prof. dr. Andreja Žgajnar Gotvajn, University of Ljubljana Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology
Continuous changes in our environment are now the greatest concern of today’s world politicians and of society in general. The growing environmental pollution has changed social values and human behaviour in such a way that research into environmental hazards and the development of new technologies for protecting the environment are encouraged. The problems of environmental protection are heterogeneous, integrated and interdisciplinary. Problem solving is a result of the combined knowledge arising from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, technical sciences, medicine, and others. The expectations for successful environmental protection are ensured by the integration of different disciplines, providing the basis for successful problem solving. The need for a contemporary and high quality doctoral programme was thus dictated by the need for new knowledge and technical solutions, which typically emerged in the border areas of various disciplines. Due to the great diversity of environmental problems, designing a new interdisciplinary doctoral programme seemed the most appropriate approach.
The interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Environmental protection links together experts from various faculties and departments with a common interest in protecting our environment. The programme is organized by the University of Ljubljana through its faculties: the Biotechnical Faculty, the Faculty of Economics, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, the Faculty of Law, and the Veterinary Faculty. The programme is coordinated at the university level by the Programme Board, consisting of representatives from each faculty. The collaborating faculties are responsible for the delivery of the programme.
The main emphasis of the programme is the students’ research work, so choosing their mentors at the beginning of the study is essential. In addition to acquiring research and laboratory skills, students are also offered theoretical knowledge through the choice of several types of courses. As a rule, all students with various orientations obtain fundamental knowledge on environmental issues by taking two fundamental courses; additional knowledge can be obtained through the choice of elective theoretical and elective research courses consistent with their research interest.