UNIVERSITY OF MINING AND GEOLOGY: STRATEGY OF SUCCESS


Professor Ivaylo Koprev, PhD, leads a boutique institution of crucial importance for Bulgaria and the planet

professor ivaylo koprev mgu.jpg

The importance of the University of Mining and Geology St Ivan Rilski, or MGU, can hardly be overestimated. Since its foundation in 1953, it has trained specialists in a vital field in the Bulgarian economy – the mineral and raw materials industry. Today, the university is aware that it has another important task: to make everything possible to protect the environment. It is working towards these goals thanks to adequate, modern programmes and curriculum, young faculty and strategic partnerships with private companies and state institutions. To learn more, we talked with MGU's rector, Professor Ivaylo Koprev, PhD, who just won a second term at the helm of the university.

You are one of Bulgaria's youngest rectors. How, in your opinion, this affects your managerial style and the way in which you lead the MGU?

The four years of my first term as the rector of the University of Mining and Geology St Ivan Rilski reasserted my conviction that in an extremely conservative system, such as the higher education system, it is crucial to be flexible, and to think and act quick in order to be capable of answering the needs of the society in general and the business in particular. Just like the motto of Captain Nemo's Nautilus we should, too, be Mobilis in mobile. At the same time, I believe that we have to be conservative in order to preserve our individuality. Since its establishment in 1953, the MGU has not changed its vision and goal – we focus on education in seeking, research and processing of mineral resources and on analysis of raw materials' economical benefits, how they can be extracted in the cleanest way possible and what could be the added value for the local communities.

What was the most important decision that you took since you became the rector of the MGU?

There is not one single important decision. Every day you have to solve tasks that are top priority at the moment. Every day I have meetings with people who believe that their problem is the most important thing around. However, all the decisions that I have made follow the dictum that the University of Mining and Geology is a place for education and a spiritual home of the united community of professionals from the mineral resources industry of Bulgaria. This is why we have to defend the university's autonomy and to keep its long-term vision so that in the next 15-20 years the nation will still have prepared professionals in the field. I think that we will succeed, because the average age of our faculty is 48 years and we have adequate academic capacity to continue training young people so that they have a successful professional realisation.

What makes MGU one of the preferred universities in Bulgaria and Europe today?

First, we are a boutique university with a strong connection between professor and student, student and dean, and student and rector. We have a personal approach towards each of our students, and this creates a positive atmosphere in the educational process.

Second, with our trainings and paid internships we give opportunities to our students to personally experience the real business environment and to decide where and how they see their place for professional realisation there. This happens as early as students' first year at university.

Third, because of our trustees, who are the managers of respected companies in the mineral resources industry – the Geotechmin Group, Dundee Precious Metals Bulgaria, Minstroy Holding JSC, Assarel Medet JSC. These people are leaders and visionaries in their field and have an active stance about life in the university and help our students to meet successful Bulgarians and to learn more about the road towards building a successful company. This is an excellent motivation for both students and faculty. This helps us to successfully develop the option to present a transforming and wholesome experience at the university that leads to personal progress and successful career.

With what companies and institutions does the MGU partner and what are the benfits for the students?

The combination between general engineering education and a more narrowly specialised knowledge and skills during training at the MGU give options for our students to start working in geology, mining, the energy and energy resources sector, civic and industrial construction, environment protection etc. We successfully partner both with private companies and state institutions. Our faculty are recognised experts and many of them are leaders in their field of expertise. Indeed, the University of Mining and Geology St Ivan Rilski and the business in Bulgaria have repeatedly proven and continue to prove that together they can achieve a lot. The joint development of the model "Science-business-education" is possible thanks to the understanding of our partners that good education can happen only when it is in synergy with the best practices in the world.

What is up for the MGU in the next academic year?

In 2024/2025 we are going to update our curriculum and programmes to answer more adequately the global trends, the development of the mineral resources and energy industry and the principles of sustainable development. For me it is important to show that a young person can be well educated in this field so that they are able to work with added value both for their family and for saving resources for future generations.

Sofia, Students Town, 1 Prof Boyan Kamenov St

+359 2 806 0201

info@mgu.bg

mgu.bg

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