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National strategy for development envisions investments in science and technology by 2020 to reach 1, 5 per cent of GDP

The National Strategy for Development in the Field of Science and Technology adopted by the parliament foresees investments in these fields to reach 1, 5 per cent of the GDP. The strategy was introduced to the National Assembly by the Council of Ministers. The necessary funds will be provided by the state budget and will be laid down in the 3 years budget prognosis of the different administrators of the funds. The aim is to help Bulgarian science become an engine for economic development through innovations. In addition the strategy identifies the priority scientific fields for development as biotechnologies, energy, transport, information technologies, and cultural heritage. The document also elaborates on how to make the science field and carееr more attractive and how to make the connection between education, science and business sustainable and how to assess effectively scientific research. On the grounds of the strategy will be elaborated specific action plans and measures to attain its goals. The development of contemporary competitive research centers is one of the goals set by the strategy. The document also introduces some indicators for assessment of the scientific research results such as the amount of expenditures for scientific research as percentage of the GDP, the percentage of the structural funds used for scientific research and development, the percentage of public funds used in priority scientific fields. The minister of education Sergey Ignatov explained that the strategy was prepared following a macroeconomic and sector analysis and approval of the set priorities by the ministries of economy, education and finances.  


With amendments adopted on second reading to the Higher Education Act, the parliament further decided that future accreditation of institutions and programs will be held according to a ten score system starting from 0 to 10. The present evaluation is based on a four level scale: very good, good, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Deputies did not approve an accreditation of 9. 10 scores to be valid for 8 years as was proposed by the mover of the bill. They opted for the 6 year term proposed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Lutvi Mestan – the same term valid currently for accreditations “very good” and “good”. The scientific research activity evaluation will be the most important in the accreditation scoring. Deputies did not agree with the proposal that a member of the academic faculty could take part in the accreditation of only one school and left the current text, which allows participation in the accreditation of no more than two schools. The National Assembly decided as well that Bulgarian Higher Educational Institutions will be allowed to open subsidiaries abroad and removed the tuitions ceiling for graduate programs.

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