Posted on 28/10/2019 · Posted in News

A letter of intent for the creation of new Academy of Dual Education was signed by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster (Chair of the European Foundation for Education, Stuttgart, Germany), Arch. Lyubomir Stanislavov (Lyubomir Stanislavov, CEO and Member of the Board of Directors, Automotive Cluster Bulgaria) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Stefanov (Authorized Representative of the Faculty of German Engineering and Industrial Management at the Technical University of Sofia).

A new Academy of Dual Education will be created by Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, Technical University Sofia and European Foundation for Education (Stuttgart, Germany).


On 17 July 2019, the Bulgarian Government and the representatives of the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria decided to create a new partnership to attract investors in the automotive industry with the aim of creating 3-4 automotive plants in Bulgaria and to grow to over 500 companies (currently 250) with an annual turnover of more than 25 billion Euros (currently 5.5 billion euros).

To achieve these aims, the Bulgarian Government and the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria will prepare a strategy for the development of the automotive industry.

Part of this strategy are initiatives related to advertising, finding and creating qualified personnel for the automotive industry.

Aims of the Bulgarian Academy of Dual Education

Based on the decision of the Bulgarian Government and Automotive Cluster Bulgaria (“ACB”) to develop educational programs which combine theory and practice by work-based learning the Academy aims to:

  • Open up better professional chances for young people by implementing practice-oriented study programs at schools for professional education and training (VET schools) and at universities combined with work-based learning in companies.
  • Improve the competitiveness of companies by close cooperation with educational institutions in developing study programs for VET schools and universities as well as in applied research programs.
  • Strengthen the regional economic development by a systematic knowledge transfer specifically through regional professional competence centers.

To achieve these general aims, the Academy will develop a road map to qualify personnel for the automotive industry by:

  1. Technical high schools, with profile Mechatronics. In this process a key role is played by the Technical University Sofia, with which the ACB already has joint projects. Co-operation with International Universities, such as Vienna Technical University (, a member of ACB.
  2. Partnership with the Ministry of Education in order to accelerate the development of the dual education program in Bulgaria, as well as leading companies in this area for ACB members, such as FESTO, Standard Profile and others.
  3. Identification of specific technical schools in cities such as Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas, Ruse, Vidin, Vratsa and others and launch specific programs with them.
  4. Implementation of regional competence centers in the city of Vidin, Burgas, Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Blagoevgrad.

To foster the quick and efficient implementation on an international standard, the Academy will cooperate under the auspices of and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy together with the ACB to establish:

  • Networks of international and Bulgarian experts from companies, chambers, educational institutions, VET schools and universities.
  • regional professional competence centers. These centers will cooperate with German professional training centers (“Überbetriebliche Ausbildungszentren”). These educational institutions will offer the professional skills in the most important fields of the automotive industry like mechanic, electric, mechatronics, IT and communication technologies. As many small and medium companies are not able to train all the necessary skills for a specific profession, the centers support the training and work-based education for the trainees as well for mentors, and for further education of employees as well for teachers in VET Schools.

Responsibilities of the ACB, the Faculty of German Engineering and Industrial Management at TU-Sofia (“German Faculty”) and the European Foundation for Education (“EFE”):

  • Support the creation of the Academy
  • Implement the regional competence centers
  • Achieve a systematic knowledge transfer through the cooperation with German regional professional competence centers and further partners
  • Create exchange programs for teachers and mentors between Bulgarian and German schools and training institutions
  • Support the exchange of universities on dual study and research programmes


The Academy will be financed primarily by the Bulgarian public institutions, by EU Funds and by private organizations, if possible.

ACB, German Faculty and EFE will utilize the proceeds provided by the Bulgarian public institutions, by the EU funds and by private organizations for financing:

  • The technical support services like the proposed networks
  • The development and building of regional competence centers
  • The training and exchange programmes of teachers and mentors
  • The exchange programmes of universities

Next steps

Based on this letter of intent, the partners will elaborate a cooperation agreement and a budget plan.