Bulgaria Hosted Nearly 18,000 International Students in 2022/23

Bulgaria Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 28, 2023

Church in Sofia, Bulgaria

Nearly 18,000 international students chose Bulgarian higher education institutions in the 2022/23 academic year.

According to data released by the country’s National Statistical Institute (NSI), there were 17,593 international students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Bulgaria, accounting for 8.1 percent of all students, Erudera.com reports.

That was a slight drop from the previous academic year, specifically 2021/22 when 17,616 students were enrolled at Bulgarian universities and colleges.

Most international students in Bulgaria in 2022/23 were from the following countries:

  • Greece (22.0 percent)
  • The United Kingdom (14.4 percent)
  • Germany (9.8 percent)
  • Ukraine (9.1 percent)
  • The Republic of North Macedonia (5.5 percent)

As per their field of education, most of them chose business and administration (22.6 percent). Other popular fields of education were:

  • Education (16.3 percent)
  • Health (9.6 percent)
  • Social and behavioral sciences (9.5 percent)
  • Engineering and engineering trades (8.6 percent)

Overall, more than 200,000 students were enrolled at universities and specialized higher schools and over 25,000 in private education institutions.

“Bulgarian citizens were 190.4 thousand or 91.5 percent of all students enrolled at universities and specialized higher schools and in comparison to the previous year, their number decreased by 4.6 thousand. Foreign students were 17.6 thousand and in comparison to the previous year, their number remained almost unchanged,” the report from NSI reads.

Last year, there were 20,000 academic staff working at educational institutions in Bulgaria, of whom 51.5 percent were women, and 63.0 percent were in a full-time role.

764 international students were pursuing PhD degrees in Bulgaria in 2022, accounting for 11.7 percent of the total number of Ph.D. students enrolled there. The majority of doctoral students were from Greece, representing 18.8 percent. Others came from China (16.1 percent), Germany (11.1 percent), Kosovo (7.9 percent), Israel (6.5 percent), and the Republic of North Macedonia (6.0 percent).

In total, 1,101 students, of whom 601, or 54.6 percent women, earned their PhD degrees from a Bulgarian institution. Most of them graduated in the following fields:

  • Health - 175 graduates
  • Social and behavioral sciences - 120 graduates
  • Business and administration - 105 graduates
  • Engineering and engineering trades - 89 graduates
  • Education - 78 graduates

“In private institutions were trained 4.4 percent of the Ph.D. students. Out of them, 108 persons, or 37.4 percent, were foreigners,” NSI points out.

The number of international students at Bulgarian academic institutions has increased over the years, from 15,425 students in the 2018/19 academic year to 16,280 the next year in 2019/20 and up to 16,678 students in 2020/21.

>> Employers in Bulgaria Want to Attract Bulgarian Students & Workers Abroad

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