academic council after the Educational and Scientific Councils have put forward their respective proposals and are consistent with the tuition costs for the respective specialty and form. The payment is made in two installments paid in the beginning of the winter and the summer semester of the respective academic year. The payment is made directly at VFH "Chernorizets Hrabar" at the submission of the registration documents or by postal order or payment order to account:
"Allianz Bank Bulgaria" PLC, BIC BUINBGSF, IBAN BG76BUIN70061025036424
Enrolment of foreign citizens:
Foreign citizens apply for paid full-time tuition by a scholastic achievement competition according to the requirements of the Regulations for the state requirements for the admission of students in the institutes of higher education of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The documents necessary are as follows:
All documents should be legalized, translated and certified in accordance with the requirements of the international agreements of the Republic of Bulgaria with the country of their origin. In cases when no such agreements have been signed the requirements of the general procedure of legalization, translations and certification of documents and other papers should be followed.
The applicants willing to enroll in Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes after completing their secondary education should submit their application documents to VFU no later than September 1 of the year for which they are applying.
In accordance with the Law for the higher education in the Republic of Bulgaria all foreign students study attend an intensive course in Bulgarian language taught by a special syllabus for language and specialized training of foreign students in the Department or Foreign Languages. The language course is not shorter than 9 months and ends with a written and oral exam taken before an examination board.
The specialized training ends with exams in all subjects on the curriculum taken before an examination board. Students who have completed successfully their language and specialized training are issued a certificate approved by the Minister for the education and science.
The payment is made directly at VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" at the submission of the registration documents or by postal order or payment order to account:
Conditions and rules for admission in the Ph.D. degree programmes – foreign citizens
A foreign citizen is any person who is not a Bulgarian, EU or Swiss Confederation national, or a citizen of any state under the European Economic Space Agreement.
Foreign citizens are eligible for PhD application under the same rules and conditions as Bulgarian citizens:
• If they have the status of permanent resident in the Republic of Bulgaria;
• If they are of Bulgarian nationality, although permanently residing abroad;
• If they have a refugee status.
PhD applicants to Varna Free University must submit the following documents:
All documents must be legalised, translated and certified in compliance with the terms and conditions of the international agreement signed by and between the Republic of Bulgaria and the respective country, where such documents have been issued. In case no such documents are available, applicants must undergo a standard procedure of legalisation, translation and certification of their documents and papers.
All documents must be submitted with the PhD Student Centre at VFU.
Afterwards, the documents are sent to the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth with regard to the initiation of a long-term Bulgarian residence visa issuance as per the Regulation on the State Requirements for Admission of Students to Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria.
After receipt of a D-Type Visa and arriving in Bulgaria, international PhD applicants are officially enrolled at VFU as PhD students.
PhD enrollment of foreign nationals takes place based on a Department Council proposal, affirmed by Faculty Council, and following an order by the Rector/Vice-Rector for Scientific Research. PhD enrollment does not require a competitive entrance exam.
All foreign nationals enrolled as PhD students pay annual tuition to the amount defined by a Varna Free University Academic Council Resolution or an Order by VFU’s Rector for the current academic year.
The University provides language training and specialised courses for international PhD students, according to the Regulation on the State Requirements for Admission of Students to Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Varna Free University PhD Student Centre
Mrs. Borislava Hristova
Main Academic Facility, Room 204
Office Tel. +359-52-359-510, Mobile: +359-878-417-490
Mr. Rosen Staykov
Main Academic Facility, Room A427
Office Tel. +359-52-359-609, Mobile: +359-878-417-442
The use of ECTS for lifelong learning enhances the transparency of learning programmes and achievements not only when it comes to the main higher education degrees (bachelor, master or doctorate) but for all types of learning activities provided or learning outcomes recognised by higher education institutions. The fact that all learning achievements are documented and awarded a corresponding number of ECTS credits makes it possible for learners to have this learning recognised with a view of achieving a qualification, when these learning outcomes satisfy the requirements of the qualification.
When using ECTS for continuing education, the same principles for credit allocation, award, transfer and accumulation apply. Like for credits allocated to components which are part of programmes, credits allocated to continuing education are based on the workload typically needed to achieve the expected learning outcomes.
Credits awarded for continuing education may be recognised and accumulated towards a qualification or not, depending on the desire of the learner and/or the requirements for the award of the qualification. Some learners may only be interested in following a particular educational component without wishing to obtain the qualification.
