GUEST PROFESSORS AND ILLEGAL UNIVERSITIES GIVEN CHASE
The Ministry of Education and Science and the National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation are launching as of February 10 inspections in universities for lecturers, employed under two labour agreements or under a labour and a civil agreement in more than one institution of highjer education. The Deputy Minister of Education Atanas Gerdjikov said in front of the BANKER weekly that the inspections were instigated by students' complaints of the worsened quality of the presentation of subjects and the delivery of lectures which have not been updated for years. This is due to the fact that professors work as guest lecturers in several univesrities and the process of education sufferes from that, he said. According to inofficial data, 80% of the lecturers work at more than one univeristy, and some of them are even employed at two or three labour agreements, which is a violation of the Labour Code. The Education Ministry's Higher Education department announced that an associate professor from the Technical University in Sofia was giving lectures in five universities in the country.During the inspections the ministry's experts will check not only the sttudents' curriculums but also the pay-rolls and the paid fees to lecturers.Atanas Gerdjikov announced that the Minister of Education Vladimir Atanasov had decided to enter all professors and associate professors from instutions of higher education in an unified information register. It will allow the ministry to know at any moment where everybody gives lectures. The register will be legalized by an amendment to the Act on Higher Education, which is presently being drafted by experts of the Ministry of Education. The number of universities where lecturers can be employed will be limited as well. Associate professors shall be entitled to work under one labour or civil agreement, and professors - under one labour and two author agreements. The inspectors will also check if the universities have branches in other towns and if they offer distance education. During the last inspection in November 2002 it was established that 76 unlicensed branches of institutions of higher education and foreign universities on Bulgarian territory unimpededly enrol students against payment.Minister Atanasov's initiative for a better quality of the education in universities is praiseworthy. However, he has not taken into consideration the fact that guest professors give lectures in universities round the country not for glory, but in order to make additional money because their monthly salary is only BGN380. And associate professors get BGN350 a month.