Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei had been Deputy Dean of Scientific Affairs at the Faculty of Health Sciences before she was appointed dean on 1st July. She still considers the scientific life of the faculty of great importance and she has set the goal to restructure the faculty’s wide-ranging educational activities.

“The Faculty of Health Sciences is the second largest at Semmelweis University and we are responsible for the training of nearly 3,500 students. Therefore, our primary goal is to keep providing them with high quality education.”, said Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei, newly elected Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

She considers the biggest challenge to be the management of the faculty’s wide-ranging training activities: there are 27 courses at the faculty including Bachelor’s and Master’s courses, and numerous additional further training courses. The new dean believes it is important to review the faculty’s courses from professional, economic and labour market point of view. After such review they would decide which courses need to be restructured or regrouped, what type of new courses could be introduced.

“Currently there are three BSc courses in English; Physiotherapy, Midwifery and Nursing and an off-campus international Physiotherapy course in Switzerland. I believe, it is worth developing the existing English language and off-campus programmes and launching new ones because they are not only very successful, but generate significant revenue as well. Ten years ago the English language programme started with only 6 students and today 12% of all the faculty’s students participate in foreign language training. “, explained Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is well-known for its outstanding international relations and the new dean would like to further strengthen this position. Recently fruitful partnerships have been developed with the faculties of nursing and health sciences at George Washington University in the US. In addition, there are collaborative ties with several European and Chinese universities and new off-campus programmes are to be launched. Promoting and developing international relations are also important because significant tenders can be won in consortia.

“To this end, in 2018, I as a Deputy Dean initiated the revision of the faculty’s research activities based on which we created a scientific portfolio. This helps us not only in reaching out to new, potential partners but in the development of scientific collaborations.”, said  Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei.

Prior to her appointment as dean, she was Deputy Dean for Scientific Affairs and this area is still important in her programme as dean. She believes research to be extremely important, therefore moving the Behavioural Physiology Research Laboratory physically to the facility of the Faculty of Health Sciences is of utmost importance. This change is crucial for the research carried out here and she also aims at creating researcher job positions for the professionals focusing on scientific research at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Development of Health Sciences, an English language journal of the faculty founded in 2017 is a priority area in the life of the faculty. My aim is to turn this successful publication into a journal with an impact factor and to launch the newly accredited Doctoral School of Health Sciences.”, Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei said.

The Faculty of Health Sciences joined Semmelweis University’s curriculum reform introduced in the 250th anniversary year. The changes had already been introduced in several steps: since 2006 training has been carried out according to the Bologna process and after 2015 corrections were made based on the examination of the Hungarian Accreditation Board. In the past few years the curriculum requirements had to be changed due to the changes in the legislation affecting the courses. The new dean tries to keep in mind not only the situation of the students but that of the faculty’s staff: her plans include the expansion of the recently introduced career model to administrative workers in addition to the academic staff.

In recent years, the faculty has had problems with the lack of space due to the large number of courses and students and the building in Vas street is no longer spacious enough. However, the situation may be solved shortly.

“Our dream of extending our current location may come true by the realization of a new five-story building in Vas street on a property currently used as a car park. The project is aided by a significant governmental support and will accommodate the Central and Eastern European Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine.”, said Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei.

The new dean of the faculty has an excellent work relationship with the outgoing dean, Dr. Zoltán Zsolt Nagy. She believes that good relationship with colleagues is as essential in achieving objectives as a professional approach.

“I am honoured to be appointed dean and I know it means the coordination of a serious team work. I am convinced that we can only be effective if there is active and regular discourse between the members of the team and the atmosphere is supportive. I personally try to keep this in mind in the future as well.”, said Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei.

Ádám Szabó
Photo: Bettina Gál – Semmelweis University
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek