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American University in Bulgaria

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American University in Bulgaria

American University in Bulgaria
Американски университет в България
Established 1991
Type Private
Endowment $17.4 million[1]
President Kevin Aspegren
Provost Steven Sullivan
Dean Lucia Miree
Academic staff 78[2]
Students 1,044[3]
Undergraduates 1,022
Postgraduates 22
Location Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Campus Urban
Colors White and Blue         
Affiliations NEASC

American University in Bulgaria (commonly referred to as AUBG) is a private, selective, residential liberal arts university located in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Courses are taught in English by an international faculty. Established in 1991, AUBG enrolls 1,100 students from 40 countries.


AUBG was founded in 1991 as a joint endeavor between the U.S. government and the government of the Republic of Bulgaria to "create an institution which educates citizens capable of responding to the challenges of transition in Southeastern Europe, building societies based on democracy, free enterprise, civic responsibility, and a deep understanding of cultural diversity".[4]

As of the end of 2012, Two-thirds of AUBG students come from countries other than Bulgaria.[5]

By May 2012, eighteen classes of around 3,400 students had graduated from AUBG.[6]


The mission of the university is “to educate students of outstanding potential in a community of academic excellence, diversity, and respect and to prepare them for democratic and ethical leadership in serving the needs of the region and the world.” [7] AUBG fulfills its mission by providing over $5 million in scholarships and financial aid to deserving students from the region and beyond (as of Autumn 2012).

The university has three sources of funding: its endowment (which came largely from gifts from the United States Agency for International Development and the Soros Foundation), gifts, and tuition. Friends and supporters from all over the world, among them, John Dimitry Panitza, Anna Tchaprachikoff, Minko Balkanski, Atanas Zamphiroff, the America for Bulgaria Foundation.


Baccalaureate degrees conferred by AUBG are accredited in both Bulgaria[8] and the United States.[9][10][11] AUBG has its school accreditation in the United States from New England Association of Schools and Colleges.[9][10][11] The University also issues a European Diploma Supplement (part of Europass), which confers automatic recognition of the AUBG degree throughout Europe.[12]


The American University in Bulgaria leads all Bulgarian universities in terms of the employment prospects of its graduates and their incomes, according to a national ranking system launched by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education in November 2010.[13]

All five of the academic programs at AUBG that were listed in the 2010 survey – Economics, Computer Science, Business Administration, Political Science, and Journalism and Mass Communication – were ranked among the top in the country, with Economics rated as Bulgaria’s best.

The Bulgarian University Ranking System, maintained by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, compares academic programs in accredited domestic higher education institutions. The system ranks programs based on more than 50 indicators, such as teaching and learning conditions, scientific research, career development opportunities, prestige, and material resources.[14]


The university follows the classical liberal arts model of education. AUBG students receive individual attention in small classes (23 students per class on average), and they have many opportunities to interact one-on-one with faculty, both during open office hours and in informal settings. Around half of graduating seniors complete double majors, while many undergraduates supplement their main field of study with a minor in one of 13 disciplines offered at AUBG.

The university employs 79 faculty members, who come from 15 different countries.

AUBG maintains close relationships with universities both in Bulgaria and abroad. In the United States, AUBG students can choose to spend a year or a semester at one of several hundred universities through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). In Europe, AUBG is the holder of a standard Erasmus Charter and has bilateral Erasmus Programme agreements with over 50 institutions. {how many exactly?}

Undergraduate programs

The university offers American-style {This is ill-defined} Bachelor of Arts degrees in 10 major programs:[15]

Graduate programs

In addition to its undergraduate program, the university has started an Executive MBA program in 2003. EMBA classes currently take place in Elieff Center[16] in Sofia. In January 2012, the university announced plans to launch a new Master of Science in Software Engineering program, based in Sofia.

Non-degree programs

The university has developed a growing portfolio of educational non-degree-granting programs that now includes technical training at the government level for participation in EU programs and English language, business, entrepreneurship and computer skills courses. Most of these are offered at the Elieff Center for Education and Culture, which is the University’s off-campus facility in Sofia.[17] The Blagoevgrad-based English Language Institute offers English-language instruction at all levels and for all ages year-round. It is also a certified Internet-based TOEFL testing center.[18]

Tuition and scholarships

AUBG enrolls students of strong potential and diverse talents who are at the top of their high school graduating class, among them national mathematics competition champions, language contest winners, sports talents, high school gold medalists, and students who have distinguished themselves at community service projects.[19] The average SAT score of the entering class in spring 2012 is 1173 (on Critical Reading and Math), which makes AUBG one of the most selective universities worldwide.[20]

AUBG offers Spring and Autumn Semester admission on a rolling basis.

