Illegitimate Branches of Foreign Universities Collect Fake Fees

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In the midst of university admission campaign, the higher educational institutions lead a fierce battle for every young man and woman. The reasons are many and complex. Firstly, the 70-thousand seats for freshmen during the school year 2012/2013 exactly match the number of graduates who have completed secondary school. And the majority of them go to study in foreign universities and colleges so the Bulgarian once face a real risk to remain half-empty and have their government subsidies sliced. Therefore, local higher schools drastically reduce their criteria for admission. Most of them just do not dare to raise their fees, but now accept candidates with only their high school diploma and grades from their A-levels. A total of 51 accredited universities apply a variety of strategies to attract more students, but generally operate by the national rules. Unlike dozens of subsidiaries of foreign institutions that get by on the borderline of the law.

Recently it became clear that the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office opened 23 cases against legal persons registered under the Trade Act, which improperly trained students. Orders for cessation of these university activities have already been filed because they are not universities opened by a decision of the National Assembly, and may not conclude agreements with foreign distance learning institutes. Structures such as the Balkan Centre, teaching students of the Moscow State University of Economies, Statistics and Information Technologies, the Kiev Slavic University, the Moscow Slavic Institute, London College and many others do exactly this, however, thereby violating the Law on Higher Education. The legal texts say that in Bulgaria a high school is opened by a decision of Parliament on a proposal by the Cabinet and in particular the Minister of Education. However, before that they must have the positive assessment for their curricula of the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation.

Although the courts periodically issue a decision stating that the branches are illegitimate and should be closed, they continue to entice students and

to inflict damage to the state and their students coming to millions of dollars. As a rule, almost all ghost colleges and universities come from Russia, Ukraine and UK. Some of them argue that even if they don’t have the Bulgarian accfreditationm, they still have the respective national accreditation and offer diplomas valid in Europe. Others save their status quo by naming themselves colleges issuing certificates for professional training and not awarding Bachelor and Master titles.

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