The recognition of non-formal and informal learning should be automatically followed by the award of the number of ECTS credits attached to the corresponding part of the formal programme. The number of credits awarded should be the same as the credits allocated to formal educational components with comparable learning outcomes.
As with formal education, the award of credit is preceded by an assessment to verify the achievement of learning outcomes. The assessment criteria and associated methods should be constructed so as to measure the achievement of the required learning outcomes at the ppropriate level, without reference to specific learning activities.
The process of awarding credit to non-formal or informal learning has these four stages:
For the recognition of prior learning, the applicant should meet the ECTS-coordinator of the respective Department in order to receive initial information and directions for the possibilities for recognition and awarding credits for prior learning – formal, informal and non-formal.
The recognition of knowledge and skills from prior learning and awarding the respective credits is done according to the following procedures:
A) Recognition of credits on the basis of presented documents:
B) Certification of knowledge and skills in Foreign Language at the Department of Foreign Language Teaching in Russian, English, German and French.
Before the beginning of the academic year, students submit a sample application form for the certification of knowledge and skills in a foreign language at the Department of Foreign Language Teaching or the Career Centre.
C) Certification of computer skills at the Department of Informatics and the Technological Institute.
Before the beginning of the academic year, students submit a sample application form for the certification of computer knowledge and skills at the Department of Informatics or the Career Centre.
D) Certification of specialized knowledge and skills for the professional area at the respective Department – passing an examination on a given course.
Before the beginning of the academic year, students submit a sample application form for the certification of knowledge and skills at the respective Department.
E) Awarding credits by the respective Department corresponding to the study components of the major on the base of certified practical skills in the professional area.
ECTS and periods of study abroad
In the case of agreed student mobility, the three parties involved – the home institution, the host institution and the student – should sign a Learning Agreement for mobility prior to the mobility period. In such cases, recognition of the credits by the home institution is automatic if the conditions stipulated in the learning agreement have been fulfilled.
All learning components to be followed abroad should be listed in the Learning Agreement. Where a student is awarded credits for learning components other than those specified in the Learning Agreement it is up to the home institution to decide whether or not to recognize these. In case of changes to the programme of study agreed with the learner, the Learning Agreement may be amended, but the amended version must be signed again by the same three parties concerned within an agreed period of time.
For periods of study abroad or in another institution based on a Learning Agreement there is full academic recognition from the home higher education institution for credits achieved during the study period aboard, in accordance with the Learning Agreement,31 without duplication of assessment procedures.
For periods of study abroad or in another institution without a Learning Agreement – fair recognition of credits awarded during that period of study and consideration of them with respect to the award of a qualification.
Registration and Application documents:
All application documents are submitted at the Pre-enrolment office/Application Office of Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar".
Educational Marketing and Student Admissions Office:
Tel. :+359 52 355 106
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Registration and Enrolment documents:
What is ECTS?
The European Community promotes university collaboration as one of the ways to effectively enhance the quality of education thus helping both students and educators. It is a universally acknowledged fact that student mobility is a central issue in the process of academic collaboration. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) has been developed by a Commission set up by the European Community with the intention of supplying the academic world with common criteria and guarantee academic recognition of one’s home education abroad.
ECTS is a learner-centred system for credit accumulation and transfer based on the transparency of learning outcomes and learning processes. It aims to facilitate planning, delivery, evaluation, recognition and validation of qualifications and units of learning as well as student mobility. ECTS is widely used in formal higher education and can be applied to other lifelong learning activities.
The ECTS-system is based on the principles of mutual trust and co-ordination between partner institutions and finds expression in:
ECTS do not attempt to regulate course content, the structure or equivalency of study programs. The period of study abroad (exams and other forms for evaluation of cumulative knowledge included) substitutes completely for the educational process at home and furthermore a certain margin of differentiation of the curriculum at the partner-universities is acceptable, when it is agreed upon beforehand.
ECTS credits are based on the workload students need in order to achieve expected learning outcomes.
Credits are a numerical expression of study workload while students attend classes at a given university. They are the aggregate value, divided among the different subjects, and they represent the quantity of work each student has to complete on a single subject as part of the full amount of study needed for the successful completion of a whole academic year at the corresponding institution. ECTS-credits include lectures, exercises, seminars, self-study (library work and writing of homework), examinations and other forms of evaluation. ECTS-credits represent relatively (not absolutely) the study load.
