Government Proposes to Waive Tuition Fees for Undergraduate, PhD Students
Jerusalem, 29 January, 2024 (TPS) -- SOFIA (BTA)
The Government proposed to waive tuition fees for undergraduate and PhD students in state universities enrolled in state-subsidized places. For this purpose, amendments to the Higher Education Act will be initiated and uploaded for public discussion on strategy.bg later in the day, the Government press office said on Monday.
The abolition of fees will facilitate access to higher education for all Bulgarian citizens, regardless of their social status and financial means.
The tuition costs will be provided by the state, explained Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov later in the day. Such changes have been in the works for several years, he added.
Education has always been a national priority and with the latest constitutional amendments it has been declared a national value, the press release notes. The measure is a continuation of the Government’s targeted policy to ensure accessible, comprehensive and quality education.
The measure also supports the Government’s fight against the demographic crisis.
Abolishing tuition fees at state universities would make them more attractive to students who are hesitant whether they should continue their education and life path abroad or in Bulgaria.
By abolishing PhD fees altogether, more young people would choose to pursue a career in science and build an academic career.
The measure will come into force this academic year.
The proposed changes also foresee that the Academic Councils of state universities will continue to set the application fees, but they will no longer have to be adopted by a decision of the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Rectors of Higher Education Institutions in Bulgaria supports free higher education for students, said its chair Lachezar Traykov at a briefing at the Council of Ministers. “On Wednesday we have scheduled a Governing Council, at which we will discuss in detail the proposed changes,” he added. “We take this announcement as an invitation for a conversation that we have been initiating for a long time and we are glad that we are knocking on an open door with regard to the Prime Minister and the Government,” Traykov noted.
National Representation of Student Councils President Daniel Parushev expressed support for this policy because it is important for every Bulgarian student and it will give many young people access to education despite the difficulties and inflation.
GERB MP Temenuzhka Petkova stressed that one of the most important priorities of the ruling majority is education. “We realize how important this topic is, so this proposal was discussed within the governing majority,” she said.