UMUC Signs Collaborative Agreement with Bulgarian University

Select faculty members are bound for Bulgaria to teach courses in finance, accounting, business writing and more.

By Kerry O'Neill ( |   January 27, 2009

Adelphi, Md. (Jan. 27, 2009)—UMUC has announced an innovative, collaborative agreement with the Higher School of Insurance and Finance (VUZF), in Bulgaria. VUZF is the Bulgaria's first private institution of higher education. President Susan C. Aldridge and VUZF President Grigorii Vazov signed the agreement at a special ceremony on January 16, 2009. The U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria Nancy McEldowney looked on, along with Martin Klepetko, ambassador of the Czech Republic to Bulgaria. Also present were more than 300 guests and distinguished representatives from government, the local and international business community and higher education.

The signing attracted widespread media coverage overseas. Dr. Aldridge was interviewed on Bulgarian national television and radio and also by the Standard, Dnevnik Business, the Monitor, the online news source MediaPool and others.

The four-year, residential program will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Science in finance from UMUC while simultaneously completing a Bachelor of Finance degree from VUZF. The program, starting in the fall, will combine VUZF coursework with upper-division UMUC courses in finance, accounting, business writing and other disciplines. The UMUC courses will be taught at VUZF’s Sofia campus by select UMUC faculty. Students of the program will enjoy full access to UMUC’s extensive online library and student resources.

“We are honored to sign this agreement with the Higher School of Insurance and Finance,” said UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge. “Financial crises have impacted countries worldwide in recent months, highlighting the need—in all sectors of public and private enterprise—for leaders who hold solid financial credentials. We at UMUC are proud to be able to play a role in helping position students of VUZF to fill that need in Bulgaria and across the European Union.”

The program is projected to enroll at least 100 students in its first term and to grow over time. Students who complete the program successfully will enter the workforce with a truly global perspective on finance and related fields, as well as with a much-coveted high level of proficiency in business English.

“Our partnership with UMUC is unique in Bulgaria and I am confident that it will prove very valuable,” said Dr. Vazov, President of VUZF. “Up until now, we have exported our students. It is time to let our students live and study in Bulgaria while obtaining a higher education similar to that which is available in the U.S., U.K., and Western Europe. I want to thank Dr. Aldridge for her patience and trust from the beginning of this collaboration, as well as our competent American and Bulgarian teams who have joined to work on this program."