Recognition of foreign higher education in Bulgaria
The purpose of the recognition of the degree from a foreign university is to facilitate the access to further higher education, requalification, obtaining a degree, better job prospects, and other purposes when the applicant is interested and concerned. Every member state has the right to determine a national procedure of accreditation of foreign educational diplomas and transcripts. However the member states are required to follow the basic guidelines and policies of the Union.
In Bulgaria, when the recognition is with the purpose of further higher education the recognition body is the university, which the subject intends to attend. In this case one must contact the higher education institution for further information regarding the procedures for recognition.
When the purpose of accreditation is different than further higher education in the local country, one must follow the guidelines of the National Centre for Information and Documentation (NCID).
The ENIC – NARIC (European Network of National Information Centres on academic recognition and mobility) is created with the purpose to establish cooperation in the sphere of recognition of diplomas and periods of education in the European Economical Area (EEA), and the states that have ratified the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (legally ratified SJ vol. 25/ 28.03.2000) also referred to as the Lisbon convention.
NCID serves as a national informational centre for academic recognition and mobility based on art.IX.2 of the Lisbon Convention.
All Bulgarian citizens with foreign diplomas, foreigners and subjects with a refugee status, who have attended universities, founded and functioning according to the legal framework of the host country have the right of recognition.
A higher education degree attained in a foreign university is certified with a diploma or a similar document, issued from the educational institution, recognized by the certifying government body as a member of the higher education institutions in the according country. Individuals requiring recognition of higher education, attained in foreign institution, have submit to NCID’s front office the following documents:
- Application form approved by the executive director of NCID
- A copy and the original transcript of the diploma for higher education, issued by an educational institution, certified by the host countries government bodies as a member of higher education institutions.
- A copy and original transcript of the diploma attachments alongside with the European Diploma Supplement if one is applicable.
- A copy and the original of the applicants identity documents, certifying a change in names if such is applicable.
The documents referred to in point 2. and 3. Excluding the European Diploma Supplement, have to be translated, legalized and authenticated in accordance to the international treaties of the Republic of Bulgaria with the country of origin. If there are no such treaties, the procedure occurs according to the common practices for legalization, translation and authentication of diplomas and other papers.
The translations of the legalized and authenticated documents referred to in point 2. and 3. need to have a consular authentication from Ministry of foreign affairs of the republic of Bulgaria.
For the documents, issued abroad, to be forwarded to the Ministry they need to be authenticated through the so called apostille issued in the host country. If the host country is not a part of the Hague Convention, which regulates and has the apostille inscribed, than the common practices for authentication must be applied for the document to posses the legal entity, through the foreign affairs ministry of the issuing country. Furthermore they have to be authenticated and legalized by the Bulgarian diplomatic representative or accredited accordingly. The Bulgarian Ministry of foreign affairs may refuse to legalize a document if the apostille is not made on the original diploma.