The foundation stone of the Faculty of Health Sciences’ new wing has recently been laid. The ceremony was organized in the framework of the third forum of the health ministers of China and Central-Eastern Europe. The construction is partly supported by the government with a budget of 1.4 billion HUF. The new building wing will provide space for the Traditional Chinese Medicine teaching, as well as will ensure new opportunities for other teaching activities of the Faculty, such as nursing, paramedics, physiology and midwifery.
“The international educational and research collaborations of Semmelweis University are extremely diverse. Our relations with Chinese partners have developed in a dynamic way in the past ten years, especially at the Faculty of Health Sciences. These long-standing relations primarily resulted in educational collaborations.”, expressed Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, during his speech held on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone.
In his speech Rector Szél also highlighted some examples: the Faculty of Health Sciences organizes each year short intensive programmes to health care professionals from Tianjin province; there have been a staff and student exchange programme in cooperation with Jiao Tong University at Shanghai; and Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine located in Harbin has an off-campus BSc programme in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at the Faculty of Health Sciences of Semmelweis University.
“In 2016 two additional relationships were established with Chinese partners and such an extension of our Chinese relations generated the need of a strategic decision. Afterwards the strategic decision was made related to the laying of the foundations of a Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre, which primarily provides space for education and research.”, emphasized Rector Szél.
“Education related to Traditional Chinese Medicine has been operating since 2011 at the Faculty of Health Sciences in the framework of an off-campus training programme of Heilongjiang University. The educational collaboration and the programme is in an entire harmony with the government’s purposes, according to which the relationship with eastern countries, especially the experiences earned from the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine, can be useful in many respects for the society of our country as well.”, said Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences in his speech.
As Dean Nagy highlighted, besides the Faculty’s own financial contribution, a university- as well as a governmental financial support also enable the establishment of this new building wing, in which, among other programmes, the teaching of Traditional Chinese Medicine will be located. According to Dean Nagy, a part-time education programme is being planned for physicians, dentists and pharmacists, also a two-year professional educational programme will be offered for applicants with a BSc diploma in health care sciences.
“According to the plans the new wing, which will be added to the already existing building as an extension, will be located on six floors on a territory of approximately 4000 m2. It will have large lecture halls, also laboratories and demonstration halls, and one entire floor will be dedicated to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre. This way the new wing will provide 21st century quality environment for the TCM department specialised in massage therapy, acupuncture and herb therapy.”, expressed Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy.
Dr. László Palkovics, Minister of State for Education at the Ministry of National Resources, emphasized in his speech that the Hungarian Government highly supports science and education and considers international collaborations extremely important. Medical education has a great significance in the new higher-education strategy. The Hungarian Government had discussions at the latest plenary session about the strategy of Semmelweis University, which is now about to start with the laying of the foundation stone.
According to Liu Yandong, Vice-President of the State Council of China, Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the treasures of the Chinese people. As she said, with the collaboration between the two esteemed universities, a high-quality educational platform can be established, which would result in the realization of a new model for international education. Vice-President Liu Yandong expressed her hope regarding the good cooperation between Chinese and Hungarian professionals in the field of medicine, hopefully both partners will have the opportunity to get familiar with each other’s culture besides Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Afterwards the foundation stone was laid on the site next to the building of the Faculty of Health Sciences, which is currently used as a parking lot. The time capsule containing the foundation document and the floor plan of the building was officially placed by the following people: Dr. Bence Rétvári, State Minister for Parliament at the Ministry of Human Capacities, Dr. László Palkovics, Minister of State for Education at the Ministry of National Resources, Liu Yandong, Vice-President of the State Council of China, Li Bin, Chair of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Ma Jianzhong, Vice Commissioner of State Administration of TCM China, Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy, Dean and Dr. Sun Zhongren, President of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine.
“In a few years we hope to see a six-floor building here, which will serve multiple purposes. The new wing of the building will not only provide space for the Traditional Chinese Medicine teaching, but it will also open new opportunities for other educational programmes of the Faculty, which has a growing number of Hungarian and international students. This is important for the Hungarian health care system as well, since we will be able to provide an education for the future paramedics, nurses and other health care professionals of the country that lives up for the educational and health care tasks of the 21st century.”, emphasized Dr. Bence Rétvári, State Minister for Parliament at the Ministry of Human Capacities.
According to Dr. Bence Rétvári, for Hungary this recent event can be a reinforced bridge in the direction of China, in the framework of Eastern Opening Strategy (Keleti Nyitás). Dr. Rétvári also highlighted the functions of the building, on the basis of which not only Hungarian students, but students from the 16 Central-Eastern European countries can also study at the Faculty in English language. He explained that the building will also host research related to Traditional Chinese Medicine, and medical rooms will be available where patients will have the opportunity to make advantage of the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments permitted in Hungary that will be operating in a transparent and legal framework. As Dr. Rétvári expressed, Semmelweis University managed its budget wisely in the past years, therefore it can also contribute to the investment costs from its own resources. The Hungarian Government provides a budget of 1.4 billion HUF.
Following the laying of the foundation stone, there was a Commencement Ceremony held at the Faculty of Health Sciences for the graduates of 2017 of the off-campus programme of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine. The BSc degrees were conferred upon the students by Dr. Sun Zhongren President, while the official certificate was handed over by Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy, Dean.
After the Commencement Ceremony, the leaders of the Chinese university received the silver Pro Universitate Award. The award to Dr. Sun Zhongren was handed over by Dr. Ágoston Szél, and the award to Dr. Yao Suyuan was handed over by Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy.
Finally, Dr. Ágoston Szél and Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy were provided with the Doctor Honoris Causa Award of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine as a recognition for their great work and achievements in the framework of the cooperation between the two universities.
Photo: Rudolf Karancsi
Translation: Katalin Illés-Romhányi