In the autumn of 1963, on the historical and picturesque hill "Sveta Gora" in Veliko Tarnovo, the first university outside the capital opened its doors, which has the patron saints Cyril and Methodius as patrons. Inheriting the educational and cultural traditions of the famous Tarnovo Literary School from the 14th century, it has established itself as an authoritative higher school for the humanities and arts, as a prestigious educational and scientific center. First it was called the Higher Pedagogical Institute "Brothers Cyril and Methodius". It was established by Decree No. 162 of September 27, 1962 of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Council of Ministers. It was opened on September 15, 1963 and approved by Decree No. 395 of the Presidium of the National Assembly of August 4, 1964. The first 340 students studied in four specialties: Bulgarian Philology, Russian Philology, History and Fine Arts. In the first year the training is carried out by about 25 full-time lecturers and assistants and 10-15 part-time professors and associate professors from Sofia universities and institutes of BAS.
In recent years, the University of Veliko Tarnovo has really established itself as the largest state university in Bulgaria outside the capital, as a teaching and research center with national and international prestige. With its highly qualified scientific and teaching staff, with the variety of university specialties, with the well-built and modernly equipped material and technical base, it meets the needs and tasks for restructuring of higher education in Bulgaria, which the new time invariably imposes.