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First steps

In 1884 there was a decision to open a university in Plovdiv to train administrative staff, economists and politicians. Thanks to the initiative of the directors of public education (Konstantin Velichkov), justice (Stefan Bobchev) and finance (Mihail Madjarov), a project for administrative regulations of the school was developed. Curricula have been prepared, lecturers from abroad have been invited, and the opening is scheduled for October 1, 1885. But the historical and political events thwarted the realization of the idea of a university in Plovdiv. The proclamation of the Union on September 6 of the same year and the ensuing Serbo-Bulgarian War dramatically changed the priorities and actions of the ruling party. The functions of the capital of the united state are taken over by Sofia. Thus, winning the accession of Eastern Rumelia to the Principality of Bulgaria, Plovdiv lost some opportunities, including the establishment of the first Bulgarian university.

With the advent of the twentieth century, Plovdiv continues to be a center of educational activities. Here in 1909 was opened the first in the country Teachers' Institute, established as a two-year higher pedagogical course in natural sciences at the high school "Prince Alexander I" with the task of training junior high school teachers. In 1914 the course became an independent educational institution, and in 1920 it grew into a Teachers' Institute with three years of study (including philological and historical specialties).

In the 1930s, the idea of opening a university in the city was revived among the Plovdiv public, but real action was taken only at the end of 1944 with the establishment of the Civil Committee for the Cultural Promotion of Plovdiv. The committee aims to establish a university, a music school and a symphony orchestra in the city. Despite the difficult post-war times in 1945, all three objectives were achieved.

On July 31, 1945, the Council of Ministers adopted a decree for the opening of the State University in Plovdiv with two faculties: agronomy-forestry and medicine. At the end of November of the same year, the regular classes begin. In 1950, the university was divided into two independent universities: the Medical Academy and the Higher Agricultural Institute (HAI). Three years later, in 1953, the Higher Institute of Food Industry (HIFI) separated from HAI as an independent one. The university ceases to exist.

During this time - the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century, significant economic changes took place in the country, which also affected the educational system. The number of both schools and students is growing. The economy requires a larger number of specialists, the schools - well-prepared teachers.



By Decree № 264 of the Presidium of the National Assembly of July 1, 1961 in Plovdiv was opened the Higher Pedagogical Institute of Natural and Mathematical Disciplines for the training of teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. In the same month, the Minister of Education appointed Professor Zhivko Lambrev (transferred from the Higher Medical Institute in Plovdiv) as rector of the new institute (in the first years its name was accepted HINSM - Higher Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and later - the official HPI). his vice - associate professor Todor Vassilev (from HIFI). In August, the first habilitated persons at the Institute were confirmed: Assoc. Prof. Yordan Duychev (mathematician), Assoc. Prof. Asen Galabov (chemist), Assoc. Prof. Zlatko Bonev (geologist) and Assoc. Prof. Boris Djurdjev (philosopher). These six professors formed the first Academic council at the Institute.


The main task of the management is to quickly organize the educational process for the upcoming academic year 1961/1962. Competitions for assistants and teachers are immediately announced; a dozen assistants are transferred from other universities (mostly in Plovdiv) (Assoc. Prof. T. Vassilev transfers the entire Department of Physics - 8 people, from HIFI). The issue of students is relatively easy to solve - some of the candidates for Sofia University, who have successfully passed the competitive exams, according to their residence and grades are admitted to the HPI.

The solemn inauguration of the Institute and the first academic year took place on September 15, 1961 in the presence of official guests, leaders of the country and the city, teachers and students, Rector Prof. Lambrev made a speech entitled "The Higher Pedagogical Institute - a new focus of education and science."

Classes begin. The curricula for the four specialties (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology) are borrowed from the University of Sofia. Both the management and the teaching staff have the ambition to work with the capital's standards. Similar to the Sofia Alma Mater, about 20 departments were quickly formed, some of them with two or three assistants.


Initially, the facilities of the HPI was scarce - half of the building of the existing Teachers' Institute (now the building of the Faculty of Biology in the Old Town) and several rooms of the building of HIFI (now the Faculty of Chemistry) were given for use. Over the next few years, the facilities developed rapidly. In 1963 HIFI, and in 1968 HAI moved to new buildings and gave all their former rooms to HPI. Renovated and equipped, they already represent a large base for the implementation of a normal learning process and research. The merits in this respect of the vice-rector Dinyo Dinev and the planner Atanas Atanasov are huge.

The first shovel of soil of the central building of the university was made in 1914. The building was officially inaugurated in 1921 for the needs of the French College "St. Augustine." Today, this building houses the Rectorate of Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv and some of its faculties - Philology, Physics, Law and the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.



In 1966, at the suggestion of the Academic Council, the National Assembly approved the first Bulgarian Revivalist, Paisii Hilendarski, as patron of the HPI - Plovdiv.

University structure

In 1970, for the first time in the structure of the Institute, faculties were established - Faculty of Mathematics (Dean Assoc. Prof. Ivan Raichinov) and Faculty of Science (Dean Prof. Mladen Genchev). On January 12, 1972, Decree № 24 of the State Council was issued, according to which the HPI was transformed into Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv. This marked the beginning of a new stage in the development of higher education. In the following year - 1973, two new specialties were opened - Bulgarian Philology and Russian Philology. The expansion of the range of specialties makes the University adequate to its purpose. The new specialties in the first years were attached for administrative services to the Faculty of Physics opened in 1974.

