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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Conditions of service for academic staff working in higher education


9.Teachers and Education Staff

9.5Conditions of service for academic staff working in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

The Higher Education Act, the Law on Academic Staff Development in the Republic of Bulgaria and the Science and Research Degrees and Ranks Law set the conditions and requirements for the academic staff as well as the decision making bodies at national, regional and local level, covering the various academic career stages: from entry to the profession to retirement, thus covering issues like recruitment, academic staff professional status, payment and enticement, working hours and obligations, mobility, retirement etc.

Planning Policy

The state exercises its higher education management functions through the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers.

The National Assembly approves Higher Education Development Strategy which sets national priorities and aims for higher education development as well as measures for their fulfillment; approves motions put by the Minister of Education, Youth and Science based on suggestions of state higher schools on the number of students and doctorates to enroll at them in accordance with the capacity of the respective higher school, the professional direction and the regulated profession specialties offered there.

Academic autonomy is manifested in higher schools’ independence in defining their academic staff as well as students’, doctorates’ and post-graduates’ enrollment conditions and forms of education.

Entry to profession

Academic positions are open at higher schools and science and research organizations under the conditions and procedures set by the Law and their respective Regulations. Higher schools’ and science and research organizations’ Regulations can set additional requirements for taking the academic positions of ‘Assistant Professor’ and ‘Professor’, reflecting the specific peculiarity of the different professional directions.

Academic positions are taken by signing a employment contract.

At arts and sports higher schools and faculties one can apply for an academic position by specific for the particular field creative or sports achievements.

Academic staff is subject to periodic testimonial at least once every 5 years.

Higher schools and science and research organizations employ people for the "Assistant" position by signing fixed-period employment contracts. The academic position of ‘Chief Assistant’ can only be taken by a holder of a ‘Doctor’ education and scientific degree in the respective scientific field.

The competition is organized by a five-member scientific/research jury. At least two of its members should not belong to the respective higher school or science and research organization.

Professional Status

Academic staff is appointed in compliance with the general Labour Code and its members do not have the status of state employees.


The average academic staff monthly salary amounts to about 1 750 levs, varying for the different higher schools and depending on the budget of the respective higher school and its Regulations.

Working Time and Holidays

Academic staff works full time, eight hours a day. Paid yearly leave is no less than 20 work days. On the basis of the Labour Code everyone can have paid, unpaid or business leave by agreement among the labour agreement parties. The Labour Code and the Higher Education Act provide every teacher with the right to have one academic year’s leave for their professional improvement every 7 years (sabbatical). During that year they have no teaching workload.

An academic year lasts about 30 academic weeks distributed in two semesters – winter and summer ones. In compliance with the Higher Education Act every higher school Rector sanctions the academic schedule.

Promotion, Advancement

In accordance with the Law on Academic Staff Development in the Republic of Bulgaria, dissertation and applications for the positions of "Chief Assistant", "Associate Professor" and "Professor" are evaluated by a scientific jury, consisting of experts in the field. In the cases of interdiscplinary dissertation, at least one of the members of the jury should be an expert in the field the topic concerns.

Retirement and Pensions

Academic staff retire in compliance with the Labour Code: women at the age of 63 and men - at the age of 65.