Home / The University / Faculties / Faculty of Economics and Business Administration / News / A new survey by FEBA: The University and The Employer Gain the Students’ Trust during the COVID-19 Pandemic





Hospitals and doctors, universities and schools, as well as employers are leading in the battle for the trust of students in Bulgaria during the crisis.


The training has to be conducted using forms of distance learning while it stays as close as possible to the live contact between lecturers and students.


Business is responsible for protecting employees and customers and for limiting the spread of COVID-19 to local communities.




These are some of the results from the finished express survey of FEBA at Sofia University, the “Kauzi” Foundation and Junction Bulgaria. The survey was performed with the aim of helping the managements of higher education institutions and companies to respond in the best possible ways to the needs and expectations of young people for dealing with the pandemic. It was carried out online among 160 Bulgarian students in the period 3-16 April 2020 using an Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 methodology for trust during COVID-19.


The “Kauzi” foundation is non-governmental organization, which in the course of the past 10 years has worked towards stimulating young Bulgarians to be “active, competitive, responsible and decent people – citizens of Europe and the world”. One of the foundation’s main lines of work is the long-term CSR AdviceBox program for the creation and dissemination of analytical information, and information and educational products that promote corporate social responsibility, responsible production and consumption in the country. Dr. Marina Stephanova, part-time lecturer and doctor at FEBA, is the leader of the team that conducted the study.


“In the last few weeks, we have all been living in a constantly changing environment and the effectiveness of our joint efforts depends more than ever on the trust we have built in each other. We rely on clear messages, transparent actions and a constant exchange of information with students, because we believe in our common goals” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Atanas Georgiev, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.


The main conclusions of the survey:


Young people place the greatest trust in hospitals and doctors (80%), which is in complete agreement with the results of the global survey conducted by Edelman Trust Barometer (85%). In contrast to the latter’s results however, Bulgarian students trust their university (66%) and employer (67%) more than the international health authorities including the World Health Organization (62%). At the bottom of the survey chart, with a declared absence of trust have been placed the media (44%) and the citizens of our country (23%).


Both employers (52%) and universities (49%) are better prepared for dealing with the crisis than the state. This finding is reflected in the definite expectations that they should take action to protect employees (94%) and customers (85%), as well as to limit the spread in the community (63%).


There is high approval for the first actions of employers and universities in this direction. The majority of students expect the introduction of distance learning (91%) and work from home (87%), the cancellation of non-significant events (67% to 82%), as well as increased care for at-risk groups of employees.


Regular and relevant information is needed to maintain this trust, but we are witnessing an oversaturation of information on all aspects of the coronavirus topic. Unlike the data a month ago, today young people prefer to receive news from their employer once a week (35%). The preferred information channel remains video conferencing which is closest to personal contact (63%) or the personalized e-mail / newsletter of the company (60%). In their preferences, the students are similar to the citizens from the other 10 countries included in the global survey. They want clarity on everything - from what the mandatory guidelines are for employees to avoid the virus in the workplace (62%) and the more general recommendations on how to limit its spread (55%), to information about how many colleagues have been infected with the virus (52%) and how the virus affects the company's business (52%).