The university offers both need- and merit-based aid. In 2012-13, AUBG awarded $5 million in scholarships and financial aid to deserving students. {reference for this claim?} AUBG is one of few universities who award scholarships for further study to their graduates: the Tchaprachikoff scholarship provides funding for study at 20 U.S. universities. {reference?}

University campus

The Skaptopara campus in Blagoevgrad is home to the university’s undergraduate programs. It includes three brand-new residence halls (the latest one – Skaptopara III – was completed in January 2010), Balkanski Academic Center, which houses classrooms, computer labs, and offices, and Panitza Library, the largest English-language library in Southeast Europe.[21] According to results from Bulgaria’s official University Ranking system, AUBG has the best residential facilities in the country.[22]

AUBG is the first institution in Bulgaria with an American style housing system. Each of the three residence halls has its own community feeling and has been adapted to create a living/learning experience. All undergraduate students are required to live on campus as part of the university mission. The residence halls include a smoke-free environment, are disability accessible, and were built with funding from USAID/ASHA. Activity areas include aerobic rooms, gyms, music practice rooms, multipurpose rooms, billiard and ping pong areas, several television lounges, outside decks, kitchens, and cafes.[23]

John Dimitry Panitza,[24] a renowned Bulgarian philanthropist and AUBG founder, is the patron of Panitza Library. Through Panitza’s efforts, the library developed into a modern center of learning and the largest English-language library in the region.[25]

Panitza Library’s[26] modern facilities are equipped with computers, Internet, audio-visual center, and supporting copying services. Access to electronic resources is organized through the library web portal.

The Balkanski Academic Center bears the name of renowned physicist Minko Balkanski[27] The eponymous Center was dedicated to Professor Balkanski and his family in 2010.[28]

Construction for the America for Bulgaria Student Center began in summer 2011 and is partially funded by a grant by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.[29] The Student Center is set to open in spring 2013. The 10,000 square meter Student Center will also offer the full array of student services found at top U.S. institutions, such as a career center, an advising and counseling center, and medical services. The Center will also feature a performing arts center, a professional gymnasium and fitness center, and dining facilities and cafes.[30]

Student life

AUBG students take advantage of the numerous extracurricular opportunities at AUBG by joining a club, a student publication, a sports team, or an activity such as theater, AUBG Choir, debating, Model United Nations simulations, and public service.[31]

Student government

Established in 1991, the AUBG Student Government[32] provides a venue for students to practice the tenets of democracy and make a difference in campus decisions. It is a directly elected representative body of the students at AUBG. The Student Government holds its sessions weekly. It has a yearly budget, which is allocated among the various student clubs and organizations. {how much? give funding and expenditure figures or omit section}


AUBG hosts chapters of international organizations, such as People to People International, [33]

The Computer Science Student Union[34] organizes practical workshops and invites prominent guest speakers on campus year-round. The Union was awarded chapter status with the Association for Computing Machinery in 2008 and has won several chapter excellence awards.[35]

Better Community Club members work on local community projects. Their activities include a multi-year educational project at Blagoevgrad’s “St. Nikolay Mirlikliyski” orphanage; fundraising campaigns for local centers for people with disabilities and a local family afflicted with serious health problems; and others.[36]

Students from the Business Club invite leading business figures, politicians, and economists, to talk to students on business-related topics. In 2010 alone, BC members brought two acting Bulgarian government ministers on campus.[37]

Assets Trading & Management (AT&M) is a student organization founded by Spartak Grigoryev, the project coordinator of InMarq. It operates as a hedge fund (virtual) and students learn analytical methods about financial markets. Fundamental analysis, technical rules and general knowledge of the financial investments are practiced at AT&M Students apply their theoretical knowledge into practice by creating investment strategies or conducting an extensive market research. In 2014 Mr Bylgarski, Chairman of Bulgarian Stock Exchange gave lectures at the Assets Trading & Management club at AUBG [38]

AUBG Choir brings the music talents of AUBG and the local community together. It was created in 1993 by its director – Associate Professor of Music Dr. Hristo Krotev. Over the years, the AUBG Choir has received numerous national and international awards.[39]

The Broadway Performance Club stages world famous musicals for the students and faculty of AUBG every year. The AUBG community has already seen Chicago, West Side Story, Hairspray, Moulin Rouge, Grease, Memphis, and All Shook Up. After its performances in Blagoevgrad, the musical goes on a tour around the country. [40]

Research and Innovation

AUBG students participate in conferences and competitions worldwide, such as the prestigious Carroll Round International Student Research conference at Georgetown University, USA and the annual Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition.[41][42] The Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program has repeatedly recognized AUBG students’ potential.[43] Furthermore, AUBG hosts its own research conference every year, where students and faculty present research projects.[44] Although, AUBG is a liberal arts institution it makes a heavy emphasis on the engineering and high-tech development. Founder of InMarq initiated Engineering Club at AUBG.[45] In recent years, AUBG students engage in robotics and computer science development at The CSSU.

