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UNIVERSITY OF FORESTRY

Faculty of Agronomy

AFP7210175

History
The Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Forestry is a well-established and internationally recognized educational and scientific unit with more than 25 years of history, which trains Bachelor, Master and Doctoral students with a high level of career realization and conducts active research activity. The faculty is a successor of the Faculty of Agronomy, founded in 1921 at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, which marks the beginning of higher agricultural education in Bulgaria. In 1948, the training of agricultural specialists was transferred to the newly established Agricultural Academy, and after the end of the 1977/78 academic year it was transferred to the Higher Agricultural Institute in Plovdiv.

Sixteen years after the transfer of the students' training to the city of Plovdiv, on September 14, 1994, the Academic Council of the Higher Forestry Institute decided to establish a Faculty of Agronomy within the Institute, which restored the agronomic education in Sofia. At the end of 1999, the Faculty of Agronomy merged with the Faculty of Ecology and Landscape Architecture into the Faculty of Ecology, Landscape Architecture and Agronomy (FELAA). In 2004, by a decision of the Academic Council of December 3, 2003, the Faculty of Agronomy was established as an independent unit within the University of Forestry. Since the restoration of the faculty in 1994, the following professors have been selected as deans:

  • Assoc. Prof. Georgi Trenchev (1994–1999)
  • Assoc. Prof. Georgi Trenchev (1999–2003) - FELAA
  • Assoc. Prof. Kiril Popov (2004-2011)
  • Assoc. Prof. Zhivko Zhivkov, PhD (2012-2015)
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yvona Dimitrova (2016-2019)

Accreditation and Ranking
The Faculty of Agriculture provides education of students in two professional fields accredited by the National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation (NEAA) - 6.1 "Plant growing" and 6.2 "Plant Protection". In the educational ad qualification degree "Bachelor" (full-time and part-time form of education) training is conducted in two specialties “Agronomy” and “Plant protection”

In the educational qualification degree "Master" (full-time and part-time form of education) training is conducted in nine master's programs: „Plant Breeding and Seed Production of Crops“, „Horticulture and Viticulture“, „Crop production“ „Management of soil resources“, “Field crops production”, “Vegetable growing”, “Fruit growing”, “Regenerative agriculture” and “Plant protection”.

The high quality of the educational process and the scientific and applied activity of the faculty is confirmed by the high marks of the professional fields and doctoral programs accredited by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency.
According to the Ranking System of the Higher Schools in Bulgaria, the two professional fields in which faculty of agronomy provide training occupy the two leading positions in Bulgaria in the period 2012-2020.

In 2019 the professional field Plant growing was ranked first in Bulgaria. In 2021, the training in the professional field "Plant growing" was ranked at first place in Bulgaria by the coefficient calculated according to the methodology of the Council of Ministers № 328 / 30.11.2015.

Training in the two professional fields of the Faculty of Agriculture occupy a leading position in Bulgaria in terms of indicators related to the realization of graduates: low unemployment among graduates, application of higher education and realization by vocation, insurance income of graduates, regional realization, regional realization in a position for higher education.

The Faculty of Agronomy provides education in 11 accredited by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency doctoral programs

More information about the doctoral programs at the Faculty of Agronomy can be found in the section "Education".

Training
According to the Bulgarian university ranking system, the training in the two professional fields of the Faculty of Agronomy occupies a leading position in Bulgaria in terms of indicators related to Teaching and learning and Career relevance to labor market and regional importance of graduates: Exclusive full-time academic staff, Low level of unemployment among graduates, Applicability of degree acquired and realization by vocation, Graduates' insurance income, Regional career realization, Regional career realization at positions requiring university degree. This independent external evaluation demonstrates the high quality of the training delivered by the faculty, due to the following:
1. The training of students is provided by highly qualified lecturers with active research activities.
2. The educational content is based on the latest scientific and applied achievements in the respective disciplines.
3. The training is conducted in a modern teaching environment, provided with modern facilities, information security, and modern information technologies, as follows:

