American University in Bulgaria

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Coordinates: 42°1′17″N 23°5′42″E / 42.02139°N 23.09500°E / 42.02139; 23.09500

American University in Bulgaria
Американски университет в България
AUBG logo.png
Established 1991
Type Private
Endowment $17.4 million[1]
President Kevin Aspegren
Provost Steven Sullivan
Dean Lucia Miree
Academic staff
78[2]
Students 998[3]
Undergraduates 1020
Postgraduates 22
Location Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Campus Urban
Colors White and Blue         
Affiliations NEASC
Website www.aubg.edu

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 1,000 students from 40 countries.

History[edit]

AUBG was founded in 1991 as a joint endeavor between the U.S. government and the government of the Republic of Bulgaria "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. ".[4]

As of 2015, 55% of AUBG students come from countries other than Bulgaria.[5]

By May 2015, twenty one classes of around 4,000 students had graduated from AUBG.[6]

Mission[edit]

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 scholarships and financial aid to deserving students from the region and beyond.

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 from all over the world, among them, John Dimitry Panitza, Anna Tchaprachikoff, Minko Balkanski, Atanas Zamphiroff, the America for Bulgaria Foundation, have supported the University throughout the years.

Accreditation[edit]

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]

Rankings[edit]

The graduates of the American University in Bulgaria are one of the most sought-after specialists, and receive some of the highest incomes in their fields, according to a national ranking system maintained by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education.[13]

All five of the academic programs at AUBG that were listed in the 2014 survey – Economics, Computer Science, Business Administration, Political Science, and Journalism and Mass Communication – were ranked among the top in the country, with Business Administration and Journalism rated as Bulgaria’s best.

The picture depicts the main building of AUBG for administrative offices. MB periodically hosts occasional lectures.

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]

Academics[edit]

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 19 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.[15]

Undergraduate programs[edit]

The university offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in 12 major programs:[16]

Secondary majors are those that are accredited in the United States and result in an American diploma only.

The university also offers 15 minor programs:[17]

Graduate programs[edit]

In addition to its undergraduate program, the university has started an Executive MBA program in 2003. EMBA classes currently take place in Elieff Center[18] in Sofia.

Non-degree programs[edit]

The university offers 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.[19]

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.[20]

Tuition and scholarships[edit]

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.[21]

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

The university offers both need- and merit-based aid to deserving students.[22] AUBG is one of few universities who award scholarships for further study to their graduates: the Tchaprachikoff scholarship provides funding for study at any of the top 20 U.S. universities.[23]

University campus[edit]

The Skaptopara campus in Blagoevgrad is home to the university’s undergraduate programs. It includes three brand-new residence halls; Balkanski Academic Center, which houses classrooms, computer labs, and offices; Panitza Library, the largest English-language library in Southeast Europe; and unique Student Center.[24] According to results from Bulgaria’s official University Ranking system, AUBG has the best residential facilities in the country.[25]

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.[26]

John Dimitry Panitza,[27] 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.[28] Panitza Library’s[29] 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[30] The eponymous Center was dedicated to Professor Balkanski and his family in 2010.[31]

The ultramodern America for Bulgaria Student Center won first place in the Education and Sport category at the prestigious "Building of the Year" contest.[32] The 10,000 square meter Student Center offers 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 also features a performing arts center, a professional gymnasium and fitness center, and dining facilities and cafes.[33]

Student life[edit]

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.[34]

Student government[edit]

Established in 1991, the AUBG Student Government[35] 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.

Clubs[edit]

AUBG hosts chapters of international organizations, such as People to People International, AIESEC, the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery. Social and sports organizations, such as the AUBG Olympics, Basketball Club, Debate Club, Chess Club, Women in Business Club, also contribute to the dynamism of university life at AUBG.[36]

The Computer Science Student Union[37] 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.[38]

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.[39]

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.[40]

Assets Trading & Management (AT&M) is a student organization which operates as an investment fund where students learn analytical framework for the analysis of the financial markets. In 2014 Mr Bylgarski, Chairman of Bulgarian Stock Exchange gave lectures at the Assets Trading & Management club at AUBG [41]

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.[42]

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, All Shook Up and Burlesque. After its performances in Blagoevgrad, the musical goes on a tour around the country.[43]

Research and Innovation[edit]

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.[44][45] The Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program has repeatedly recognized AUBG students’ potential.[46] Furthermore, AUBG hosts its own research conference every year, where students and faculty present research projects.[47] Although, AUBG is a liberal arts institution it makes a heavy emphasis on the engineering and high-tech development. In recent years, AUBG students engage in robotics and computer science development at The CSSU.

