The education system in Bulgaria remains predominantly publicly funded. Nearly 87% of the funding is ensured by the state budget.
The allocated sources for education in 2010 and 2011 vary between 4.20 and 3.30 percents of the GDP, respectively. In 2012 3.4 percent of the GDP was spent on education. The number grew to 3.6 percent in 2017. The largest share of private spending is concentrated at the higher education level.
European funds assert their important role in the financing of education in Bulgaria. Educational institutions take advantage of the funding schemes offered by European educational programmes such as the Lifelong Learning Programme and the National EU-funded Operative programmes such as the Human Resources Development Operative Programme.
Main policy goals of public funding (School education)
The main aim of the policy is a financial system that encourages and stimulates development. The execution of the financial policy unites two major approaches in financing.
On one hand, the State continues to guarantee the citizens their right to education - meaning that the State provides all educational institutions with the minimum finances for the covering of their expenses.
On the other hand, the principle about economic efficiency is applied. In other words, more resources are invested where there is an already optimized network with all the necessary material, organizational and methodological conditions for a quality educational process.
This financing model aims to aid equal access and quality of education. The financial model observes and meets the following principles and requirements:
- Horizontal equality in terms of financing education, as a projection of the equal access to education. “Horizontal equality” does not mean equal (identical) financing for everybody, but is about reporting and compensating the naturally occurring inequality in access;
- Explicitness and simplicity of the financial model;
- Compliance with the aims of the educational policies;
- Priority to all internal stimuli for the efficiency of the administrative approach;
- Competition between system units;
- Stability of the model itself and the financial rules;
- Subsidization of all financial decisions.