Dr. Mària Judit Molnàr, vice-rector for scientific affairs and Dr. Jozsef Sàndor, co-founder of the Japan-Hungary Surgical Society and scientific associate of Semmelweis University’s Department of Surgical Research and Techniques visited Japan upon the invitation of Saitama Medical University. The main purpose of the visit was to extend the exchange agreement between the two institutions.
The Semmelweis delegation visited many other Japanese universities besides Saitama Medical University (Josai University, Keio University, Nihon Dental University and Kyoto University) accompanied and organised by Dr. Mària Mernyei, a professor of pathology who lives in Japan. During its visit at Josai University, the delegation paved the way for a nursing exchange programme as well as discussed the opportunities of cross-border online courses and explored the possibilities to establish a research collaboration of pharmacy PhD students. Nippon Dental University – equipped with modern technologies – also sees an opportunity to establish exchange training programmes for dentistry students.
Our university’s representatives discussed possibilities for research collaborations with the leaders of Keio University and Kyoto University. At the latter institution, the delegation also met with the President of the Japanese Society of Neurology, Professor Takahashi Ryoshuke and – in order to identify possibilities for cooperation – they visited the Department of Thoracic Surgery, the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology as well as the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application led by the Nobel laureate Professor Shinya Yamanaka.
One of the highlights of the visit was the meeting with the representatives of the Japanese Society of Pathology, Professor Fukayama and Professor Manabe. Within the framework of the agreement signed during the meeting, young Japanese pathologists will have the opportunity to participate in autopsy trainings at Semmelweis University. The cooperation agreement was developed thanks to the efforts of – among others – Dr. Mària Mernyei and Dr. Tibor Glasz.
The Semmelweis delegation was also welcomed by the Embassy of Hungary in Tokyo. The leaders of the Japanese partner institutions and the founders of the Japan-Hungary Surgical Society were invited to the ceremonial dinner organised in honour of the delegation. In his ceremonial speech, Dr. Istvàn Szerdahelyi, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary emphasised the importance of strengthening the two countries’ relations and the cooperation between their universities. The question is especially timely considering the recently launched cooperation programme between Japan and the V4 countries.
He also reminded the audience that 65 Japanese students study at Semmelweis University’s Faculty of Medicine in this academic year. Semmelweis University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Josai University signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 which includes academic and research cooperation and strengthens mobility programmes.
Saitama Medical University signed an agreement on student exchange programmes with Semmelweis University in 2002 in the framework of which 2 Hungarian medical students have the opportunity to undertake a training programme in Japan every July and 2 Japanese students arrive to Hungary for clinical training every August. Additionally an exchange programme was launched in 2010 which allows the participation of 1 Hungarian and 1 Japanese staff member annually.
During the ceremonial signatures Dr. Mària Judit Molnàr emphasised that the Far Eastern and more specifically the Japanese relations are of high priority in our University’s internationalisation strategy. “We are proud of our longest Japanese relationship, in other words our cooperation agreement with Saitama Medical University; the fact that every year an average of 10 to 15 times as many students apply as there are available places, signifies perfectly the value and importance of this exchange programme. Nevertheless, apart from our long-standing and traditional relations, it is also a priority to actively expand and develop our Japanese relations in order to increase the international recognition of our University.” – emphasised Vice-Rector Molnàr.
Translated by: Bonifac Makkai