The runner-up in the ratings is Sofia's University of National and World Economy (22.2 per cent) and third is Varna's Economic University (20 per cent). Sofia's Technical University is fourth with 14.9 per cent, the Veliko Turnovo University fifth with 13.8 per cent and the Southwestern University of Blagoevgrad sixth with 9.8 per cent. After that are the Medical University in Sofia (9.1 per cent), Plovdiv University (8.7 per cent) and the Economic Academy in Svishtov (8 per cent). New Bulgarian University in Sofia and the University of Architecture, Construction and Geodesy share the last position with 6.5 per cent.
The Top 10 of foreign universities which are most preferred by Bulgarian students, is headed by the Hague University and the Erasmus University in Rotterdam with 8.9 per cent. Next is University of Cologne with 6.7 per cent, London's University of the Arts with 4.4 per cent, University of Oxford, University of Paris, University of Edinburgh, Harvard University and Princeton.
Yuri Velev of Alfa Research stressed that this is just a rating of the most preferred universities for Bulgarian high-school leavers and not of the best universities.
By country, the most-preferred country for university studies is the UK (31.3 per cent), followed by Germany (21.6 per cent) and the United States (17.6 per cent).
Alfa Research also found that the vast majority of Bulgarian high-school leavers - 83.7 per cent - intend to apply only for Bulgarian universities. 12.2 per cent will apply both here and abroad and 4.1 per cent only abroad.
The prime factor for most is fund shortage (45 per cent) followed by the wish to study and work at home (43 per cent).
Next year "24 Chassa" intends to do an independent rating of establishments of higher education with an enclosed index of professions which are in high demand.