Rumiana Preshlenova

Higher Education in Austro-Hungary and the Bulgarians 1879-1918. New Dispositions and New Opportunities



This paper explores the changes in the orientation of Bulgarian university students’ abroad during the period from the establishment of the first Bulgarian government and the First World War. It resumes the outcomes of a research project enhancing all ten civil institutions for higher education in Vienna and Graz. The analysis is based on a comparison between data on the time of the Bulgarian Revival and afterwards. It is focused on identified Bulgarian students at the Vienna and Graz Universities, on the one hand, and at the Moscow University, on the other hand. The investigation reveals a stable trend toward a steady growth of the number of the inscribed Bulgarians in Vienna and Graz contrasting to the declining number of Bulgarians at the Moscow University. Shrinkage occurs only during the wars of national unification – the Balkan and the First World War as well as in the years of the economic crisis at the turn of the 20th century. The distribution of the students among the different faculties reveals a prevailing number of the attending lectures at the Medical Faculties and of the Pharmacists. It is identical to the distribution of Rumanian students at the Vienna University and of foreign students in France. The dynamics of Bulgarian students’ flow in Vienna and Graz mirrors the new economic potentials of the Bulgarian society as far as they are not attracted by stipends and grants from the Dual Monarchy (in contrast to Russia). The prevailing part of the students does not receive financial support even by the Bulgarian governments.


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