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Ombudsman: Prof. VELENTINA POPOVA, PhD /Faculty of Law/



The widely used recently word ombudsman is Swedish by origin and the literal meaning it bears is: a mediator, an envoy, a person to whom requests and complaints are addressed. The first Swedish ombudsman took this position in 1809; the Parliamentary Ombudsman Ginyo Ganev has held the position since April 2005.
The fact that the first Academic Ombudsman in Bulgaria took this position in 2004 is little known. This was made possible with the support of Foundation for Social Dialog, in collaboration with the Democracy Commission of the Embassy of the USA in Sofia, which realized the project "Transparency and Publicity through Academic Ombudsman".

What does the Academic Ombudsman do
The Sofia University Academic Ombudsman is an institution which serves as an objective arbiter to mediate and solve conflicts and to provide confidential and informal support for the students and lecturers. The Ombudsman is a mediator in conflicts and works towards just solutions, defending the rights of the members of academic community. The Ombudsman is also a counsellor, who informs and answers personal requests when a claimant does not know how to proceed in a given situation. Thus the Academic Ombudsman shall be viewed as a catalyser of the change as they helps conflicts to be solved within the institution and also helps administrative work to be improved.

Fundamental principles the Ombudsman follows
Confidentiality – the ombudsman cannot reveal information about a complaint, as well as about the claimant.
Objectivity the Ombudsman does not take sides in a conflict and is required to check the fact sustainability.
Independence - the Ombudsman is not subordinate to the University authorities, which guarantees objectivity and impartiality.

How to contact the University Academic Ombudsman