On November 30, the first of the planned series of meetings will be held 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 will be held as a hybrid webinar with the participation of Bulgarian and British institutions and universities.
The webinar will be opened and hosted by H.E. Rob Dixon, British Ambassador in Sofia. Participating with opening реmarks are Albena Chavdarova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Jamie Arrowsmith, Director Universities UK (UUK) and Lyubov Kostova - Director of the British Council in Bulgaria. Acad. Prof. Dr. Lachezar Traikov, Chair of the Council of Rectors and Rector of Medical University of Sofia is also expected to join within the official opening.
The programme of the forum gets 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 will get 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`ll be also discussing 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 will discuss 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) will set the context regarding policy and legal framework facilitating TNE partnerships in Bulgaria, as well as specifics regarding academic recognition.
Further, data from three studies on the interest in TNE collaborations in both countries will be presented, including analysis from a national study on the attitudes of Bulgarian youth towards obtaining higher education in UK-Bulgarian TNE programs. Case-studies of existing TNE partnerships between Bulgaria and the UK will also be presented – collaborations between Varna University of Management (VUM) and Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) and New Bulgarian University in partnership with City College, University of York.
The event brings together academia, university representatives from UK and Bulgaria`s higher education institutions with interest in TNE partnership collaborations, representatives of Universities UK - collective voice of 140 universities across the UK, Council of rectors of higher education institutions in Bulgaria, representatives of state institutions, including Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Employment Agency, business and NGOs with expertise and interest in the field of higher education and the labour market, experts and researchers in the field of higher and transnational education from both countries. Leading partners of the programme are British Council and British Embassy in Bulgaria.
The main aim of the project of which the opening webinar is part - Strategic partnership programme for UK & BG - transnational education (TNE) engagement, 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.