Science and Culture of Bulgaria

By | April 28, 2022

According to, the liberation from the Ottoman yoke opened up opportunities for the development of public education, science, and national culture. In the beginningof 20th century such centers of scientific research as the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAN, 1911) and Sofia University (1904) were formed. Large state libraries have been established in Sofia and Plovdiv. In 1961 the Academy of Agricultural Sciences was founded, later renamed the Agricultural Academy (ASA). The Medical Academy was established in 1972.

In con. 20th century 447 organizations were engaged in research activities in Bulgaria. About half of them (46.4%) are state-funded scientific units of the BAN, SSA and ministries. Their main activity is fundamental research. Universities and scientific units at higher education institutions are oriented towards scientific and applied developments, and branch institutes provide the predominant part of experimental developments. In the beginning. 2002 there were 22.3 thousand scientists in the country. The problems and difficulties of socio-economic development had a negative impact on the financial support of scientific research. If in 1989 2.4% of GDP was allocated for science (and each percentage was equal to 217.8 million dollars), then in 2000 0.52% of GDP was spent (the percentage is 126 million dollars). The average salary in science is lower than the national average.

In recent years, the importance of external funding through participation in international scientific programs has increased. In 2000, this provided 5.3% of the total funds for science (in 1996 – 0.25%). In the 20th century the level of education of the population was continuously raised. Since 1966, compulsory basic (8 years) education has been introduced for children between the ages of 7 and 16. Secondary education provides instruction in general education schools or in vocational schools, technical schools, and vocational gymnasiums. Specialists with higher education are trained in colleges, universities and specialized institutes. There is a process of harmonization of the regulatory framework for education and science with the current one in the EU.

In 2000, in total, St. 3.5 thousand educational institutions and studied approx. 1.3 million students. Specialists with higher education were trained by 48 colleges and 42 universities and specialized institutes. Since 1992, private educational institutions have appeared. More than 1/10 of all students are currently studying in private universities. In Bulgaria, the level of education of the population is relatively high. Among persons over 15 years of age, the following had higher education: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree — 9.8%; specialist — 2.3%; secondary vocational – 18%, secondary general – 26.6%, basic and lower – 43.3% (1998).

Despite the centuries-old foreign yoke, the Bulgarian people have retained their identity and culture. In con. 19 – beg. 20th century cultural centers such as the National Library, the Ivan Vazov People’s Theater, and the Bulgarian Opera House arose. Folk clubs-reading rooms (chitalishta), which arose during the Ottoman rule, became original centers of culture.

There are currently 80 theaters in Bulgaria, approx. 200 cinemas, St. 7 thousand libraries, approx. 3 thousand reading places. Quite dynamically, although with differences, publishing activity is developing. In 2000, more books and newspapers (by titles) were published than in 1989, but in a smaller circulation.

Bulgaria has contributed to the treasury of world culture, literature and art. The works and skill of many Bulgarian writers and poets (A. Konstantinov, E. Pelin, H. Smirnensky, El. Bagryana), artists (An. Mitov, Iv. Myrkvichka, V. Dimitrov-Maistor, D. Uzunov), composers (Iem Manolova, P. Vladigerova and others) have gained worldwide fame and recognition.

Education of Bulgaria