  • Students have access to all teaching resources of the faculty, as well as to resources other faculties of the University. For the development of diploma theses, the students also have access to specialized laboratory equipment of a wide range of scientific institutes within the Agricultural academy and Bulgarian academy of science, located on the territory of Sofia, with which the teaching staff of the faculty has active cooperation;
  • The students have free internet access in all laboratories and buildings of the university. The library of the university has a rich fund providing scientific information to the various scientific specialties of the faculty. Students have easy access to the library resources of the Central Agricultural Library and all scientific institutions located in Sofia;
  • Both classic and modern interactive forms of teaching are successfully applied in training. Students have access to the Bleak board's distance learning system of the University. In the laboratories of the University Computer Center, as well as in the specialized halls and laboratories in which the educational process takes place, free access to the use of information resources and licensed software is provided. Free access provides opportunities for independent work on course projects and assignments, as well as access to the University's resources or those on the Internet.

4. Priority in training is conducting of practical classes and case studies in the most realistic environment by:

  • Laboratory and seminar classes, which are carried out in groups of minimum 7 and maximum 14 students. Each student is provided with an individual workplace and sudy materials, which guarantees the acquisition of specific discipline-specific skills and shortening the distance between student and lecturer;
  • Complex training practices in which students can observe the way of work of real business units and lean the approaches for solving of specific problems of practice;
  • Pre-graduate internship in agricultural farms, state structures, private companies, and other business entities in the field of agriculture, in which students acquire skills to solve specific problems. Most of the students conduct their pre-graduate internships in central administrative structures and institutions located in the territory of Sofia, such as Central Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Executive Agency on Vine and Wine, Central Office of the National Agricultural Advisory Service, Institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgarian Food Safety Agency – “Plant Protection Products and Fertilisers” Directorate", “Food controls” Directorate, "Plant Protection and Controls of Quality of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables’ Directorate, the Central Laboratory of Plant Quarantine in Sofia and others;
  • Participation of students in internship projects in which students gain additional experience in a real-world environment and to a large extent find their place for a professional career.

5. Students actively participate in scientific and educational projects, mobility programs, scientific forums, seminars, round tables and other activities that contribute to the development of their creative thinking.

The Faculty of Agriculture actively participates in the implementation of educational projects funded by the Erasmus + program, as well as by the Operational Programs.

More information about the educational process at the Faculty of Agronomy can be found under the heading "Education"

Research and Expertise
According to the Bulgarian university ranking system, the research of the professors, in the subject of the two professional directions of the Faculty of Agronomy, occupy the leading place in Bulgaria in terms of the following indicators: Citation index by scientific area (Web of Science), Average number of citations per paper (Web of Science), Articles in scientific journals (Web of Science) This independent external evaluation indicates the high quality of the scientific outputs of the teaching staff, which is due to the following:

  • The teaching staff have extensive experience in the implementation of a number of projects funded by the EU Framework Programs, the EU-funded programme for European cooperation in Science and technology COST, the Technical Cooperation Programme of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Scientific Co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland Programme SCOPES, SEE-ERA.NET Programme, International Institute of Plant Nutrition, Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Bulgarian National Science Fund, Agricultural Academy of Bulgaria, EU Operational Programs, The State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria and other sources;
  • Scientific outputs are mainly published in impacted or impacted journals with impact factor (IF) or Scimago Journal Rank (SJR), contribution to the international recognition of teaching staff and multiple citations of their scientific results;
  • The teaching staff actively participate in international and national expert groups as well as editorial boards of scientific journals.

More information about the research activities and outputs of the teaching staff can be found on the webpages of the departments of the Faculty.

Relations with agribusiness, administration and the general public
The teaching staff of the faculty maintains a permanent relationship with leading agribusiness companies and the agricultural administration, with whom they jointly hold seminars, roundtables on current issues, student meetings, etc.
Within the Bio-Resources Extension Service (BIORES), the Career Development Center and the University Entrepreneurship Center of the University of Forestry, as well as implementing various projects and initiatives, the teaching staff of the faculty and students are actively involved in knowledge transfer activities such as publishing information materials, manuals, and brochures, participation in information and demonstration days, specialized exhibitions, competitions, citizen science initiatives, etc.

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