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The first lecturers are appointed on January 31, 1888. They immediately set up the foundations of a University Library with many books and periodicals, and start working on the School’s statute. They also insist on academic autonomy in the organisation and management of the School of Higher Education.
The first Rector is Professor Alexander Teodorov-Balan, a graduate of the universities of Prague and Leipzig, Doctor of the University of Prague (1884), lecturer in Linguistics, Dialectology and Slavic Philology.

Classes began on October 1, 1888 almost unnoticed by the public. This is the birthdate of Bulgarian university education.
According to its provisional statute the Higher Pedagogical Course was to "give higher education and prepare teachers for high schools". Classes began with four regular and three external professors among whom were Alexander Teodorov-Balan, Lyubomir Miletitch, Ivan Georgov. They were all graduates of prestigious European universities and well known scholars.

The number of students was 43, all of them men. The provisional statute recognised only one Faculty, that of History and Philology, with three degree courses: History, Slavic Philology, and Philosophy and Education.