A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the inauguration of the new, five-story building of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Semmelweis University, which is more than 4500 square metres in size and is named after Zsuzsanna Kossuth, the country’s first head nurse. The new wing will house two large lecture halls, skill labs and classrooms to support practical teaching. The investment was necessitated by the faculty’s ever-expanding training portfolio and the increase in student numbers.

The inauguration of the new building is a milestone in the history of the Faculty of Health Sciences (ETK), where many innovative educational concept can be implemented, said Dean Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei in her opening speech.

The faculty has nearly 3,600 students, whose plenary lectures can be organised more efficiently in the 300 and 178-seat lecture halls. As for the well-equipped, new skill laboratories, they will provide a higher level of training, in line with Semmelweis University’s practice-oriented strategic educational goals

– said the dean, adding that the modern, 21st century environment will be an ideal venue for conferences and other professional events. She recalled that the ETK got ahold of the first renovated wing at the Vas Street block in 2001, then in 2004 teaching started in the second part of the building, and now the building complex between Szentkirályi Street and Vas Street is complete.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is the second largest faculty of Semmelweis University, which provides one of the broadest spectrum of health sciences education in the Central European region, Dr. Béla Merkely pointed out in his welcome speech. The Rector stressed that the ETK is not only outstanding in terms of its size, but also in terms of its dynamic development – regarding the number of students, the number of courses and the expansion of international relations. Thanks to the new building, the venue and infrastructure is now on par with this. He explained that the new wing will make the Vas utca complex a stronghold of Hungarian health sciences education in every respect; the investment will enable the faculty to fully support its current and expanding training portfolio, to provide higher quality training for a larger number of students and to further increase the number of foreign students.

Dr. Béla Merkely also said that the comfort and well-being of students and an inspiring environment in general are essential for a quality education, which is reflected by the building’s community spaces besides the lecture halls. “The competitiveness of ETK, and thus of Semmelweis University, will be further strengthened in Hungary and abroad. We are once again closer to achieving our important goal of becoming one of the TOP 100 universities in the world and one of the 5 best medical universities in Europe”, he said.

The Rector also added that by naming the new educational building after Zsuzsanna Kossuth, the university pays tribute to Hungary’s first head nurse, the founder of the nursing profession in Hungary.

“Those who are well versed in innovation are fully aware that it is worth investing in the future, and it is precisely those developments that help the given profession to the forefront represent the best investments,” said Dr. László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology

The investment was made possible due to the preparatory and construction work of Semmelweis University and the government support of nearly 6 billion HUF, which enabled the project to be completed in 2 years, he said. The minister stressed that the Faculty of Health Sciences is part of the change of gear that characterizes higher education today, and that it can move up the rankings at an even faster pace from now on.

Dr. László Palkovics also mentioned that Semmelweis University is at an impressive position within the field of education, research, innovation and medicine, and reminded that in one year, it has moved up 149 places in the international ranking Times Higher Education. He stressed that the university has taken a leading role at national level in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic from the very beginning, for which he expressed his gratitude.

At the event, Dr. László Palkovics, Dr. Béla Merkely, Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei and Dr. Mihály Medvigy, CEO of the Investment, Technical Development, Sports Operation and Public Procurement Ltd. officially inaugurated the building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Then the memorial plaque of Zsuzsanna Kossuth, the eponym of the new wing was unveiled by Dr. László Palkovics on behalf of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and Dr. Béla Merkely on behalf of the University. In the name of the faculty, flowers were laid by Dr. Gabriella Dörnyei, Dean of the Faculty and Dr. Zsolt Nagy Zoltán Zsolt, former Dean of the Ophthalmology Clinic. On the occasion of the event, the Dean of the Faculty of Ophthalmology presented a Zsuzsanna Kossuth Memorial Medal to Dr. László Palkovics, Dr. Béla Merkely, Dr. Lívia Pavlik, Dr. Mihály Medvigy, Dr. Éva Feketéné, Vice Rector for Strategy and Development, Dr. Éva Szabó and Dr. Zsolt Nagy.

Afterwards, visitors were guided by Dr. Zsolt Nagy Zoltán Zsolt to see the new five-story building, which opens onto Szentkirályi Street, with a total area of more than 4500 square metres.

Pálma Dobozi
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo by Attila Kovács, Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University