Institution's international (EU and non-EU) strategy

The main goal of The Tsenov Academy of Economics (TSAE) and governance is dedicated to improving the quality of the educational process. Regarding this purpose, the TSAE participates in the Erasmus Programme with the aim of learning best practice from partner universities and applying these high-quality procedures in the areas of education, administration and research. The Erasmus Programme is an open door for valuable communication and exchange of experiences for students, lecturers and administrative staff.

     - How are the partners chosen?
In the first place, the TSAE looks for institutions which have a similar educational profile specialising in the field of economics, business management and business administration. This is important because the main purpose of Erasmus mobility is the successful exchange of positive praxis including the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees.

     - Geographical scope:
The analytical approach in the choice of partner in a geographical aspect determines the orientation in the two axes of
classical and modern education – countries with a developed market economy and countries who have accomplished
market reform. The purpose is to combine traditional praxis with modern and unconventional forms of education in the field of economics and management. As a result, this means that a wide range of educational methodologies and practices are covered.

     - The most important objectives and target groups for mobility activities:
The first target group of mobility activities in the Erasmus framework is student mobility. The key factor during the first period of the Erasmus programme was the mobility of students undertaking Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees (first and second cycle) and also occasionally third short cycle (due to the fact that third cycle students are Doctoral students, the main goal was to find an appropriate approach to composing a learning programme because, during the first period of the Erasmus programme’s operation, this educational degree was outside the remit).

     The TSAE has invested a lot of time and effort into harmonising its credit system with the systems of European partner universities. After mobility every student has to write a report describing good teaching practices in the foreign university that they have visited. The target groups share opinions with lecturers via a dedicated meeting and this becomes a source of suggestions as to how to improve the teaching process in the TSAE. The HEI also participates in mobility to enterprises for the 1st and 2nd cycle - mainly to EU countries.

 The second target group of mobility activities in the Erasmus programme is teaching and administrative staff. In this group the main objectives concerning mobility activities are to stimulate the lecturer’s personal motivation to visit partner universities, to cope with language barriers and to increase staff interest in the methods, systems and practices of partner universities. This is important in order to optimise student file systems and administrative services.
The third target group of mobility consists of students studying joint Master’s Degrees. Until now the Tsenov Academy of Economics has not participated in programmes offering such double /multiple/joint Master’s programmes both with EU and ICPC, but it plans to develop such projects possibly under Erasmus Mundos financing in order to attract the best students in the world to Europe. Therefore, we do not have such a target group yet but, when there is a demand, this will be accomplished.

Institution's strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme

     The Tsenov Academy of Economics (TSAE) has strategic partnerships with both EU universities and those from the ICPC. It is also a member of the European University Association. Examples of such partnerships are Valahia University, Romania; Passau University, Germany; Ternopol National Economic University, Ukraine; Moscow Financial University at the Government of Russian Federation, Russia. With these types of HEIs, and Erasmus or Tempus bilateral agreements, the TSAE has signed full cooperative agreements for mutually beneficial international activities in the fields of education, research and cultural exchange. All of them aim to contribute to the sharing of good practice in the areas mentioned above and also to achieve the objectives of the EU Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education and to foster further cooperation.
     There are knowledge-based alliances between the TSAE and enterprises, especially SME’s. The academic staff and student organisations (for instance, the Student Council or AISEC) organize events where academics from the university read lectures and provide other learning opportunities for representatives from the economic departments of the enterprises ( for instance, so called “Master courses”). Another opportunity is available to representatives from enterprises to learn, and eventually in the future hire, graduates from the TSAE through “Career Days”. There are also close relationships between the Academy and financial institutions in order to improve the qualifications of some of their staff through specializations or to assure work placements for the students.
The TSAE has also cooperated with its partner universities from the EU and ICPC in constructing projects within the framework of the LLP. The latter was clearly significant for the ICPC, helping them to modernise and internationalise their Higher Education structures and methods. In the future, the TSAE intends to intensify these activities by expanding the scope of cooperation both in geographical and thematic means.

Impact of our participation in the Programme on the modernization of our institution

The impact of the TSAE’s participation in the Programme regarding modernization and internationalization should be viewed in the context of its priorities. The Academy has two main priorities in its Programme activities within this framework – increased staff and student mobility and multilateral projects on joint curriculum development and networks. Participation in the Programme will also help the Academy to modernize and internationalize its training methods and methodologies (for instance, more courses will be provided to both domestic and international students not only in Bulgarian, but also in English).
     The visibility of Erasmus activities, EPS and the EUC will be ensured by:
       - Publishing and regularly updating information on the Academy’s website.
       - Creating a webpage for EU cooperation and the Programme for both domestic and international students;
The EUC will be published on the sites mentioned above - the EPS will also be published there in English and Bulgarian.