Meet EMRA partners

The EMRA consortium includes 7 higher education institutions and an NGO offering lifelong learning opportunities and capacity building in rural areas. The mixture of participating organisations is balanced, regarding their country of origin: 3 old member states (EL, ES, DE),
4 new member states (PL, HU, RO, EE); and their specialisations cover a wide spectrum of fields (i.e rural sociology, rural management, agronomics, business development, social anthropology, cultural economics, regional studies, public policy) ensuring the interdisciplinary nature of the planned programme of studies.


Project Leader:

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Department of Rural Sociology, Poland

The NCU is a leading state-owned educational institution, which educates yearly about 30,000 students. The Department of Rural Sociology is a leading institution in Central and Eastern Europe in scientific research on sustainable rural development. It employs high quality researchers on rural development and educates yearly about 50 students; regularly publishes valued international journal ‘Eastern European Countryside’ and coordinates EU projects closely connected with the process of EU enlargement. The department of Rural Sociology offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses: a 3 years bachelor’s degree/ and 2 years Master’s degree in the field of Rural Development Policies in Europe, which are also partially offered as distance learning courses. Besides the students of the department have the option to attend a 1-year postgraduate course in Rural Sociology, which is a full distance learning course as well as a big variety of other courses related to the subject.

Contact person: Dr. Wojciech Kniec, and  Prof. Andrzej Kaleta,


Project Coordinator:

European Academy for Sustainable Rural Development – Euracademy Association

Euracademy Association is a non-profit European membership organisation launched in 2003, with the vision to promote capacity building in rural areas through lifelong learning and transfer of good practice and cooperation between different actors of rural development in the EU. The Association has members from over 20 European countries including universities, research institutions, academics, policy makers, social partners, local development managers and others. The Association has conducted a multiplicity of activities, including regular face-to-face learning in 8 summer academies, e-learning courses, publication of 10 books, networking, advice, cooperation in transnational projects and conferences. The Euracademy network carries the experience of almost eight years of developing and implementing capacity building and lifelong learning packages for sustainable rural development across Europe.

Contact person: Dr. Fouli Papageorgiou,


Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Greece

The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh) is a constituent institute of the International Centre of Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), an intergovernmental organization comprising thirteen member countries from the Mediterranean Basin whose purpose is the development of scientific cooperation by providing post graduate education, research and training in economics, management, and applied biological, technological and environmental sciences related to rural areas. The Department of Sustainable Agriculture has developed significant academic and research experience in sustainable farming systems (organic farming, environmental indicators, plant pathology etc.). The Information System Technologies (IST) group of the Institute enhances academic, research, administrative and support activities through the deployment of appropriate technology. Emphasis is also given to Distance Learning and Multimedia Course Production with delivery both on CD/DVD and online.

Contact person: Dr. Ioannis Livieratos,


University Babes-Bolyai, Faculty of Sociology, Romania

The University of Babes-Bolyai is a public institution with 21 faculties. The Faculty of Sociology includes social sciences, sociology, anthropology and social work at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including a Masters programme in Social Policy and Social Services. The section of sociology prepares students in sociology and special emphasis is given in rural sociology and rural development as well as in the professional practice in different field of works and projects. In the Department exists a Documentation Centre in Rural Sociology, which is taking part in national and international projects. General aims of the university are higher education and scientific activity.

Contact person: Dr. Agneta Ecaterina Nemenyi,


University of Rostock, Institute for Rural Management, Germany

Founded in 1419, the University of Rostock (UR) is one of the oldest German universities in the Baltic Sea region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As an academic institution of higher education, the UR consists of 10 faculties which host more than 14.000 students among them 800 from about 80 countries. The university offers more than 80 study programmes including advanced Master courses, adult education and distance learning. The Interdisciplinary Faculty (INF) established in 2007 puts special emphasis on interdisciplinary research activities & international cooperation. The University provides a modern technical and organizational infrastructure to undertake research. The Institute for Rural Management (IRM) has been composed of scholars of the Faculty with outstanding interdisciplinary expertise in various research fields such as land use, settlement planning, farm management or rural policy. The Masters course of Science for Land Management & Environmental Protection is being offered.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Henning Bombeck,


University of Valencia, Local Development Institute, Spain

The University of Valencia, with more than 3000 researchers, who make up 90 departments, 17 institutes and other research units belonging to the social, biomedical, human, experimental and formal sciences, stands out as one of the main public research organisations in Spain. The Institute for Local Development of the University of Valencia, created in 2004, gathers over 20 academics of several departments (Geography, Economics, Sociology, Law) in a multidisciplinary research and training structure aimed at exploring and extending the potentials of local development. The UVEG team for this project comprises 3 associated professors and 1 full professor of the Institute for Local Development. All members hold relevant experience in university teaching and are responsible of 2 Masters in Local Development. Research focuses on local development (urban and rural) and the analysis of local labour markets.

Contact person: Dr. Joan Noguera,


University Széchenyi István, Faculty of Economics, Hungary

At SIU the education in economics at the bachelor level started in 1990 with the business management prog. Today the faculty’s educational profile includes following specializations: international studies, public service, communications, business management, marketing and regional sciences. Education ranges from the bachelor courses through the masters and special training courses to PhD prog. In addition to fulltime courses, since ’95 students have had the opportunity to participate in distance learning and since 2005 in e-learning. Great attention is paid to acquire practical skills and supported talented students’ development. Education is based on scientific background with international recognition. The faculty is involved in several long-term research projects, moreover, it has a general cooperation agreement and exchange prog with numerous countries within and outside Europe. The training profile is continuously shaped according to the expectations of the labour market.

Contact person: DSc. Irén Szörényiné Kukorelli,


Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Estonian University of Life Sciences is the only university in  Estonia whose priorities in academic and research activities  provide the sustainable development of natural resources  necessary for the existence of Man as well as the preservation of  heritage and habitat. The Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is composed of 11 departments and 3 research centres. This institute is the largest of the five institutes comprising the Estonian University of Life Sciences, attracting 5% of Estonian research financing. Aside from profound selection of Bachelor’s level curricula, two international master programs taught in English are also coordinated here: both the Biodiversity and Landscape Management and Landscape Architecture curricula are coordinated here.

Contact person: Dr Roger Evans