Another year has passed… Festive decoration, Christmas songs, aroma of ginger cookies and hot chocolate… and time for year-end review.
Traditionally, at the end of each year, we look back to note what has been done, to celebrate the success, but also to set the new year goals.
For all of us, 2019 was a dynamic year, filled with accomplishments and challenges, with new opportunities and surprises. And counting down the hours to the coming New Year, let us remember to greet each other for the good work and recall some of the most valuable achievements.
This was the year in which for the third consecutive time U-Multirank gave the top No.1. position for student mobility worldwide to Varna University of Management, compared to more than 1700 other universities. Our Master programme International Hospitality and Tourism Management is ranked No 15 worldwide according to the ranking of Eduniversal Best Masters, while our Master degree in Business Administration (MBA) reached No 5 in Central and Eastern Europe according to the same ranking.
VUM is ranked first among the universities in Bulgaria according to the ranking system of the higher education institutions in Bulgaria in terms of research citation index in the Tourism and Administration and Management fields of science (Scopus).
The highlight of the year undoubtfully was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic academic partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK. Тhis collaboration 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.
This was also the year in which VUM was ranked as the only Bulgarian university in the Top 50 for EU authors of scientific publications in the field of tourism, and our Vice Rector (Research) Prof. Stanislav Ivanov was among the most productive authors of articles in Scopus indexed editions in the period 1998-2017.
At the end of September, we started the new academic year welcoming students from 12 new countries, thus the international VUM family reached nearly 60 nationalities.
We have also launched new educational programmes – a Master’s degree in Advertising and Brand Management, developed in collaboration with the first multidisciplinary creative academy – ARC Academy, as well as two new pedagogical programmes – Pedagogy of Education in Economics and Management and Pedagogy of Education in Hospitality and Tourism.
And while some were just starting their student’s life, others have successfully completed one of the most important stages in their livetime. With a formal ceremony, VUM graduated Class 2019 – the 21st class of graduates of Varna University of Management and 10th class of graduates with a second degree by Cardiff Metropolitan University. Among the 2019 class graduates there are citizens of Afghanistan, Bulgaria, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, Turkey, Ukraine, Zimbabwe.
The year was also marked by the outstanding achievements of the Chef Instructors and students of Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management. In a fierce competition with participants from Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Cyprus, Ukraine, Latvia, Mongolia and Taiwan, our culinary masters impressed the jury and the audience and grabbed medals in all three categories in which they participated at the 11th Culinary Competition of Southern Europe in Thessaloniki, Greece. Chef instructor Kaloyan Kolev took the gold and the title Chef of the Year 2019 while CAI students Kristina Dimitrova and Iv-Angelo Nikolov took silver medals in the Student Pastry Chef and Student Chef of the Year categories respectively.
CAI students grabbed first places at this year’s edition of the National Culinary Cup of Bulgaria. The gold in the “Beef” category for the “Rostar BG” Cup was definitely awarded to Nikolay Dimitrov and the indisputable triumph was again for Kristina Dimitrova, who conquered the jury, the participants and the audience and explicitly blew away her competitors winning the title “Pastry Chef of the year” for 2019. The talented young Chef has also set a new record in the history of the Bulgarian National Culinary Cup, winning two more awards in the categories “Best Chocolate Sculpture” and “Best Restaurant Dessert”.
Success after success were achieved on the culinary scene. But behind the curtains, there was also a lot of activity. This year, the Quality Enhancement Directorate of our strategic academic partner Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK validated the programme „Gastronomy and Culinary Arts“, thus allowing also our students within the 3-year culinary arts programme at VUM to graduate with two degrees upon successful completion of the studies – Bulgarian and British one.
We also concluded an important Agreement for cooperation in the field of culinary education with Mexico’s largest private university Universidad del Valle de México, which resulted in a delegation from a partner university visiting the Culinary Arts Institute.
So, day after day, step by step, victory after victory, 2019 has passed. The balance points to progress, commitment and a willingness to take on new horizons in the coming 2020.
As the Chinese philosopher and politician Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” We, the team of Varna University of Management, assure you that we will not stop developing, we will work even more actively and professionally to achieve more and more success together.
We wish you a warm and bright holiday and a successful New 2020 Year!