Semmelweis University has been a member of the European University for Well-Being (EUniWell) since 2020. EUniWell is a strategic alliance of seven European universities with a focus on developing cutting-edge research, education and policy development partnerships in the area of well-being.
EUniWell partner universities are the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), University of Florence (Italy), University of Cologne (Germany), Leiden University (the Netherlands), Linnaeus University (Sweden), University of Nantes (France) and Semmelweis University.
The mission of the member universities is to develop platforms, programs and pedagogic methods that can promote individual and social well-being, lifelong-learning and can help building a bridge between higher education institutions and social communities. EUniWell also aims to boost people’s overall confidence in research and redefine universities as open space facilities open to a wider public. Getting local communities to know EUniWell and attracting them to our member universities is at the heart of our ambition.
The project leader of the EUniWell Team at Semmelweis University is dr. Miklós Kellermayer, dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Marcel Pop, director of international relations at Semmelweis University is the head of the work package which is responsible for implementing the EUniWell School Ambassador Programme.
The EUniWell School Ambassador Programme’s main objective is to establish links with local secondary schools. The program involves highly motivated university students who demonstrate great potential to be ambassadors of the university and can serve as role models for the local secondary school students. Student ambassadors are mostly first-generation university students, who are willing to promote lifelong learning associated with well-being in secondary schools, they previously graduated from.
Within the framework of this program, Semmelweis University is closely collaborating with Budapest Medical Students’ Association (BMSA). BMSA is a non-governmental, non-profit medical student association organizing health prevention classes for high school students. The members of the BMSA offer free lessons to high school students in numerous topics, which are also available within the framework of the EuniWell School Ambassador Program.
On the first occasion of the EUniWell School Ambassador event series, the student ambassadors of Semmelweis University visited the Raoul Wallenberg Vocational School in Budapest. During a career orientation forum, Ágnes Liebhart (representative of the BMSA) gave a presentation on the university admission requirements, different aspects of student life and the various opportunities offered by Semmelweis University. Her presentation was followed by a Q&A session that gave an opportunity to all attendees to ask questions directly to the three Semmelweis University students present: Petra Csépe, Alexandra Rigó and Mercédesz Székely (all former students of Raoul Wallenberg Vocational School).
60 secondary school students attended the career orientation forum. Participants had the opportunity to gain insight into the higher education system of Semmelweis University, current scholarships, student organization activities and events. The secondary school students attending the event could get first-hand information from students who are currently studying at Semmelweis University. Due to high interest, the career orientation forum will be held at the Raoul Wallenberg Vocational Secondary School for the second time in April 2022.
The scheme is expected to continue as the School Ambassador Program is aiming to outreach and target even more students of the vocational high schools of Semmelweis University and disadvantaged pupils from an underprivileged socio-economic background. Student representatives of the university are going to visit to three more vocational schools of Semmelweis University in this academic year: the Semmelweis Ignác Vocational School, the Kanizsai Dorottya Vocational School in Kanizsa and the Bókay János Vocational School in Budapest.
After the successful implementation within the institutions of Semmelweis University, the School Ambassador Programme is ready to be introduced in the other partner universities of EuniWell as well. The School Ambassador scheme will be implemented in line with the societal, social and economic conditions of the partner university’s respective country. In accordance with the principles and values of EuniWell, the purpose of the program is to promote equal opportunities in society and a lifelong-learning attitude.
More information about EuniWell’s activities (in Hungarian) is available on the website of Semmelweis University: https://semmelweis.hu/nki/en/euniwell/
Eszter Turopoli (Directorate of International Relations)
Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University