”I study environmental economics to help people understand environmental issues”

In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics (AGERE), you learn to use economics to confront global challenges. We talked to master’s students Zobayer Hosen and Mariana Monne about their experiences in the programme.

Who is the Master’s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics for?

Hosen: "The programme structure is very flexible, so I think it is for anyone who has a passion for natural sciences and wants to combine it with economics. I specialise in agricultural economics, where we study topics such as agricultural policy, the food market, and the management of agricultural institutions."

Monne: "The programme is versatile and can benefit students with different interests. For example, I focus on environmental economics and forestry, while a friend of mine specialises in sustainable development and different macroeconomic approaches. You also don’t need to have everything figured out when you start, as the programme allows you to explore different courses."

Why do we need experts in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics?

Monne: "We need experts because we need to be pragmatic about environmental issues. Right now, people treat them as if they were a matter of opinion. I am passionate about this because I come from Brazil, which has the largest rainforest in the world, but none of the Brazilian universities offer programmes in environmental economics. I plan to return to Brazil to teach environmental economics after I graduate."

Hosen: "As our environment is changing due to global warming, we need experts in agricultural economics more than ever. We need to develop new technologies that help us survive natural disasters and provide food for the growing world population.

I want to work towards eliminating food waste. I am doing my master’s thesis in collaboration with a start-up that is developing dynamic food labels that change colour when the food has gone bad. This would enable customers to see if the food is edible even if the best-before date has passed."

What is it like to study and live in Helsinki?

Hosen: "The academic environment is very relaxed here. The teachers are friendly, and you can have great conversations with them after the lectures or by sending them an e-mail.

I have a wife and two kids, so my free time is very family-oriented! Finland is a great country for raising children. The Finnish society supports a healthy work-life balance – people here value free time."

Monne: "I have been surprised by how amazing it is to live in Finland. At the University of Helsinki, I feel like I am learning from the frontier of knowledge – the teachers often use recent research papers as course material instead of older academic books.

One of the best things about living here is the people. It is easy to make friends. The summers in Finland are also something else: you can ride your bike at 2 a.m. because the nights are so light, and there are many great events to go to. Last summer was the best one in my life."

Studying in the programme
About the programme

In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics (AGERE), you combine economics and natural sciences to become a professional in applied economics in agricultural, environmental and resource-focused fields. You will be well versed in topics such as climate policy, sustainable agriculture and food security.

The programme comprises of two study tracks:

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Environmental and Resource Economics.

The study track of Agricultural Economics combines expertise in Business Administration and Economics with knowledge of the special features of agriculture, rural enterprises, the food markets and related policies.

In the Environmental and Resource Economics study track, you receive a state-of-the-art economic education in environmental and natural resource economics.