The objective of higher education in Bulgaria is to train specialists of high qualifications above the secondary school level and to develop science and culture. Currently the tertiary education system includes 51 higher schools which under the Higher Education Act are state owned and private, including universities, specialized higher schools and self-contained colleges. There are 37 public (25 universities, 11 specialized higher schools and 1 self-contained college) and 14 private higher schools (5 universities, 2 specialized higher schools and 7 self-contained colleges). The academic year is divided into two semesters and typically includes 32 academic weeks. The exact date of the academic year beginning and end is set by the respective higher school.
The management of the system is implemented at state/public administration level and at institutional level. The state is responsible for elaboration and implementation of long-term national policy and establishment of an environment guaranteeing academic autonomy of the higher schools, quality of training, and scientific research. The higher schools management is implemented in accordance with their right of academic self-governance. The state assists to the process through resource allocation on a competitive basis.