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The prospect of our country joining the European Union involves a great number of new stimuli and chalenges in the field of international relations.
The past year, 2002, meant stabilization in this sphere and development of international mobility of students not only within the current European programmes which are addressed to us, but also an increase in the number of students’ fellowships overseas. The management of the Faculty as well as the Dean took an active part in organizing new programmes of bilateral co-operation of the First Faculty of Medicine with partners, such as other faculties, foundations and institutes. So, Professor Svačina managed, by negotiation at the Annual Meeting of ECTS (European organization of the staff of international relations departments at universities), to increase the number of students’ fellowships in France and to prepare an improvement of international exchange with some other European countries.
Stays of foreing students here is a well-established aspect of functioning of the Department of International Relations and the co-ordinator of the Erasmus/Sokrates programme; in making arrangements for the foreign students’ stays, our institutes and clinical departments gave a good performance as both educators and hosts once again. In future, however, the number of our visitors is about to increase considerably and the Dean is trying to settle the problem of improving and deepening the care of foreign students right now, ahead of time.
Travel of teachers and other Faculty staff has long been an inherent aspect of the scientific activities at the First Faculty of Medicine. This still represents the most substantial share of the total number of journeys abroad. Although the Faculty management is fully aware of the importance of international co-operation for science and education, it was not yet feasible to provide a sufficient financial support for this mobility. Therefore, nearly all the journeys were undertaken at the traveller’s cost, or making use of contracts between universities and support of institutions at the host’s side. In return, our institutes as well as the Faculty shared the cost of accomodation for foreign co-operators.
In 2002, the total number of the staff of the First Faculty of Medicine who travelled abroad to fellowships and/or congresses was 372 in total (343 in 2001, 204 in 2000). Of the total number, there were 286 cases of participance in congresses (which was mostly active), 33 personal invitations for lessons, 17 staff members at short-term scientific research stays, and 9 at long-term ones (longer than one month).
Within the framework of direct co-operations, 17 scientific and educational workers traveled abroad.
Our faculty was visited by five foreign partners within the same programme and – beyond that – more 35 guests were received for fellowships of various lenght.
A gratifying progress was noticed in the sphere of students’ mobility; in negotiations with a number of European co-ordinators of the Erasmus/Sokrates programme we managed – comparing with the 2001/2002 academic year – to sign seven new bilateral contracts with the universities of Aachen, Aarhus, Aristotle, Bordeaux, Crete, Düsseldorf, Geneva and Lyon. In total, asw much as 26 bilateral contracts have been signed in the past four years. Five more contracts are virtually ready to be signed. More opportunities for student exchange are provided by the bilateral contract with the Oslo University in LEONARDO DA VINCI programme. Under this scheme, two students will attend one term of an integrated course in gynekologie, obstetrics and paediatrics at this prestigeous university.
Thanks to all these efforts as well as meticulous preparation and implementation of the relevant documents, we managed to increase the number of students training at educational institutions in the countries of European Union.
Also in the last year, it was possible – thanks to extraordinary efforts of members of the academic community – to send some students out for attractive fellowships in the USA:
- Between 30 June and 5 July 2002 five students of full-time doctor degree studies and one undergraduate student, chosen in competition, took part at the Students’ Meeting with Nobel Prizewinners in Lindau.
- Professor Svačina again organized a one-month fellowship for two students, chosen in competition, with the support of the Consulate of the Czech Republic in New York (Mrs Gandalovičová). Their fellowship at the prestigeous hospital Mount Sinai was, as usual, with kind help of Doctor Henzlová, our alumna and director of the Department of Nuclear Cardiology at the Cardiovascular Institute of this medical school; she is the expert administrator of the whole project as well.
- In competition, one student was chosen for a long-term fellowship at the outstanding University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia.
One of our students was chosen for a fellowship guaranted by government agreements, and another to take part in a summer language course in Germany. Within inter-university exchange, one German student was received for a long-term fellowship at the First Faculty of Medicine.
An important part of the students’ mobility programme is the IFSMA exchange scheme. As every year, our active students with the financial support of the Faculty organized 35 fellowships abroad and 35 arrivals of foreign students here.
Last year, fourteen foreign students were enrolled at the Faculty for short-term studies – this is a significant increase, even though the total figures stay low. One student enrolled for a long-term fellowship.
Undoubtedly, the most important foreign visit to the Faculty was that of the delegation of Indonesian health care providers, led by the Minister of Health. In two-day talks we presented the potential of the First Faculty of Medicine in education. This visit is of particular importance, considering the foreign partner’s interest to compensate the absence of medical schools in their own country with the capacities of the First Faculty of Medicine.
Further, the Dean of the Faculty and the Board members received a great number of prominent academic officers from other universities, such as Oxford (Great Britain), Queensland (Australia), Chemnitz and Leipzig (Germany), Dijon (France). Our aim always was to represent our Faculty worthily and to try to establish specific co-operation in the fields of mutual interest.
Among the visitors in these groups were prominent visiting professors of foreign universities and directors of teaching hospitals.
For all the guests (but also for our students), the staff of our Outward Relations Department with their Head organize – precisely and reliably – the arrangements of fellowships, reception, accomodation and board as well as the final credits and exams, which meet the requirements of the home universities.
In the following list, the most important projects embodied in agreements based on both European an bilateral programmes are pinpointed, as well as events of extraordinary importance that were organized by the Faculty institutions:
Institute of Anatomy
- international relations involve an extensive list of partners and institutions from Germany, USA and Japan.
- co-operates on a long-term basis with many partners from Germany, and practices well-established staff exchange.
