6.5 Cross-border learning mobility
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Personalised services providing counselling, guidance and information, with established mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation on cross-border learning mobility are provided by different schools and universities. However, they are not centralized or funded by public top-level autority. There are no policy measures or initiatives by top-level public authorities to support cross-border learning mobility in the context of non-formal learning and youth work.
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The bilateral agreements in the field of education, science and culture constitute the policy framework of different scholarship schemes development, students’ admission facilities improvement, co-operation between educational institutions, mutual recognition of qualifications and study periods undertaken abroad. The existing bilateral cooperation is often complemented by multilateral initiatives, thus reaching both European dimension and context. An emphasis is put on project and research development.
Bulgaria has bilateral agreements for cooperation in the field of education with: USA, Republic of Vietnam, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of India, Republic of Armenia, the United Mexican States, Republic of Argentina, Republic of Cuba, Hashemites Kingdom of Jordan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kingdom of Thailand, Organzation for Liberation of Palestina, 'Republic of Belarus,Mongolia, Peoples Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, Japan, Russian Federation, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Albania.
The most common cooperation is exchange of students and academic staff.
The Erasmus+ sectoral programme is the main source of funding for student mobility in the country. Mobility is also carried out through short-term or long-term programmes for bilateral and multilateral cooperation at either national or institutional level.
There are two types of international mobility under the Erasmus+:
• training - it focuses on academic training for a period of 1 to 2 semesters in a higher education institution in a EU-member country;
• internships - it focuses on practical training at a European company for a period of 3 to 12 months.
Responsibility for the proper execution of a mobility program is shared between the sending organization (higher education institutions) and the hosting organization (higher education institution or a company).
Programmes for learning mobility are recognized in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Internship mobility is a relatively new activity and the process of recognition depends on the hosting organization and whether it is allowed to issue certificates that are recognized on the labor market.
There are no actions – either directly organised or funded – by top level authorities in support to cross-border mobility of young learners engaged in non-formal education and youth work.
In 2019, Free Youth Center, Vidin (Свободен младежки център, Видин) and Association for Development of Children and Youth – Open Club, Serbia, implemented the project “Region of Youth Participation” under CBC Program Interreg – IPA Bulgaria-Serbia 2014-2020. One of the activities of the project is training for youth leadership. It comprises training of school students on youth leadership on the basis of developed common methodology for school self-governance. This contributed to the development of youth leadership by training school students how to work in a network of school parliaments for the purposes of promoting young people’s participation in the representative democracy and civil society. The grant under the project is BGN 143 075 (about EUR 73 000).
According to its rules of organization, the Human Resources Development Center (ЦРЧР) is obliged to oversee the strict and effective application of the rules for administration of the funds under the Erasmus+ Program, the European Solidarity Corps Program and other programs and projects. The Human Resources Development Center is the Bulgarian National Agency for the Erasmus+ program.