National Educational System

In Bulgaria, everyone has the right to education with primary and secondary public schools being free of charge. Education is mandatory from 5 to 16 years of age. Access to the education system for minors and juveniles seeking or having received international protection cannot be postponed by more than three months from the date of filing an application for international protection.

For help with enrolment in a school or kindergarten, you can contact the social workers and employees of the State Agency for Refugees if you are accommodated in a refugee reception centre. Alternatively, if you live on an outside address, you can seek assistance from Caritas Sofia or Bulgarian Red Cross.


-    Over 19 years of age – Higher Education (University or college)
-    15-18 years of age – Secondary School
-    7-14 years of age – Primary School

Nurseries and kindergartens 

Children can attend a nursery (ясла) from 10 months onwards. Once the child reaches 3 years, they can be enrolled into a kindergarten until they start school. Up to 5 years of age, the presence of children may be interrupted and renewed at any time and the kindergarten must be notified thereof. From the age of 5 to 7, the child is already in the statutory “preparatory groups” and can only be absent for good reasons. These preparatory groups may sometimes take place in schools.

Primary education 

Primary education is divided into initial stage (from 1st to 4th grade) and lower secondary stage (from 5th to 7th grade). After each stage, pupils must sit exams.  During the initial stage, pupils have the right to move to another school, which is done by taking the relevant official notes from the directors of the previous and the new school. 

In primary grades 1 through 4, children seeking or receiving international protection are enrolled by age. In the classes of lower or upper secondary level, it is necessary to certify the acquired competences (knowledge of all subjects) for the completed previous class by the end of the school year. If a pupil seeking or having received international protection cannot certify competence in all subjects for the previous class to the end of the school year, he/she is entitled to be recorded in the next class, upon successful completion of training than the previous class, and to transfer for certification up to 3 subjects.

Secondary education

Secondary education is divided into lower secondary (8th to 10th grade) and upper secondary (11th and 12th grade). It can be general or specialized (professional or profiled). The selection of a particular high school is made by the family, depends on the pupil’s interests and abilities and requires admission in the respective school.

For some professions or profiles, apart from the entrance exams (matriculation exams) in Bulgarian language and literature and in mathematics, an aptitude test is also required. Completion of the training in all high schools allows admission to a higher education institution (university) or a college.

After the 12th grade, pupils have 2 compulsory matriculation exams: Bulgarian language and literature and mathematics, optionally choosing a third one. The results of these exams are important for admission to a university.

Higher education

Higher education is divided into several distinct stages: Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral studies. They vary in duration and admission requirements, however most are subject to stage examinations (държавни изпити) or diploma work (дипломна работа).

Admission to a higher education institution after graduation at a high school in Bulgaria is based on established matriculation exams (матури) and certain entrance exams for the respective specialties. 

Important! Grades already awarded on such subjects or passed exam (similar to math) in these disciplines cannot be proven by people who have graduated from outside Bulgaria. This also requires the need for an alternative procedure that is present in some universities and applies to international pupils as well.

The criteria for admission depend on the respective higher education institution. Admission is also possible on the basis of attached application documents, without entrance exams. Among the common requirements for such admission for a Bachelor’s degree are: completed secondary education with admission to higher education in the country where the diploma was awarded; the diploma of secondary education is not less than 62% of the maximum possible grade in the country where the diploma was awarded.

A Bachelor’s degree is often required for a Master’s degree; the average grade of the bachelor’s degree is not lower than “good 4” under the Bulgarian system or 72% of the maximum possible assessment in the country.

For doctoral studies, a Master’s degree is often required with an average grade of no less than “good 4” in the Bulgarian system. If the applicant wishes to study in Bulgarian, there may be additional requirements for enrolling in a language course.

Evening schools

Another type of schools, according to the Pre-school and School Education Act, are so-called evening schools. They provide training for primary and secondary education and/or vocational training for those aged 16 and over. In rare cases, and for those aged 14 who, for family or social reasons, cannot be trained in a daily school.

The form of education can be individual, individual or combined. For pupils with special educational needs, it is possible to draft an individual curriculum.

Source: Caritas  Bulgaria


- To attend classes regularly
- To carry their mark notebooks (бележник)
- To not use violence 
- To wear decent clothing and be in good appearance 
- To not carry weapons or other dangerous objects
- To not smoke, use other drugs or drink alcohol 
- To comply with other rules explicitly described in the Regulations


Depending on the severity and systemic nature of the offense, the teacher or the director may impose one of the following penalties:
-  a formal remark;
-  the student could be moved to another class within the same school;
-  a warning that the student could be moved to another school;
-  moving the student to another school;
-  moving the student to an independent form of study.

If the student interferes with the teacher and/or classmates during the class, the teacher has right to remove them from the classroom for the remaining of the class. Moving the student to another school can only be done by the headmaster with a special order.  

last modified: Mon, 10/15/2018 - 22:24