Learning outcomes describe what a learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do after successful completion of a process of learning. They relate to level descriptors in national and European qualifications frameworks.
Workload indicates the time students typically need to complete all planned learning activities, such as attending lectures, seminars, preparation of projects, practical work, self-study and examinations, etc., required to achieve the expected learning outcomes.
60 ECTS credits are attached to the workload of a fulltime year of formal learning (academic year) and the associated learning outcomes. In most cases, student workload ranges from 1,500 to 1,800 hours for an academic year, whereby one credit corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work.
Universities retain the right to decide how to divide the total number of credits among the different subjects. To be awarded the Bachelor’s Degree in an undergraduate course of study, a student needs 240 credits, equivalent to a 4-year course of study.
In Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar", one credit equals 30 hours of student workload, which includes 10 contact hours (lectures and seminars) and 20 hours of independent work.
How ECTS credits are used?
Credits are allocated to entire qualifications or study programmes as well as to their educational components (such as modules, course units, dissertation work, work placements and laboratory work). The number of credits ascribed to each component is based on its weight in terms of the workload students need in order to achieve the learning outcomes in a formal context.
Credits are awarded to individual students (full-time or part-time) after completion of the learning activities required by a formal programme of study or by a single educational component and the successful assessment of the achieved learning outcomes. Credits may be accumulated with a view to obtaining qualifications, as decided by the degree-awarding institution. If students have achieved learning outcomes in other learning contexts or timeframes (formal, nonformal or informal), the associated credits may be awarded after successful assessment, validation or recognition of these learning outcomes.
Credits awarded in one programme may be transferred into another programme, offered by the same or another institution. This transfer can only take place if the degree-awarding institution recognizes the credits and the associated learning outcomes. Partner institutions should agree in advance on the recognition of periods of study abroad.
Credit transfer and accumulation are facilitated by the use of the ECTS key documents (Course Catalogue, Student Application Form, Learning Agreement and Transcript of Records) as well as the Diploma Supplement.
Methods of evaluation
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) guarantees international academic recognition of domestic education as shared methods for evaluation of demonstrated student knowledge in the process of learning allows for its equalization among the different institutions of higher education. ECTS ratings enhance but do not substitute the informational value of the existing domestic rating system.
Students’ knowledge and skills are evaluated in accordance with a six-point grading system: excellent (6), very good (5), good (4), satisfactory (3) and fail (2). An exam is considered successfully passed if the student has earned a minimum result of "satisfactory (3)". Since 2004, ECTS grading has been applied to all students along with the national system grading.
ECTS key documents
Credit transfer and accumulation are facilitated by the use of the ECTS key documents – Informatin Package/Course Catalogue, Student Application Form, Learning Agreement and Transcript of Records as well as the Diploma Supplement.
The Informatin package/Course Catalogue must contain the items of the checklist including information for host students from abroad.
The Student Application Form is a document which expresses the student’s willingness to study in the corresponding institution and contains personal data for a student.
The Learning Agreement contains the list of courses to be taken with the ECTS credits which will be awarded for each course. This list must be agreed by the student and the responsible academic body of the institution concerned. In the case of credit transfer, the Learning Agreement has to be agreed by the student and the two institutions concerned before the student's departure and updated immediately when changes occur.
The Transcript of Records documents the performance of a student by showing the list of courses taken, the ECTS credits gained, local or national credits, if any, local grades and possibly ECTS grades awarded. In the case of credit transfer, the Transcript of Records has to be issued by the home institution for outgoing students before departure and by the host institution for incoming students at the end of their period of study.
The Diploma Supplement is a document attached to a higher education diploma providing a standardised description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed by the graduate.
The Diploma Supplement provides transparency and facilitates academic and professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates). The European Diploma Supplement is issued to the holders of the educational-and-qualification degree Bachelor and Master free of charge..
The Diploma Supplement is issued in a widely spoken European language, provided automatically and free of charge to every student upon graduation, and includes a filled-in example.
ECTS institutional co-ordinator:
Prof. Valeri Stoyanov, PhD
Tel./fax: +359 52 357 066
First academic guidance students receive during the Orientation days held for first-year students at the beginning of each academic year. Information on their training students receive from the site of the university, deans of faculties and heads of departments, secretaries of departments.
Concrete ways to receive academic guidance are the following: