A delegation from Varna University of Management, led by the Rector Assoc. Prof. Dr. Todor Radev, took an active part in the first of а series of meetings to promote partnerships between British and Bulgarian universities for the development of common, transnational training programs in higher education institutions in Bulgaria. The opening meeting was held as a hybrid webinar with the participation of Bulgarian and British institutions and universities.
The event was hosted by H.E. Rob Dixon, British Ambassador in Bulgaria and among the other participants were Ms. Albena Chavdarova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Jamie Arrowsmith, Director Universities UK (UUK) and Ms. Lyubov Kostova – Director of the British Council in Bulgaria.
The programme of the forum started by the key-note speech of Joana Westphal, Head of TNE Policy at Universities UK (UUKi) on the TNE framework and why enhancement of such kind of partnerships in higher education in Bulgaria would be beneficial from UK perspective. The participants got acquainted with TNE main aspects and provisions by Janet Ilieva, PhD, Director and Founder of Education Insight – research consultancy, specialized in international higher education. She also discussed the value of transnational education partnerships, beyond the economic side, for stakeholders, institutions and communities. Eduardo Ramos, Director of International & Professional Services at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education discussed how to develop solid partnerships in TNE in a post-Brexit environment and finding common ground to develop mutually beneficial TNE partnerships in higher education. Experts from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, as well as the National Center for Information and Documentation (NACID) set the context regarding policy and legal framework facilitating TNE partnerships in Bulgaria, as well as specifics regarding academic recognition. During the webinar, an extremely interesting sociological analysis was also presented from a national survey on attitudes among Bulgarian youth towards obtaining higher education in a British-Bulgarian transnational training program with representation in Bulgaria.
Varna University of Management was presented as a good practice for an already existing and established TNE partnership between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom. Already for 13 years the strategic academic cooperation with Cardiff Metropolitan University allows Bulgarian and international students to receive innovative education following the British standards here in Bulgaria and gives VUM the exclusive privilege of educating students in programmes leading to not only a Bulgarian but a British higher education degree as well, without the need for students to travel to the UK.
As a head of one of the first and undoubtedly the leading institution to successfully implement a transnational educational program between the United Kingdom and Bulgaria, the Rector Assoc. Prof. Dr. Todor Radev received the assurances of the British Ambassador to Bulgaria, H.E. Rob Dixon that he will include in his busy schedule next year an official visit to Varna University of Management.
The main aim of the project of which this opening webinar was part is to help the implementation of policies for the internationalization of higher education in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, by stimulating institutional partnerships at all levels in the sector and exchange of expertise, in order to achieve a more connected and inclusive higher education, adequate to the labour market and the economic context.
Source of information: British Council Bulgaria