Over 2700 students start the new academic year at Semmelweis University’s six faculties in September and more than a quarter of them are from abroad with 450 students enrolled at the English language programme and 270 students starting the German language programme. The opening ceremony of the 248th academic year was also attended by the leaders and students of the University’s new faculty, András Pető Faculty.
In his ceremonial speech Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector greeted the freshmen by advising them to be persistent and faithful to their profession. He also quoted an aphorism by Hippocrates (“Salus aegroti, suprema lex esto” – The good of the people should be the supreme law) and pointed out that health care as a profession is outstanding in its requirement for altruistic behaviour and a disposition to unselfishly help others.
“Anatomy, pharmacology and heart surgery can be taught and must be learned. However, it is more difficult to deliberately acquire the love for your fellow humans, and the interest in their physical and spiritual ailments.”, the Rector said.
In his speech he reminded the students that health care is a wonderful, yet terrifying profession as in spite of team work having a great importance, occasionally one will have to make appropriate decisions alone in a matter of a few minutes. Practical approach is inevitable for doctors and nurses which can be learned from their experienced teachers.
“It takes a lot of time, effort and money to raise and educate an excellent student and make him become a good professional. This is why health care education, higher education and medical research need more investment.”, Dr. Ágoston Szél said.
He greeted the leaders and students of András Pető Faculty and expressed his pleasure of having the institution among Semmelweis University’s faculties.
“I believe that it is a win-win situation for both Semmelweis University and András Pető College. I, as the Rector promise that Semmelweis University will not only preserve but strengthen all the values of the former college.”, the Rector announced.
In his ceremonial address Dr. László Palkovics, Minister of State for Education also greeted the leaders and students of András Pető Faculty pointing out that the merger with Semmelweis University provides an excellent opportunity for the faculty’s further development, the extension of its rehabilitation capacities and clinical experience for its health care professionals.
“Semmelweis University is an outstanding institution, a real example of quality education, high standards and competitiveness. The University is one of the most important medical universities in the Central-Eastern European region and Hungarian health care would not be able to fully function without the services it provides. Moreover, the nearly two-year-old Chancellery at the University has improved its liquidity and made its operation more stable.”, he said.
The Minister of State gave a detailed description of the Semmelweis XXI project which is a programme to be launched by the government in order to develop theoretical, practical and clinical education at the university, thus making it the leading medical institution in Central-Eastern Europe and one of the world’s best 100 universities and 50 most excellent medical universities.
“One of the first steps of the development programme was the laying of the foundation of the Faculty of Health Sciences’ new wing. Further developmental projects include the establishment of childcare in Buda, the improvement of the facilities of the Faculty of Pharmacy, the renewal of dental services, the development of transplantation, heart and vascular medicine and the establishment of the capacities needed for the South-Buda Health Care Centre.”, Dr. Palkovics said.
“First, you should learn how to study and find the most suitable method to achieve the most efficient way of studying. Second, you should know what is expected from you and understand if you have skipped some parts of the study material. You should also respect your teachers, your fellow students and the people around you.”, he said.
The foreign students were welcomed by Dr. Attila Mócsai, Director of the Foreign Students’ Secretariat in German and in English.
“The German language programme has been running for 35 years and the English language programme is only a few years younger. Today, students acquire their diplomas from 5 continents, from Norway to Iran and from Canada to Japan. Semmelweis University is among the world’s leading universities thanks to its high standards and strict requirements. By taking the solemn oath, foreign students will belong to the university’s community, which means certain rights and obligations, such as studying hard during the examination periods.”, he said.
The Outstanding Teacher Awards were handed over to eight university teachers for their commitment towards the university and their outstanding educational activities. The awards were conferred by Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector upon the following teachers: Dr. László Gellér (Városmajor Heart and Vascular Centre, Department of Cardiology), Dr. Ildikó Miklya (Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy), Dr. Anna Németh (Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology), Dr. Beáta Kerémi (Department of Oral Biology), Dr. Árpád Joób-Fancsaly (Department of Oro-Maxillofacial Surgery and Stomatology), Katalin Simkó (Department of Nursing), Dr. Péter Gaál, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Public Services and Dr. Miklós Szócska, Director of the Health Services Management Training Centre.
The Pro Universitate Award was also conferred by the Rector upon Dr. András Falus (Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology), Dr. Béla Noszál (Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Dr. Attila Pajor (2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and Dr. Károly Szász, Chancellor handed over an award to Baumgartnerné Irén Holló, Director of Financial Affairs. The award goes to those colleagues whose outstanding commitment greatly contributed to the high-standard realization of the University’s educational objectives.
The closing act of the ceremony was the performance of the Medic Orchestra.
Photo: Attila Kovács, Semmelweis University, Zoltán Tuba
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek