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Vocational Education and Training in Bulgaria

Governance and Funding

image of Vocational Education and Training in Bulgaria

Over recent years, Bulgaria has shown great willingness to reform its vocational education and training (VET). Significant challenges remain, however, relating notably to the system’s responsiveness to labour market needs and its capacity to ensure equitable outcomes for learners. This report is a focused review of two predefined issues, the governance and funding of VET. These are two fundamental elements within the delivery of skilled VET graduates. The report assesses the strengths of the Bulgarian VET system and the challenges it faces when it comes to governance and funding and suggests policy responses for how these challenges can be addressed. Four specific challenges are identified linked to the governance of the VET system: decision-making powers and capacity; the use of data and evidence to inform policy decisions; social partner engagement; and, oversight of adult VET learning provision. With regard to VET funding, both school level financial autonomy, and the capacity to act upon increased flexibilities, are currently modest. The report argues that potential exists to strengthen collaboration between schools and employers to achieve increased cost-sharing between government and private firms. Finally, more can be done to improve equity in VET delivery through Bulgaria’s funding formula.

English

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Executive summary

Over recent years, Bulgaria has shown great willingness to reform its vocational education and training (VET) system. Bulgaria now engages social partners in VET policy decision making at a national level, has increased emphasis on work-based learning within VET programmes, and is currently piloting apprenticeship programmes. Enrolment rates in upper secondary VET, compared to EU averages, are relatively high and VET provision is well articulated with the other parts of the education system. However, significant challenges remain relating notably to the system’s responsiveness to labour market needs and its capacity to better ensure equitable outcomes for all learners. This report is a focused review of two predefined issues, governance and funding of VET. These are two crucial elements essential to effective VET provision. The report assesses the strengths of the Bulgarian VET system and the challenges it faces when it comes to governance and funding and suggests policy responses for how these challenges can be addressed.

English

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