The Senate of Semmelweis University held its inaugural session in its new composition. The body passed curriculum reform for the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry, it voted on changes to the Organizational and Operational Regulations (SZMSZ), and approved the new regulations on handling intellectual property. As a new officer, the vice-rector in charge of international training programs will lead the Center for Foreign Language Programs.

A new Senate was elected in the spring, which held its inaugural session on July 2. The mandate of the new body, whose members are elected directly by the university’s workers, is for four years. At the start of the meeting, rector Dr. Béla Merkely informed the members that in line with the relevant government decision and the previously agreed schedule, the first patients were accepted the Department of Pulmonology in Tömő utca on July 2.

Senators unanimously supported the modification of the medical curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine (ÁOK), they voted on measures relating to the introduction of new curriculum for the 2019/20 academic year in the Hungarian, English and German language programs, as well as the required courses for the upcoming academic year. The main characteristics of the new curriculum, which was accepted following comprehensive preparation and wide-ranging consultations, are the clearer separation of modules (theory, pre-clinical, clinical, practice year), reducing course repetitions, introducing pure blocks in the clinical module, and strengthening tutorial education. Unique in Hungary will be a six-week elective practice course that students can complete at any unit of the university, and that the two-week block on transfusion training is planned to end with a license exam. The courses of the new curriculum will first be introduced in the university’s 2019/20 jubilee academic year, in a progressive system from the module boundaries in years 1, 2, 4 and 6, by putting together special schedules required in consideration of the transition.

The Senate also supported revising the curriculum of the Faculty of Dentistry, which follows the related elements of the ÁOK’s new curriculum, takes into consideration student requests, and eliminates time overlaps between courses. The courses of the new curriculum will first be introduced in 2019/20 academic year for first and fourth-year dentistry students, in a progressive system.

The Senate also supported the proposal that on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the university’s establishment, professor emeritus titles be possible to be awarded to retired former college or university professors who earlier had leadership positions but have not been awarded the title yet. The proposals made by the deans will be compiled by the Directorate General of Human Resources, and voted on by the Senate following an opinion formulated by a committee designated by the rector. The titles will be awarded at a ceremony during the 250th jubilee academic year.

Modifications to the SZMSZ were made affecting several central organizational units. The Directorate of Innovation, the Directorate of Dormitories, and the newly renamed Center for Physical Education and Sports will be jointly directed by the rector and the chancellor.

The ÁOK’s Center of Education Methodology will continue operations as a central organizational unit, under the name Center for Education Development, Methodology and Management. The Foreign Students’ Secretariat will be replaced by a new organizational unit, called the Center for Foreign Language Programs (NHKK), managing all special tasks related to the education of international students. The center will be led directly by a new officer, the vice-rector in charge of international training programs. Operating within the NHKK and handling all administration relating to studies will be the Directorate of International Studies.

There will be several new organizational units created, including the Tömő utca Clinical Block Directorate, due to the moving of the Department of Pulmonology, a new Directorate General to oversee the four health care-oriented secondary schools integrated into the university, a unit to handle economic tasks related to resident training, and the Office of the Vice-Rector for Strategy and Development, as part of the Rector’s Cabinet. In line with its tasks, the Directorate of Language and Communication will be renamed the Technical Language Institute.

Certain rules affected central organizational units were clarified and, in line with an earlier decision in principle, the Health Development Center will officially be created. To make the SZMSZ simpler, the various form templates were taken out of it, thus making it about 100 pages shorter. These forms will be available on the website of the Directorate General of Legal and Administrative Affairs from August 1.

The Senate decided on awarding the Vilma Hugonnai, Tivadar Huzella and Ernő Jendrassik Medals and awards, and voted on extending the mandates of the standing committees at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The new regulations on handling intellectual property were passed. Innovations director András Balogh noted that the previous regulations were passed 13 years ago and needed to be updated to bring them in line with current laws as well as economic, social and university expectations. Among others, the range of definitions was expanded, and rights concerning intellectual property, as well as special rules in copyright material, were more precisely defined.

Eszter Keresztes
Translation: Tamás Deme