Student media[edit]

There are several active student media on campus – broadcast, print, and electronic – which chronicle University events and town life: AUBG Daily,[48] FlashNews[49] weekly, Radio AURA,[50] De facto ,[51] and Verve magazine.[52]

Athletics[edit]

Every year AUBG holds its own Olympic games. In the AUBG Olympics,[53] 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.[54] 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[edit]

The university hosts many prominent business practitioners and public figures year-round. Zhelyu Zhelev, Bulgaria’s first democratic president and recipient of an honorary doctorate from the university, visited AUBG twice as part of the Ambassador Elena Poptodorova Distinguished Lecturers series.[55] Bulgaria's EU Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, was another guest lecturer in the series.[56]

Notable people[edit]

  • Martti Ahtisaari, President of Finland (1994–2000), 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Honorary AUBG Doctor of Humane Letters (2005)
  • William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America (1993–2001), Honorary AUBG Doctor of Humane Letters (1999)
  • Georgi Iliev,[57] AUBG graduate, Class of 1996, author of The Life and Death of Mr. Iliev (2006) and Holy Fool: Dogtown (2010), recipient of the 2010 Book of the Year award in Bulgaria for his novel Holy Fool.
  • Stefan Ivanov,[58] AUBG graduate, Class of 1995, CEO for Brazil at MRP International.
  • Claude Jansen,[59] Trustee Emeritus, Honorary Chair of the International Council and Chair of the Board, INSEAD, Paris, France
  • Uładzimir Katkoŭski, founder of the Belarusian Wikipedia, who worked for the Belarusian edition of Radio Free Europe
  • Elizabeth Kostova, former AUBG Board Member, AUBG University Council member since 2011, author of the bestselling novels The Historian and The Swan Thieves
  • Ivailo Linev, Class of 2001, Vice President, Merrill Lynch, USA
  • Lynne Montgomery, AUBG graduate, Class of 1995, Dean, Academy of Diplomacy and Security, Montenegro
  • Evgeny Morozov, AUBG graduate, Class of 2005, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (January 2011); a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, contributor to The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, and many others
  • John Dimitry Panitza|John Dimitry "Dimi" Panitza (1930–2011),[60] AUBG founder and board member, Free and Democratic Bulgaria Foundation founder, Former Managing Editor of Reader's Digest, Paris, France.
  • Vicky Politova,[61] AUBG graduate, Class of 1995, Chief Operating Officer, bTV Media Group, Bulgaria
  • Boriana Treadwell,[62] AUBG graduate, Class of 1995, Executive Producer, CNN International, USA
  • Ralitsa Vassileva, anchor for CNN International, Atlanta, USA, AUBG Doctor of Humane Letters (2001)
  • Zhelyu Zhelev, first democratically elected president of the Republic of Bulgaria (1990–1997), AUBG Doctor of Humane Letters (1995)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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 2015-08-26. 
  5. ^ "AUBG Student Profile". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  6. ^ "AUBG Alumni". Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  7. ^ "AUBG Mission". Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  8. ^ "Republic Of Bulgaria - Council Of Ministers National Evaluation And Accreditation Agency". Neaa.government.bg. 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". Chea.org. 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  11. ^ a b "Database of Institutions Accredited By Recognized U.S. Accrediting Organizations". Chea.org. 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  12. ^ "European Diploma Supplement". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  13. ^ http://rsvu.mon.bg/rsvu3/. Retrieved 2015-08-26.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ University rankings#Bulgaria
  15. ^ "erasmus+ opportunities-outgoing students". Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  16. ^ "Majors". Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Minors". Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  18. ^ http://www.aubg.edu/emba. Retrieved 2015-08-26.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Center for European Programmes". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  20. ^ "English Language Institute". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  21. ^ "AUBG Students Darik News". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  22. ^ "Cost and Aid". Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  23. ^ "Tchaprachikoff Scholarships". Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  24. ^ Smale, Alison (2009-05-29). "On a Campus in Bulgaria, Every Reason for Optimism". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  25. ^ "Bulgarian University Ranking system". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  26. ^ "Skaptopara Residence Halls". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  27. ^ bg:Дими Паница
  28. ^ Smale, Alison (2009-05-29). "Panitza Library New York Times article". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  29. ^ "Panitza Library". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  30. ^ bg:Минко Балкански
  31. ^ "Balkanski Academic Center dedication". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  32. ^ "America for Bulgaria Student Center named "Building of the Year"". Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  33. ^ "Virtual Tour". Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  34. ^ "Student Life at AUBG". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  35. ^ "AUBG Student Government". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  36. ^ "Student Organizations & Clubs". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  37. ^ "Computer Science Student Union at AUBG". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  38. ^ "ACM 2009-2010 Chapter Excellence Award". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  39. ^ "BCC Help Local Family Darik News (in Bulgaria)". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  40. ^ "Minister Simeon Djankov at AUBG, Study Abroad magazine". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  41. ^ "Assets Trading & ManagementSimeon". 
  42. ^ "AUBG Choir". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  43. ^ "The Broadway Performance Club presents Burlesque". Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  44. ^ "Carroll Round". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  45. ^ "AUBG Student Microsoft Imagine Cup". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  46. ^ "Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  47. ^ "Student Faculty Research Conference". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  48. ^ "AUBG Daily". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  49. ^ "FlashNews". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  50. ^ "Radio AURA". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  51. ^ "Defacto". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  52. ^ "Verve magazine". Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  53. ^ "AUBG Olympics". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  54. ^ "AUBG Griffins". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  55. ^ "Zhelyu Zhelev at AUBG". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  56. ^ "Bulgaria’s EU Commissioner Talks Crisis Management at AUBG". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  57. ^ http://books.janet45.com/authors/Георги__Илиев
  58. ^ "Stefan Ivanov". Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  59. ^ "Claude Jansen". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  60. ^ "John Dimitry Panitza, Vagabond article". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  61. ^ "Vicky Politova". Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  62. ^ "American University in Bulgaria". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 

External links[edit]