Bulgarian University Ranking System
I am very happy about the recently published ranking system for the Bulgarian universities. This is great idea and it is nice to have it in Bulgaria. Modern countries have similar ranking system for decades. For example:
It is important that in the United States in one of the top universities, Harvard, the acceptance rate for new students is about 7%. This means that 93% of the candidates get rejected during their entrance assessment. I will be happy to see something like 40-50% for the top Bulgarian universities, but this is far away from the case. Now most of the candidates applied for the Bulgarian top university “Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski” are accepted in their first or second choice of specialty.
The Ranking System for the Bulgarian Universities
Now let’s discuss the official Bulgarian University Ranking System:
The site holds very rich information and visitors can easily compare universities targeting some specialty of interest and see the rankings. The evaluation criteria are too much and thus this gives a way to distort the ranking just by changing few key parameters.
Now let’s examine the computer science and software engineering related specialties. In the ranking system we have only three computer-related specialties:
- Communication and Computer Technology (hardware)
- Electrical, Electronics and Automation (hardware)
- Informatics and Computer Science (software)
Ranking for the Bulgarian Universities for Computer Science
Since I am interested primary in software engineering and software technology related specialties, I made the most standard query for the specialty “Informatics and Computer Science”. The results are the following (as of 8 November 2010 ):
|Veliko Tarnovo||Bachelor, Master|
The leadership of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and its faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (SU-FMI) is clear and there is no doubt that Sofia University is the best Bulgarian university for software engineering and computer science higher education. This does not mean that SU-FMI is outstanding, it just states that SU-FMI is the leader and it is better than the others.
TU-Sofia is not in the Top 10 Bulgarian Universities for Computer Science and Software Engineering
The interesting fact is that the Technical University of Sofia (TU-Sofia) in not in the top 10 of the ranking. This asks the logical question: if you want to become a software engineer, shall you study at TU-Sofia? I could fully confirm that TU-Sofia is not the best choice. My experience shows that even the Burgas Free University and Rousse University have better software engineering and software technologies training than TU-Sofia. This does not mean that TU-Sofia is not a leader in different areas like computer hardware. In this article I am focused only in computer science, software engineering and software development technologies and it is clear that TU-Sofia could not get in top 5 for these specialties (in November 2010).
Once in 2008 I was an advisor of a student defending his master’s thesis in software technologies in TU-Sofia and I was amazed that at the defense students brought paper posters because there was no multimedia projector (or they didn’t know how to use it). Students defending a development of software systems did not demonstrate them, just talked in front of piece of paper. This is another nice story to support the “superior” level of TU-Sofia in training software engineering, computer science and software technologies and IT specialists as general.
My Ranking for Software Engineering Universities
My ranking is slightly different by the official ranking of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education published above. About the American University in Blagoevgrad (AUBG), I don’t think the computer science training there is better than in New Bulgarian University. In AUBG students have iron discipline (American style) and this makes them more successful after graduation (which is important indicator for the ranking system of the Ministry), but the New Bulgarian University (NBU) seems to have better technical training, more focused in practical software engineering and cutting edge software technologies (e.g. Java, .NET, mobile development, etc.).
My ranking about computer science and software engineering Universities in Bulgaria is as follows:
- Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (SU-FMI)
- New Bulgarian University in Sofia (NBU)
- American University in Blagoevgrad (AUBG)
- Plovdiv University, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (PU)
I also think that TU-Sofia is out of this ranking and if you want to become a software engineer and you want to be professional computer programmer, TU-Sofia is not the best choice for you!
Yes, there are many software engineers graduated or studying at TU-Sofia, but this is due to the fact, that TU-Sofia is the largest university in Bulgaria. The software engineering training in TU-Sofia is not competing with the better universities (like SU-FMI, NBU and AUBG) but the students in TU-Sofia are so much that some of them howsoever become software engineers when they start working in the industry despite of the university education. TU-Sofia produces many times more graduates in computer science related specialties than any the other university in Bulgaria but in the software industry still Sofia University graduates are dominant. Again, to be specific, I talk about the software development companies like SAP, VMWare, Telerik, Musala Soft, OBS, etc. not about the system integrators and other IT companies (like HP for example).
Please consider the above opinion and my ranking as my own contribution and I do not necessary bind this general feeling with the companies and organizations I am affiliated to (BASD, Telerik, FMI @ Sofia University, CITA, and few others).
I would like to thank to colleagues from the Technical University of Sofia who sent me a well-founded explanation why TU-Sofia is not in the ranking for computer science and software engineering. This is due to the fact that TU-Sofia does not participate in the category “Informatics and Computer Science”. It just do no train students in this educational / scientific direction. In the same time TU-Sofia is leader in the category “Communication and Computer Technology” in which Sofia University (SU-FMI) do not participate. Thus someone applying the same reasoning to compare these two universities could conclude that SU-FMI is not the best choice if you want to be trained in communications or computer hardware, and this is clearly true.
We could conclude that TU-Sofia is not the best choice for computer scientists / software engineers and SU-FMI is not the best choice for hardware engineers and communications engineers. This strongly correlates with the main idea of my article, which is clearly stated:
TU-Sofia is not the best place in Bulgaria for studying practical software engineering and computer science
TU-Sofia is strong in computer hardware, communications and other hardware-related specialties.
We cannot directly compare TU-Sofia and SU-FMI in their competences in training informatics, computer science, software engineering and software technologies because TU-Sofia focuses primary on producing hardware engineers and SU-FMI focuses primary on producing computer scientists and software engineers. I do not compare the quality of the provided education by both TU-Sofia and SU-FMI, just their primary focus, and I still believe that TU-Sofia is not the best choice if you want to become a skillful software engineer.