This is the fourth time Semmelweis University is organizing the Summer University. On 1-2 September, this event will feature lectures, round-table discussions and film screenings on health, higher education, culture and sport, for which students will be able to earn credits. The two-day, large-scale and diverse programs are being organized for the first time this year as an International Summer University, to mark the 40th anniversary of the international training of the institution.

“The first Summer University, held in 2019, was part of a series of events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the institution. It has been such a success that we have organized it every year since then, even during the pandemic, of course with the strictest security measures,” Dr. Tamás Hegedüs, the chief organizer and director of the Alumni Directorate said. He is responsible for the Hungarian-language programs and the organization of the event under the professional guidance of Dr. Péter Hermann, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs.

He added that this year’s Summer University will be the fourth one and, following the tradition, a variety of programs and exciting discussions are also awaiting those who interested.

On the first day, after the welcome speech by Rector Dr. Béla Merkely, a roundtable discussion, “Have a coffee with the Semmelweis University leadership” will take place, where leaders of the institution (Rector Dr. Béla Merkely; Dr. Gábor Orbán, CEO at Richter Group and Chairman of the Foundation for National Health Care and Medical Education which maintains the university; Dr. Lívia Pavlik, Vice-Chancellor; Dr. Péter Hermann, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs; Dr. Alán Alpár, Vice-Rector for International Studies) traditionally discuss the developments, the infrastructure investments, the main research and educational trends affecting the university. Students will be informed from the highest level of government on the health and higher education issues that concern them most, with the presence of Dr. Péter Takács, State Secretary for Health, and Dr. Balázs Hankó, Deputy State Secretary for Higher Education.

Although Semmelweis is a medical and health sciences university, we believe it is important for students to be able to broaden their knowledge in other fields. That’s why we also offer a range of programs related to public life, culture and sport.

László Cseh will talk about his recently completed and distinguished swimming career with Csaba Sós, the head coach of the Hungarian national swimming team, but we will also welcome Bianka Papp, Paralympic champion, Judit Polgár, chess grandmaster and Feró Nagy, Kossuth Prize-winning performer. The film about the life of Gedeon Richter will be screened in our film club, and actor Péter Rudolf, who plays the leading role, will also take part in the round table discussion after the screening,” said Dr. Tamás Hegedüs, adding that on the second day of the event, the faculties will present their innovative research areas. “This is useful not only because it allows participants to broaden their horizons, but also because it can improve cooperation between the faculties by getting to know each other better,” he emphasized.

This year, for the first time, the event will be organized as an International Summer University, as it is also the opening event of the International 40 series of programs celebrating the 40 years of international training.

The English-language international program has been put together by the International Student Training Centre (ISTC) in close cooperation with the Directorate of International Relations, in consultation with the Alumni Board and the student organizations of English and German language courses, under the leadership of Dr. Alán Alpár, Vice Rector for International Studies. The opening session of the international program will focus on the present and future of Semmelweis University and its international training, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, followed by presentations on history and culture. The latter block, organized by Professor Emeritus Dr. László Rosivall, will include lectures on the life and legacy of Ignác Semmelweis, the importance of metacommunication in medical practice, and the development of patient-centric care through the work of Frigyes Korányi.

In the afternoon, the focus of the programs organized under the aegis of EUniWell (European University Association) will be on students’ physical and mental health. The EUniWell, which was founded in 2020 by 7 European universities (now with 8 members), has as one of its main objectives to improve the well-being of students and staff, which has always been of great importance for Semmelweis University, as physical and mental well-being is the basis for a balanced and high level of student performance.

The second day will be dedicated to professional and scientific education. All six faculties of Semmelweis University will be represented with lectures, demonstrating that high quality international training is now taking place everywhere.

Among the professional and scientific presentations, participants will also be able to listen to a lecture on health and science communication by Dr. Imre Varjú, a former student of Semmelweis University currently living in the United States, who will be joined by staff and students from the seven other European partner universities via Zoom as part of the EUniWell Open Lectures series, Dr. Marcel Pop, head of the Directorate of International Relations said.

From the very beginning, the mission of the Summer University series has been to raise awareness that health is much more than the absence of disease: it is physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. The aim of Semmelweis University is to ensure that its students keep this in mind throughout their studies and their future careers, cultivating their chosen profession to the highest level, but also always paying attention to their own physical and mental health, remaining open and interested in the world around them.

The Hungarian- and English-language programs will run in parallel in the lecture halls at the Basic Medical Science Centre and on screens in the lobby and other rooms. Hungarian and international students can attend the Summer University programs free of charge, and can also take the event as an elective. One credit point per day will be awarded, and participation will be verified by QR code. The Hungarian and international programs are interoperable, so Hungarian students can participate in the international program and vice versa.

For the Summer University programs in Hungarian click on this link.

The English language programs are available here.

Ádám Szabó, translation by Rita Kónya
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University (illustration)