Prospective Students at the UNWE - Two and a Half Times More Than the State Admission Plan
The Rector Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov reports a successful prospective students campaign with a strong focus on the online applications and online enrolment.
Prof. Dimitrov, life in the last half a year was marked by crises - war, pandemic, food crisis... Did this affect the admission at the UNWE?
It certainly affects people. I would like to believe that it has led them to invest their time and resources in education. We, at the University of National and World Economy can be proud of a successful prospective students campaign this year.
All the places in the state admission plan for Bachelor`s degree in 42 specialities and speciality Law for Educational Qualification Degree /EQD/ of Master have been occupied. The number of prospective studnets was about two and a half times higher than the state admission plan. The admissions in the paid form of education continue in the coming months. The process is very dynamic. The diplomas of school graduates were delayed this year and we had to accept documents again in a shortened timeframe.
We have improved the communication and feedback with the potential prospective students. I would like to greet our employees from the Academic Activity Directorate, from the Information Technology Directorate and the Centre for Documents Reception for their good communication with each other on various cases that have arisen both technical and substantial. The colleagues have worked hard to resolve them quickly. We tried to shorten the waiting time, we created convenient corners for filling in documents on campus. The Student Council mobilized volunteers to help with filling in the forms in case of difficulties. On hot days, as it was last year, we distributed mineral water to those who were waiting.
What is the application trend - online or offline?
We have incorporated a number of innovations in the way of application. We have put a much stronger emphasis on the online application and online enrolment. Nearly 60% of prospective and newly admitted students apply and enroll online. We're moving towards eliminating the so-called envelope application.
We have also incorporated a completely new electronic system for application and enrolment which has been in operation since the beginning of the prospective students campaign - a unified system for Bachelors and Masters developed by experts from the UNWE and to our joy and contentment it works successfully without any troubles.
I would also like to point out that the focus shifts on the application with state matriculation examinations at the expense of the preliminary examinations, but nevertheless, we keep all options open.
For a second consecutive year the system for admission by specialities is also in operation which gives a new look to the application process. The advantage is that from the first year the Departments that run specialities can make contact with students and support them in their studies. They also ensure the focus of training on the specialty by involving them in joint initiatives with the business. Almost all Departments already make contact with practice through research projects, internships and support for student entrepreneurship.
This year the application for the Master's degree programmes started on 6 July - it is also news for us. We have again given opportunities to apply online and on campus. Colleagues will be working all summer to accept applications, there is also the option of paid admission and we hope that we will at least achieve last year's results.
Do you have any new specialties?
In order to meet the challenges of the times, we continuously upgrade our curricula and open modern, innovative specialities in compliance with the changing business environment. As a result of our partnership with the D. A. Tsenov Academy of Economics - Svishtov, Vasil Levsky National Sports Academy /NSA/ and Burgas Free University under the project Economic Education in Bulgaria 2030, we signed agreements for the opening of 14 joint Bachelor`s and Master`s degree programs, which will be announced a little later, because we wait for permission from the National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation.
Due to this cooperation the students will be taught according to up-to-date curricula based on digitalization. In the frameworks of the project six digital classrooms and two digital laboratories have been built at the UNWE and they will be operational in the new academic year. This will enable to be maximized the sharing of resources, including know-how, between partner universities and/or between students and their university lecturers and mentors.
Opening of a digital classroom equipped by A1
What are the most preferred specialities?
Traditionally, there is not much change in preferences, some specialities have 6 to 8 times more applicants as first desire but still the leading specialities are Law, Marketing, Finance and Accounting. There are others that are less preferred but the UNWE offers a large portfolio and it is normal. We will make our conclusions and analysis of what changes can be made in the way of presentation of the specialties to which the interest is weaker at the moment because we are convinced that all our specialties are in demand by the business and give good realization to the students.
We are going to further optimize the admission rules for prospective students because sometimes the algorithm just doesn't give a good ranking mainly where there is a foreign language application.
We will extend the additional admission probably until the end of September. At the end of August and the beginning of September there will be new state matriculation exams so high school pupils will have the opportunity to improve their success and apply again.
How does the business university prepare young people for the business?
In order to prepare successful and competitive young people the business and education must go hand in hand. Along with the stable theoretical training, the practical training takes a leading place in our programmes. The University develops long-term partnerships with leading companies and banks and negotiates prestigious internship programmes. In order to better connect the learning process with the practice, we attract the most prominent specialists on key positions in business and government as lecturers. In our lecturer team there are also not a few former ministers.
In order to develop the entrepreneurial and innovation skills of our students and to help them start a business we opened at the UNWE a university Startup Hub. In it the young people will be able to learn about funding opportunities for startups, get training on how to prepare business plans and how to present their ideas to investors and receive legal information.
We have a Careers Center famous as the best in the country and it helps over 5 000 students a year to find internships or jobs.
What would you say to the young people who are about to enter your university?
I will tell them to believe in themselves, to study and work for their personal and professional improvement. Let them remember that higher education is not a certain amount of knowledge, it is a way of thinking, a worldview.
Our mission is: by crossing the threshold of the UNWE to make our students become better, more knowledgeable and capable with each passing year. We are ready to guide them through the most difficult paths of knowledge, because only the smart and brave people can look the challenges in the eye and find the right solutions.