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“National conference on recognition of qualifications”, in pursuance of Agreement No: 2010–0130 / 001–001

project № 171126–LLP–1–2009–1–BG–KA1–KA1NARIC
co-financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme for the programme period 2010-2011 of Education and Culture DG

18-19 November, Velingrad, Bulgaria

The National conference on recognition of qualifications concluded its work.

On 19th November, 2010 successfully finished its sessions the National conference on recognition of qualifications with international participation. This event was first of its kind in Bulgaria, it took place with an active exchange of experience and open discussions among the conference participants, as well as with practical results for all the national stakeholders. The conference was organised in pursuance of Agreement No: 2010–0130 / 001–001, Project No: 171126-LLP-1-2009-1-BG-KA1-KA1NARIC, co-financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme for the programme period 2010-2011 of Education and Culture DG.

A significant number of institutions nominated representatives for participation at the National conference, including 38 higher education institutions, national competent authorities on 20 regulated in Bulgaria professions, the Bulgarian Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (NEAA), the Centre for Human Resources Development, several units and directorates of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, as well as the Bulgarian Industrial Association as a representative of the national employers.

International representatives of the The Network of National information centres for academic recognition and mobility ENIC-NARIC took part in the work of the National conference, including Dr Carita Blomqvist, President of the Bureau of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and Head of the Finnish National Board of Education (ENIC-NARIC Finland), as well as Ms Elisabeth Sonnenschein, Central Office for Foreign Education in The Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Laender in the Federal Republic of Germany (ENIC-NARIC Germany).

During the conference were introduced and discussed the current state of the art and main problem in the process of recognition of foreign qualifications in Bulgaria, as well as the recognition of Bulgarian qualifications abroad. The plenary sessions of the National conference organised by NACID encomapassed the following fields:

  1. Developing the European higher education area and recognition of foreign qualifications concerning higher education.
  2. Recognition of foreign qualifications concerning higher education in the countries of the European higher education area.
  3. Procedures and practices for recognition of foreign qualifications concerning higher education in Bulgaria: current state of the art, problems and challenges.

Three questionnaire surveys were made within the project, encompassing 31 Bulgarian higher education institutions, 9 national competent authorities on sectoral regulated professions and 25 national ENIC-NARIC centres. The results of the surveys were reported at the plenary sessions of the conference.

Valuable practical experience was exchanged during the concluding part of the conference, within three discussion groups, thematically divided in terms of important practical aspects of the current credential evaluation activities of the all the participating competent authorities:

  1. Implementation of the legislative framework of academic recognition in Bulgaria;
  2. Authenticity verification of foreign qualifications concerning higher education;
  3. Academic and legal status of foreign higher education institutions and Diploma mills.

A number of practical recommendations, arising from the real challenges of the competent authorities in Bulgaria were discussed during the conference. The participants evaluated highly the results of the conference and came to a conclusion that an annual forum on the development of national and European recognition area would be of high importance.