The South-West University "Neofit Rilski" was first founded as a Branch of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". The first 200 students are admitted 1976/77 in two specialties - Pedagogy for the preparation of teachers for kindergartens and Pedagogy for preparation of teachers for primary schools. In this way for the first time in Bulgaria starts preparation of teachers with University degree for kindergartens and primary schools. The tutorials are realized by three Professors, two Assoc. Professors and thirteen Assistant Professors.
With Act No. 2296 dated 4 August 1983 of the State Council of the Republic of Bulgaria (State Newspaper No. 62/1983), the Branch is transformed into separate Higher Pedagogical Institute. The Institute is looking for own image and own way in the preparation of teachers. Two years later in 1985 starts functioning Scientific Council. It has the right to elect Assoc. Professors in Pedagogy, Psychology, Defectology and Methodology of Teaching. Many new specialties like Mathematics, Physics, Bulgarian Language and Literature, Bulgarian Language and History find place in the study programmes. In 1990 already is realized education of full time and part time students in five faculties and in ten specialties.
The Institute more and more confirms itself as higher school of university type. Starts admission of foreign students.
In the period of time after 1990, under the influence of the processes of democratization in all spheres of the social life and in accordance with the Law for Academic Autonomy, the Higher School in Blagoevgrad develops with accelerated rates. New specialties and faculties are created. Alongside with the education financed by the state, paid education is introduced.
In regards of the reached level of development and the high demand of specialists with university degree especially in the field of Economics, Law and the social activities, with decision of the People's Assembly dated July 1995 (State Newspaper No. 68/1995), the Higher Pedagogical Institute, Blagoevgrad becomes South-West University Neofit Rilski, Blagoevgrad.
In this act are reflected the following basic moments:
- Conformity with the requirements of clause 17, paragraph 2, p. 1 of the Law for Higher Education for the preparation of specialists in specialties from the basic fields of science - humanitarian, social, natural and technical.
- Existence of the necessary teaching and scientific staff.
- Considerable structural changes in the Higher School. Created are the Faculty of Economy, the Faculty of Law and the Medico-pedagogical Faculty. New humanitarian, natural-scientific, pedagogical and technological specialties are created.
- On 27 January 1997 with Act No. 16 of the Council of Ministers, the College of Machine Building and Electrotechnics, Blagoevgrad is transformed into Technical College, affiliated in the structure of the South-West University, Blagoevgrad.