The idea of establishing a school of higher education in Gabrovo, a forerunner of the present Technical University, dates back to the 1840s. It was formulated by the Bulgarian educator and scientist Vassil Evstatiev Aprilov and his associate Nikola Stoev (Stefanov) Palausov, both of them born in Gabrovo. On 30th July 1964 the Presidium of the National Assembly issued Decree No. 395 that a Higher Technical Institute for Part-time Studies (HTIPS) should be opened in the town.
The Institute started its first academic year 1964/65 with 1327 part-time students admitted to other technical educational institutions in the country. They studied in the HTIPS during the first three years and then continued and completed their education at the institution they had been originally admitted to. In 1965 Direction No. 177 of the Council of Ministers allowed the HTIPS to have its own quota for admission and training of students, who started and completed their higher education in it. HTIPS was entitled to train part-time students in the degree courses “Technology of Machine Building” and “Electrical Machines and Apparata”. Part-time students in their fourth, fifth and sixth year also continued their studies in these degree courses, irrespective of where they had originally been admitted and enrolled.
Two new degree courses were introduced in Gabrovo Higher Technical Institute by Direction of the Council of Ministers No. 225 of 18th July 1967 – “Semiconductor and Industrial Electronics” and “Precision Engineering”, entitled to an intake of 60 full-time students. On 29th September 1972 the HTIPS was renamed into Higher Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Institute (HMEEI) by a Decree of the State Council.
The senior academic staff for the Institute was mainly recruited from the higher technical institutions in Sofia. Decisive steps were taken for appointment of young lecturers and assistant professors on a full-time basis. The majority of them continued their studies with a postgraduate work and attained academic degrees and titles. Голяма част от тях преминават на обучение в аспирантура и придобиват съответни научни степени и звания. At the beginning of the 1970s the HMEEI had its own professors and associate professors, and their number was steadily rising.
Meanwhile the problem with the facilities and equipment provision was also being solved. In the middle of the 1970s the HMEEI-Gabrovo had four comfortable and spacious study buildings, well-equipped lecture halls, laboratories, workshops and other premises. Furthermore, four students’ hostels were built, as well as two new study buildings. A university library was set up, which is now to be housed in a newly built modern and functional building. The university has a well-equipped printing and publishing house bearing the name of Vassil Aprilov. Spread between the Svishtovska and Varovnik streets in the Bazhdar district is the university campus of the Technical University of Gabrovo, a modern European university. съвременния модерен, с европейски облик. A Decree of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria issued in July 1995 gave the HMEEI-Gabrovo the status of Technical University.
The National Evaluation and Accrediatation Agency granted one of the first institutional accreditations in the country to the Technical University of Gabrovo, as well as programme accreditation for the degree courses leading to Bachelor and Master degrees and 31 research subjects for attaining Doctoral degrees. In September 2001 the Technical University of Gabrovo was accredited by the International Community for Engineering Pedagogics to train engineers for acquiring the qualification of “European Pedacogics Engineer”, which is recognized by the European Union and UNESCO.
At the beginning of 2004 the University acquired a certificate for conformity of the quality management system with the ISO 9001:2000 standard for training for acquiring higher education, postgraduate qualification and research, issued by the German Society for management system certification DQS GmbH and the International Certification Network IQNet DQS.