Department of Economics
The Department of Economics is a basic unit in the Faculty of Economics at the Agricultural University – Plovdiv. At present /2018/, the academic staff consists of thirteen lecturers: two professors, six associate professors, one chief assistant professor and four assistant professors. Over the last five years, five PhD dissertations have been developed and successfully defended at the department.The department is an established and renowned scientific and educational unit in the country and abroad.The academic staff maintains active relations with colleagues from similar structures in almost all European countries, as well as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Japan.
Historical background: After the foundation of a university in Plovdiv in 1945 and the formation of its Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry in 1947, the Department of Economics and Organization of Agricultural Enterprises was incorporated in its structure. In the course of its development, a separate Department of Economics of Agricultural Production was established in 1963. Following the transformation from Higher Agricultural Institute to Agricultural University – Plovdiv in 2001, and in accordance with its development and organizational restructuring, the unit was renamed Department of Economics. The department`s academic staff is actively involved in teaching and training of students, scientific research and international activities conducted by the university.
Teaching: The department’s teaching activities encompass over thirty courses in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs and modules designed for foreign students enrolled in full-time, part-time and distant modes of study. The leading courses include: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Finance, Accounting, Economic Theories, Labour Economics, Agricultural Economics, Production Economics, Agricultural Policy, Economics of the Environment, Rural Development, Trade in Agricultural Products, Global Agricultural Economics, Resource Economics, etc.The department participates actively in the educational process conducted at all faculties of the Agricultural University – Plovdiv. Members of the department have provided courses and have delivered lectures at a number of Bulgarian and related European universities.
The academic staff has developed and has offered four Master’s degree programs with Bulgarian, Russian and English languages as mediums of instruction. The Master’s degree program Economics and Management of European Agriculture and Rural Regions has gained wide popularity in recent years, with more than twenty full-time and part-time student classes having completed the course. The successful career development of the postgraduates is a testimony to the efficiency of their training and the acquisition of high-quality knowledge and skills. Many graduates have occupied responsible positions in the public administration, business and non-governmental sector, or have successfully established and managed their own ventures.
The individual approach to each student is a major priority of the department`s academic staff. For this purpose, a Student Research Group was established at Department in 2006. Currently, it plays an important role in improving the professional training of bachelor and master students through their involvement in organized and tutor-guided scientific research in the field of agriculture and rural areas. The collaboration in university, national and international projects allows group members to acquire practical knowledge and skills in the real environment.
Research: The department`s academic staff, PhD students, graduates and members of the Student Research Group successfully participate in a series of university, national and international initiatives. The projects under the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh European Union Framework Programmes deserve special attention, as well as the research funded by private and public scientific foundations. The main research areas of the department’s academic staff include: principles, characteristics and results of the transformation of the agricultural sector; challenges, opportunities and models for sustainable development of the agricultural sector; social capital and the role of integrated institutions for sustainable development of agriculture and rural regions; social and economic issues related to the development of less favoured areas in the country; efficiency, competitive advantages and adaptive capacity of the Bulgarian agricultural sector, etc.
The department`s lecturers participate with scientific reports in a number of global and European research forums and conferences. An important contribution to the department`s scientific development are: the congresses of the World Cooperative Alliance, the symposia of the International Farming Systems Association, the annual EU Green Week forum, the congresses of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, the annual meetings, symposia and conferences of the economists-ecologists, public resource experts, and other scientific events.