Student media

There are several active student media on campus – broadcast, print, and electronic – which chronicle University events and town life: AUBG Daily,[46] FlashNews[47] weekly, Radio AURA,[48] Defacto ,[49] and Verve magazine.[50]


Every year AUBG holds its own Olympic games. In the AUBG Olympics,[51] students compete in more than 10 sports disciplines, such as long jump, soccer, basketball, volleyball, arm wrestling, tug-of-war, horseshoe throwing, and boxing. The university also has its own American football team, the AUBG Griffins.[52] Residence halls host table tennis, billiards, aerobic fitness rooms, and gym facilities. Those interested in skiing, hiking, horseback riding, boxing, kickboxing, aerobics, volleyball, baseball, yoga, tae kwon do, softball, and karate have formed student clubs and intramural teams. Every semester the soccer and basketball intramural competitions and the Bulgarians vs. Internationals tournaments stir the emotions of players and fans alike.

Lecture series

The university hosts many prominent business practitioners and public figures year-round. [54]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 21. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ "AUBG Faculty". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  3. ^ "AUBG Students". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  4. ^ "AUBG History". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  5. ^ "AUBG Student Profile". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  6. ^ "AUBG Alumni". Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  7. ^ "AUBG Mission". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  8. ^ "Republic Of Bulgaria - Council Of Ministers National Evaluation And Accreditation Agency". Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  9. ^ a b "NEASC: Roster of Institutions". Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  10. ^ a b "Database of Institutions Accredited By Recognized U.S. Accrediting Organizations". 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  11. ^ a b "Database of Institutions Accredited By Recognized U.S. Accrediting Organizations". 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  12. ^ "European Diploma Supplement". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  13. ^ "IHT AUBG Ranking". The New York Times. 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  14. ^  
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "About Aubg". Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  17. ^ "Center for European Programmes". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  18. ^ "English Language Institute". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  19. ^ "AUBG Students Darik News". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  20. ^ "Average SAT". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  21. ^ Smale, Alison (2009-05-29). "AUBG article New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  22. ^ "Bulgarian University Ranking system". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  23. ^ "Skaptopara Residence Halls". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  24. ^ "John Dimitry Panitza WorldHeritage entry in Bulgarian". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  25. ^ Smale, Alison (2009-05-29). "Panitza Library New York Times article". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  26. ^ "Panitza Library". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  27. ^ "Minko Balkanski WorldHeritage entry in Bulgarian". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  28. ^ "Balkanski Academic Center dedication". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  29. ^ "America for Bulgaria Student Center". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  30. ^ "AUBG Breaks Ground on America for Bulgaria Student Center". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  31. ^ "Student Life at AUBG". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  32. ^ "AUBG Student Government". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  33. ^ "Student Organizations & Clubs". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  34. ^ "Computer Science Student Union at AUBG". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  35. ^ "ACM 2009-2010 Chapter Excellence Award". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  36. ^ "BCC Help Local Family Darik News (in Bulgaria)". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  37. ^ "Minister Simeon Djankov at AUBG, Study Abroad magazine". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  38. ^ "Assets Trading & ManagementSimeon". 
  39. ^ "AUBG Choir". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Carroll Round". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  42. ^ "AUBG Student Microsoft Imagine Cup". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  43. ^ "Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  44. ^ "Student Faculty Research Conference". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  45. ^ "'AUBG Robotics'". . 
  46. ^ "AUBG Daily". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  47. ^ "FlashNews". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  48. ^ "Radio AURA". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  49. ^ "Defacto". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  50. ^ "Verve magazine". Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  51. ^ "AUBG Olympics". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  52. ^ "AUBG Griffins". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  53. ^ "Zhelyu Zhelev at AUBG". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  54. ^ "Bulgaria’s EU Commissioner Talks Crisis Management at AUBG". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  55. ^Георги__Илиев
  56. ^ "Stefan Ivanov". Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  57. ^ "Claude Jansen". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  58. ^ "John Dimitry Panitza, Vagabond article". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  59. ^ "Vicky Politova". Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  60. ^ Retrieved 2011-04-04. 

External links

  • Official website
  • AUBG Alumni Association
  • Independent AUBG Student Forum
  • AURA - student-run broadcasting radio station
  • DeFacto - student-run newspaper and online publication
  • FlashNews - student-run online publication
  • "The More-Honors" - annual original show created by AUBG students
  • AUBG Debating Society - a student club for competitive debating
  • The Computer Science Student Union / AUBG ACM Student Chapter - student-run organization of the CS department
  • AUBG Musicals official website
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