The following year, Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv grew significantly. The country's first Faculty of Public Professions was opened (1975), later the Faculty of Qualification and Retraining of Staff. In 1984 the Faculty of Pedagogy was opened and the philological specialties were transferred to it. In 1990–1991, the Faculty of Philology, Chemistry and Biology were separated as separate units, and in the following years the Faculty of Law (1992) and the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (1994) were opened. Before that, in 1989, the semi-higher institutes in the cities of Smolyan, Kardzhali, Pazardzhik and Burgas, as well as the Institute for Teacher Training in Stara Zagora were integrated at the University of Plovdiv. Thus, Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv established itself as the largest university outside the capital.


The first rector of the University - Prof. Zhivko Lambrev (until then a lecturer at the Higher Medical Institute - Plovdiv), was appointed on July 31, 1961. Until 1972 the rector's term was two years, and then - four years.

The first Academic Council consisted of Prof. Zhivko Lambrev (Rector), Assoc. Prof. Todor Vassilev (Vice-Rector), Assoc. Prof. Yordan Duychev (from Sofia University), Assoc. Prof. Asen Galabov (from HMI - Plovdiv), Assoc. Prof. Zlatko Bonev (from HAI - Plovdiv) and Assoc. Prof. Boris Djurdjev (from HAI - Plovdiv).





Prof. Zhivko Lambrev

(Professor since 1955)

Assoc. Prof. Todor Vasilev


Prof. Zhivko Lambrev

Prof. Todor Vassilev

Assoc. Prof. Mladen Genchev


Prof. Zhivko Lambrev

Prof. Todor Vassilev

Assoc. Prof. Stefan Ivanov,PhD


Assoc. Prof. Stefan Ivanov, PhD

(Professor since 1971, D.Sc, since 1979)

Prof. Pavel Angelov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Marin Pehlivanov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Atanas Atanasov


Prof. Zhivko Lambrev

Prof. Pavel Angelov, PhD

Prof. Todor Vassilev

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Paskalev


Assoc. Prof. Dragomir Pobornikov,PhD (Professor since 1979)

Assoc. Prof. Ivan Raichinov,PhD

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Kimenov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Nikola Balabanov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Ivan Petrov

(In 1974, Assoc. Prof. Trifon Nakov was elected to replace Assoc. Prof. Raichinov.)


Prof. Dragomir Pobornikov, PhD

Prof. Ivan Petrov

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Kimenov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Shterev, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Maria Gurgulova, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Trifon Nakov, PhD


Prof. Pavel Angelov, D.Sc

(Professor since 1970, D.Sc since 1980)

Prof. Yordan Ivanov, D.Sc (1979–1981)

Prof. Atanas Atanasov

Assoc. Prof. Angel Shishkov, PhD (1981–1983)

Assoc. Prof. Stoil Mihovski, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Hristo Mitrovski, PhD


Assoc. Prof. Tsvetan Obretenov, D.Sc, PhD

(Professor since 1991, D. Sc since 1988)

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Zlatanov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Papanov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Paskal Kartalov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Trifon Nakov, PhD


Assoc. Prof. Tsvetan Obretenov, D.Sc, PhD

Prof. Stefan Ivanov, D.Sc, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Zlatanov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Totkov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Paskal Kartalov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Milena Kaludova


 Prof. Nikola Balabanov, D.Sc (Professor since 1984, D. Sc since 1982)

Prof. Lyubomir Futekov, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Ivan Kutsarov, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Dimitar Vranchev, PhD (1989–1991)

Assoc. Prof. Dimitar Mitev, PhD


Assoc. Prof. Ognyan Saparev, PhD

(Professor since 1997, D.Sc since 1996)

Prof. Ivan Kutsarov, D.Sc

Prof. Lyubomir Futekov, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Dimitar Mitev, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Hristo Semerdzhiev, D.Sc


Prof. Ognian Saparev, D.Sc

Prof. Ivan Kutsarov, D.Sc

Prof. Lyubomir Futekov, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Dimitar Mitev, D.Sc


Prof. Ognian Saparev, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Georgi Totkov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Dora Levterova, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Zapryan Kozludzhov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Nikolai Zhilov, PhD


Prof. Ivan Kutsarov, D.Sc

(Professor since 1995, D.Sc since 1992)

Prof. Georgi Andreev, D.Sc

Assoc. Prof. Zapryan Kozludzhov, PhD

Assoc. II degree Mariana Mikhailova,PhD


Prof. Ivan Kutsarov, D.Sc

Prof. Georgi Andreev, D.Sc

Prof. Dimitar Mekerov, PhD

Assoc. II degree Mariana Mikhailova, PhD


Prof. Zapryan Kozludzhov, PhD

(Professor since 2012)

Prof. Georgi Totkov, D.Sc

Prof. Nevena Mileva, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Georgetta Cholakova, PhD


Prof. Zapryan Kozludzhov, PhD

Prof. Nevena Mileva, PhD

Prof. Hristo Krushkov, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Maria Stoyanova, PhD

 2019 – until now

Prof. Rumen Mladenov, PhD


Prof. Rumyana Tankova, D.Sc

Prof. Anton Iliev, PhD

Prof. Temenuzhka Yovcheva, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Maria Stoyanova, PhD

Assoc. Prof. Nadia Cherneva, PhD
Last update 12 January 2024

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