The city: Blagoevgrad is located 90 km south of the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia, 20 km from the border with R. North Macedonia and 80 km from the border with Greece. This allows a quick and easy access to many destinations both in Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries. The city has two universities, two colleges, many cultural centres, and mineral springs.

The university: The South-West University (SWU), established in 1976, is a state institution which offers training in 80 Bachelor’s, 122 Master’s and 88 PhD programmes in Bulgarian and English.

The university is one of the biggest higher education institutions in Bulgaria. It employs 500 full-time professors, associate professors and assistant professors. The non-academic staff is around 500.

SWU provides training for about 14 000 students and 400 PhD students.

The academic structure includes 9 faculties: Faculty of Law and History, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Public Health, Health Care and Sports, Faculty of Pedagogy, Faculty of Philology, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, and Faculty of Engineering.

There are over 30 laboratories and research centres in the university. The university implements pro-active international policies involving the cooperation with educational and research institutions from all around Europe, the USA and Russia. The University has signed contracts with about 150 universities in Europe under the Erasmus+ Program.

In recent years SWU  has been involved in about 30 international and national projects, financed under the European Territorial Cooperation Programme “Greece-Bulgaria 2007-2013”, the Cooperation Programme INTERREG V-A “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020”, European Economic Area (EEA) and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (NFM) Scholarship Fund, the Seventh Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, etc.

The faculty: The Faculty of Philosophy, established in 1995, is one of the leading humanitarian educational and research centres in Bulgaria and among the faculties in the university. It has four accredited Bachelor’s programmes: Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Political Science; 13 accredited Master’s programmes; 7 accredited PhD programmes; and 2 majors of additional and postgraduate qualification. It employs 49 full time professors, associate and assistant professors. It has 480 Bachelor’s students, 170 Master’s students, 90 PhD students, over 50 trainees. There are 5 research centres, 2 student clubs. The faculty has fulfilled international projects in the Fifth and Sixth Framework programme, Horizon 2020, INTERREG V-A “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020”, COST. It has over 50 active Erasmus+ agreements. It edits 3 electronic journals and two yearbooks. Faculty graduates work in school and university education, public administration, municipalities, cultural institutions, NGOs, business and international institutions.


Project contact person:

Name: Assoc. Prof. Mario Marinov, PhD

Department: Sociology