Turkey: Bulgarian Education Like Organized Crime

The Turkish Council of Higher Education has suspended its recognition of Bulgarian diplomas because of suspicions about counterfeit diplomas and students buying exams scores.

The Council’s decision means that Turkey will no longer approve the transfer of Bulgarian students into Turkish universities. Diplomas already submitted for approval will be put on hold. Further, Turkey advised its students not to apply to Bulgarian universities. According to unofficial statistics, between 6,000 and 10,000 Turkish students are in Bulgarian universities. They pay significantly more in tuition than local students, so the council’s action will hit Bulgaria financially.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Education which ignored the issue when it was first raised in May says now it will investigate the allegations. According to Novinite news reports, the spokesperson of the Bulgarian Education Ministry Evelina Hristova said that Bulgaria hasn’t received any official correspondence from Turkey regarding the legitimacy of Bulgarian diplomas.

Corruption allegations also led recently to labor restrictions imposed on Bulgaria by the European Union member states. While there is concern about the true qualification of Bulgarian workers, some EU nations worry that Bulgarian and Romanian workers are willing to work for lower wages than citizens of Western European countries.