Science and education

Science and Education

Science and Education

Bulgarian and Greek scientists and scholars realized their first reciprocal visits in Greece (Thessaloniki) and respectively in Bulgaria already in the interim of the wars. However, in 60-ies of the twentieth century there was a trend of activation of the contacts between Bulgarian and Greek researchers. It was a direct consequence of establishing in 1963 under the auspices of UNESCO the International Association for South East European Studies whose main goal was to encourage the scholar production in the domain of Balkan Studies. A year later in Sofia was founded the Institute of Balkan Studies within the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In 1975 this new institution concluded an agreement for cooperation with the Institute of Balkan Studies (Ίδρυμα Μελετών Χερσονήσου του Αίμου - ΙΜΧΑ) in Thessaloniki that in 1974 was detached from the Society for Macedonian Studies and became an independent centre under the Ministry of Culture in Greece. As a result of this bilateral cooperation in the period 1974-2007 were held nine conferences in which with their presentations participated approximately 250 scholars from the two countries. The papers presented during the conferences were published in the academic journals of the institutes mentioned above as well as in thematic collections.

During 21st century the two biggest universities in Thessaloniki – Aristotle University (Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης) and University of Macedonia (Πανεπιστήμιο Μακεδονίας) left behind the other centres in the city in the sphere of the scientific cooperation and in the domain of Balkan Studies. In University of Macedonia several Bulgarian students obtained higher education and at the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies of this academic institution Bulgarian language is taught. The exchange of students, PhD students, university teachers and scholars between academic institutions in Bulgaria and in Greece was intensified in 2007 when Bulgaria became a member of the European Union and the state was included in the EU research programmes and in the programmes for academic mobility. In Thessaloniki is the basic campus of the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield in which an increasing number of bachelor’s degree students from Sofia spend their last forth academic year. In the other hand, there are many students from Thessaloniki who study in different Bulgarian universities.

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