Brief Description and History of Plovdiv and of the university
Plovdiv University has a cultural history – that includes being recognized as a center of higher learning – that dates back to the 6th millennium BCE (with several archeological sites that date back to antiquity). The city has a rich cultural heritage and its history includes facing the challenges of the ever expanding Eastern and Western empires and unions. Although the background of the culture is primarily agricultural it has also been influenced by the industrial revolutions, assumptions about Modernity, and assumptions about modernizing. As is true in an increasingly larger number of cultural context this is causing many citizens to ponder over the extent to which the cultural heritage will be the basis of a future based on increased application of new technologies and an increase in the virtual (which means a corresponding decrease in the natural). All of these things together, along with sustainability and environmental challenges make sustainable social-economic planning extremely complex and challenging – which in many respects can be also said of the socio-cultural and economic conditions of our international partners.
Plovdiv University is one of the leading institutions of higher-education in the Republic of Bulgaria. It is the largest University in Southern Bulgaria and the second biggest in Bulgaria. Plovdiv University was initially founded in 1961 as a Higher Institute of Pedagogy for Natural Sciences and Mathematics. It was declared a University in 1972. The University has received official state accreditation (2013), which allows it to confer each form of educational degree i.e. specialist, bachelor, masters and doctoral. Teaching and research activities are carried out by over 598 highly qualified full-time lecturers, including 95 Full Professors, 206 Associate Professors, 181 Senior Assistant Professors, 116 Assistants Professors, and other lecturers. Approximately 13 000 full-time students and more than 5 000 part-time students are trained in more than 100 bachelor and 130 master courses including natural, humanitarian, social, engineering and economic sciences, combined within the following nine faculties: The Faculty of Biology; Faculty of Mathematics Informatics and Information Technology; Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences; Faculty of Pedagogy; Faculty of Physics; Faculty of Philology; Faculty of History and Philosophy; Faculty of Chemistry; Faculty of Law.
The University actively maintains international contacts with almost all European countries, the United States as well as countries in Asia and Africa. It takes part individually or jointly with other European universities in the programs of the European Union, United States and Switzerland, which fund scientific research. The academic community continues to develop strong research synergies with higher education institutions in Europe, Russia and the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The Faculty of Philosophy and History (FPH) organizes and conducts the educational process in accredited programs at the BA, MA, and PhD levels in the professional fields of History and Archaeology, Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies, Religion, and Philosophy. Currently, it offers training in nine majors – Archaeology, Ethnology, History, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Sociology and Human sciences, Sociology of Law, Economics and Innovation, Theology and Philosophy. Since we have signed the charter for the new Erasmus + program, the Faculty will continue to actively participate in the activities under our new bilateral agreements with other European universities which offer opportunities for academic enrichment and innovation.
The Faculty has five research centers – The Institute for Critical Social Studies (which has the status of a joint unit between Plovdiv University and the ‘Critique and Humanism' Foundation); the Research Centre for ‘Science, Technology and Innovation'; the University Centre for Christian Art and Culture; the Centre for Anthropological and Ethno-sociological Research; and the Centre for Philosophy and Mental Health. The unique combination of disciplines and academic staff in the FPH offers the necessary resources for the development of interdisciplinary scholarly and educational projects and programs.
The Department of Ethnology
The Department of Ethnology is primarily responsible for the BA degrees in Ethnology and Social Anthropology, Cultural Tourism and English and Cultural Heritage (together with the Faculty of Philology). It also organizes the MA programs in: ‘Ethnology: Communities, Identities, Culture'; ‘Cultural Tourism and Cultural Projects'; ‘Cultural Management'; ‘Social Mediation and Communication'. During the years of its existence, the Department has established itself as a major center for training professionals and developing researchers. Within the degree of Ethnology, nine theses have been defended before academic committees for the acquisition of a PhD degree in Ethnology. Currently, the Department provides PhD level education in Ethnology, Social Anthropology and Cultural Sciences.
The scholarly development of our teaching staff is a result of continuous involvement in research and educational projects, publications in reputable domestic and foreign scientific journals, as well as the maintenance of regular and fruitful international exchanges.
The academic staff of the Department includes a total of 9 people – five habilitated doctors (DSc or Dr. habil.) and four doctors (PhD) assistant professors. The administrative work is carried out by an administrative assistant.