The first academic year of Semmelweis University’s new, off-campus Health Care Manager Master’s Program in Slovakian language was launched with a class of 12 students. Thanks to several years of work of the Faculty of Health and Public Administration Health Services Management Training Centre, the students of the accredited master’s program have the opportunity to acquire the most modern health care leadership skills in the framework of practice-oriented courses.

“Starting a new, off-campus Health Care Manager Master’s Program in Slovakian language, offered by the Faculty of Health and Public Administration Health Services Management Training Centre, has a history. The original curriculum was prepared in cooperation with the Slovakian experts between 2004 and 2006, in the framework of a world bank project, therefore the syllabi, curriculum and the teaching materials were available in both English and Slovakian languages”, said Dr. Péter Gaál, associate professor, head of the program.

Based on these developmental projects, the first students of the program started their studies in Slovakian language in 2010, in cooperation with the Slovakian Health Management Academy. At first, it was a specialized training, but later on it was offered as a master’s program located in Budapest.

“By the fall of 2017 the experiences of the first years had been processed and program development reached a stage when conditions were ideal to start the off-campus master’s program in Bratislava.”, pointed out Dr. Péter Gaál.

After the completion of the accreditation process, the master’s program in Bratislava could be started in the academic year 2020/2021 with the participation of 12 students. A class consisting of medical doctors, pharmacists and senior health care professionals working in the private and public  sector, and the pharmaceutical industry started their first academic year on 1 October 2020.

“Diversity is a great advantage, as students have the opportunity to learn a great deal from each other during case studies through the representation of different specialties and professional experiences. We were able to hold an opening ceremony in person, but in compliance with the current epidemiological measures in Slovakia, the first semester continues online, including the basic courses.”, highlighted Dr. János Filakovszky, associate professor, deputy head of the program at the faculty’s Institute of Digital Health Sciences.

At the off-campus master’s program, the official language of education, administration, examination procedures and the final examinations is Slovakian; the diploma certificate is issued in both Hungarian and Slovakian. However, elective courses as well as professional internships are available in English, too. This way, interoperatibility between the Hungarinan language program in Budapest and the Slovakian language program in Bratislava is ensured. Dr. János Filakovszky, associate professor speaks both Slovakian and Hungarian on a native level, he is responsible for the management of the Slovakian language program as a deputy head of the program.

“We consider practice-oriented training of utmost importance, therefore, sharing knowledge, the discussion of experiences and the study of personal cases, examples are as significant as the expansion of theoretical knowledge. Thanks to the experiential learning approach of manager training, which is learning via experiences, the acquired new knowledge is almost immediately ready to use. It requires and atmosphere of trust, where the participants are comfortable with sharing their personal leadership experiences with one another.”,  Dr. Gaál pointed out.

In addition to problem-solving sessions, the participants of the program may deepen their knowledge in several economic, legal and financial courses, which are indispensable for effective health care management. Among others, the following courses were included in the curriculum of the master’s program: health care statistics, economics, organizational theories, organization behaviour management, human resources management, project management, health care financing and health care politics.

“On the basis of feedback from the first class of the program, the program may be attractive due to the good reputation of Semmelweis University and the opportunity to acquire leadership skills that could be used in practice immediately. Besides the staff of the Faculty of Health and Public Administration, who are working in the Slovakian program, namely Krisztina Davidovics, previous head of the dean’s office; Diána Kéri, current head of the dean’s office; Rita Kóródi, previous program coordinator; Katalin Gulyás, current program coordinator; it is also important to mention our Slovakian partner institution, the Health Management Academy s.r.o. as well, namely Jana Červenáková, director and Marianna Tomková (both of them are certified economists), without whom the smooth starting of the program could not have been realized.”, highlighted Dr. Filakovszky, deputy head of the program.


Dóra Vas
Featured image: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Photo source: Health Services Management Training Centre
Translation: Katalin Illés-Romhányi