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What is Transnational Education (TNE) and how can benefit the HE sector in Bulgaria

What is Transnational Education (TNE) and how can benefit the HE sector in Bulgaria

Education abroad is becoming an increasingly attractive opportunity for many young students from Bulgaria and the region, which unofficially guarantees further professional development in a prosperous company, and hence higher incomes and a better living environment. However, this trend has largely underestimated higher education in Bulgaria, which has led to many talented and motivated young people flowing abroad. Another aspect is the inability of each student to cover the financial expression of education at a prestigious international university, which is associated not only with higher administrative fees, but also with much higher living costs.


Becoming part of the growing global integration, we not only experience, but also create more and more innovative models of international relations. Transnational education (TNE) is an example of such a partnership between educational institutions of different nationalities, countries and even continents. Thanks to TNO, students have the opportunity to complete their education with a diploma fully recognized by both institutions, which will serve as an established distinction for the quality of knowledge gained over the years.

The added value for the universities themselves is also considerable, and in the first place we can emphasize the opportunity for lecturers to get in touch with the experience, knowledge and teaching methods of other professors, thus deriving the best of two established in your sphere of institutions. TNO gives additional prestige and trust to educational organizations, thus Bulgarian universities would attract more and more Bulgarian and foreign students, guaranteeing them an even more recognized and practical international distinction. Of course, such partnerships are also associated with significant financial income to universities and especially to the institution, which has mainly taken over the transnational education of the student.


The United Kingdom, the United States and Australia are among the leading countries developing TNO partnerships. Oxford Brooks in England is one of the pioneers in TNO partnerships, issuing diplomas to more than half of TNO students in the first years after 2008, thanks to a single major, namely BSc in Applied Accounting. Since then, almost all prestigious British universities have established transnational partnerships with educational institutions around the world, allowing them to increase their attractiveness in the local educational market and improve their institutional capacity by transferring their knowledge, methodology and human resources.

An example of transnational education in the form of an external partnership is the Coventry University campus in Wroclaw, Poland. This opportunity allows local students to adopt the knowledge and traditions of one of the most renowned British universities, ranked 15th according to the Guardian University Guide for 2020.


Nowadays, transnational education is an opportunity to overcome the limitations of the Covid pandemic, as well as to build a bridge to Britain’s education system after Brexit. For the period 2008 – 2018, 27% of Bulgarian students went to the UK, thus Bulgaria was second in Europe after Romania in terms of students sent to the United Kingdom. The complex geopolitical situation has rearranged the established trend among students, making it difficult for them to access the most desired educational destination in the last decade, so now is the time for transnational education to enter Bulgaria.

The establishment of TNO partnerships between Bulgarian and British universities would not only create opportunities for Bulgarian students to experience British education, but would also lead to improvements in both the education system and the many subsequent economic and social benefits for Bulgaria. Partnerships in transnational education are an opportunity to improve the financial structure of educational institutions in our country, as well as to ensure the professional development of TNO graduates in their homeland. Here we are talking not only about the Bulgarian students who would prefer to stay in their homeland, but also about the many foreign students who would also benefit from the privileges of TNO partnerships, namely – to receive a double diploma, which is recognized not only in Bulgaria, but also all over the world.

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