- organized an international workshop with 99 participants and intensive co-operation – involving a large publication output – with institutes in Germany, France, Spain, USA, Slovakia, Great Britain, Russia, Poland and Switzerland.
- apart from organization of seminars with international participation, it is involved in exchange of documents, archive materials and relults of research with German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Austrian and Dutch colleagues.
- important is the regular participation of the teaching staff of the institute in tuition in the European study programme Biotechnology at the University in Perugia within the project by Prof. Štípek; besides the countries listed by the others, the institute has some scientific contacts with Argentina as well.
- apart from similar international contacts, Ass. Prof. Matouš also acts as a co-ordinator of co-operation with the American Foundation of Jan and Betka Papanek, which repeatedly was our students’ host in USA.
- busy international relations also include fellowships of the staff members (Canada, USA).
- was the host of the Mednet project international conference and one colleague from the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
- carries on, above all, the co-operation with German colleagues, who regularly take part at the tuition.
- as a member of the organization of European schools Florence Network implements international study exchange of both students and teachers, and also takes part at research projects within European programmes that solve the problems of patients during hospitalization and of education of nurses.
- has established and sustained structured contacts with abroad – mainly with European institutions.
- substantially contributed to organization as well as subject matter of the 11th Congress of EADV (European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology) 2002, Prague, with 6,000 participants; also co-operates in many European and bilateral projects, including acquisition of international grants.
- carries on the traditional co-operation with the Texas Heart Institute and a number of European institutions.
- preparation and organization of the 3rd Meeting of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations in Prague, March 2002.
- organizes fellowships of the staff members at prestigeous institutions in USA, and provides the lecturers required by the same institutes (Prof. Aschermann).
3rd Medical Department– Clinical Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism
- organized the 1st international educational symposium Duplex Ultrasonography, held by the Central Europe Vascular Forum, and also cultivates long-term scientific contacts with Belgium and Sweden.
- organized a joint symposium in co-operation with the Slovak Society of Gastroenterology.
- took part in organizing the Czecho-Slovak conference „Intelligent systems in health care“.
- takes part (Prof. Zeman) in setting up the APS standards for diagnosis and treatment of mitochondrial disorders and carries on co-operation with both European and overseas clinical institutions.
- takes part in the work of the European Union expert group as well as other European organizations; beyound that, co-operates withing the Phare project.
- apart from organizing an international seminar, it takes part – represented by Ass. Prof. Votava and other staff members – in further activities of European importance.
- can boast of many joint resaerch projects, including those within the 5th skeleton programme of the European Union, as well as of a number of its staff (Prof. Nevšímalová and others) taking important positions in international institutions.
Department of Ophthalmology
- works on joint projects with British and American institutes.
- mentions important international contacts with Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and Canada.
- is solving two research projects within the 5th skeleton programme of the European Union, also continuing the previous co-operation (Prof. J. Raboch appointed a member of the presidium commission of the World Psychiatric Society).
- was a co-organizer of the international „East-West“ conference on sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Department of Stomatology
- co-operates with similar clinical institutions in Poland, France, Japan and Slovakia.
- apart from co-operation with institutes in Canada, Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands, its staff took part in organization of the congress Hypertension 2002.
Institute of Inherited Metabolic Disorders
- besides many other activities, organization of the Fifth Workshop of the European Working Group on Gaucher Disease (EWGGD), testing of diagnostic effectivity of metabolic laboratories within the European system of work quality control.
- took part in organizing the 3rd International Conference on Indoor Environment Quality in Hospitals with 100 participants, and carried on an extensive co-operation with European and overseas institutes, including international grants and multicentric projects.
- continued the contacts with prestigeous American universities, based on bilateral contracts.
- organized an international symposium, solves joint research projects with an Austrian institution and develops some more informal contacts.
- organized an international toxikologic workshop and co-operates with German institutes, which also involves publication output.
- deals with the problems of diagnostic methods in medical functional anthropology in co-operation with the University in Dallas, USA.
- solves both national and international research projects in co-operation with American, Irish, Izraeli, Sweedish and Finnish colleagues.
- organized several events with international participation and continues co-operation with a number of institutes abroad on a formal contract basis.
- carries on solving the problems of biomechanics and kinematics of the knee joint in co-operation with a number of European institutes.
Department of Neurosurgery
- organized, for the second time already, a European neurosurgical course and – represented by Prof. Beneš – participates at the activities of the Training Committee of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies.
- Ass. Prof. Halaška successfully organized another, the second already, world congress under the Faculty auspices – International Urogynaecological Association Annual Meeting with 640 participants; the Department develops the formal long-established contacts with European institutes.
- as a both pre- and post-graduate training centre, in develops rich international contacts, based on extensive experience (Prof. Antoš).
3rd Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Department of Tropical Medicine and Laboratory for Tropical Parasitology
- organized a Czech-American conferencie on Incidental parasitary and mycotic infections; participates in a number of international grants and formal bilateral projects within both European and worldwide programmes.
- intensively co-operatates with the European Radiologic Society (Prof. Bohutová, Consultant Dr. Kašpar).
Institute of Scientific Information
- organized the 33rd international exhibition of medical literature, displaying the latest books from both domestic and foreign publishers.
The above information is but a partial survey of activities of the particular institutions, reflecting the efforts and full stretch of students, teachers and Dean’s Office staff throughout the year.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to point out that the advantage of the opportunity, generously offered by DAAD and OAD programmes, is still not fully turned into good account.
We owe thanks to all those who contributed to international co-operation of our workplaces and systematically plan co-ordination of own international research and education projects for the benefit of their colleagues, and above all, to those members of the academic community who worthily represented our Faculty.