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The VIIth International Partnerships Forum was held at the Medical University of Varna

The VIIth International Partnerships Forum was held at the Medical University of Varna on November 18th 2022. This year's issue of the Forum was entitled "Partnerships for education and research through international projects". Its main accent was laid on the role of international partnerships in the development and implementation of projects at MU - Varna in the fields of education and research. About 70 Bulgarian and foreign guests, members of the academic staff and students from MU – Varna took part in it. Representatives from Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, etc. were among the international participants.

On behalf of the Rector of MU – Varna, the Vice Rector for Educational Affairs Prof. Dr. Albena Kerekovska greeted the participants and wished them a successful Forum. Greetings were also presented by the President of European Health Management Association Prof. Sandra Buttigieg, the Secretary General of the European SPAs Association (ESPA) Mrs Csilla Mezosi and

Mrs Siyka Katsarova –President of Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism (BUBSPA), Vice President of European SPAs Association (ESPA).

The team of the International Relations Department presented the project portfolio of the Medical University of Varna and reviewed the operational programmes, the implemented and ongoing projects in the period 2012 – 2022. 

The forum took place in two sessions, the first being dedicated to the educational projects as an instrument for universities internationalization, and the second to the partnerships in the field of scientific research. The participants showed particular interest to the presentation of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism on the role of partnerships between business and science for the development of brand "Bulgaria – destination for sustainable, all-the-year-round health tourism".

The Vice-Rector for International Relations Prof. Dr. Liliana-Ana Tuță at "Ovidius" University of Constanta also took part in the Forum to present projects for transformational education at the Romanian University.

Velichka Andonova - Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, Accreditation and Quality at the Faculty of Pharmacy focused on another mutually beneficial partnership of the Faculty of Pharmacy with  Yashi University in Romania entitled "Better together for a better tomorrow". The presentation of the long-term strategic partnership of MU – Varna with the Institute for Scientific Research AO Foundation in Davos (Switzerland) made a particular impression on the participants. The traditions and the new developments in the collaboration between Varna Medical University and AO Research Institute in Davos were shared in a team by the Program Leader for Biomedical Development at the Swiss institute Prof. Boyko Gueorguiev-Rüegg, Prof. Dimitar Raikov – Head of the Dept. Orthopedics and Traumatology and his colleagues Dr. Preslav Penev and Dr. Stoyan Ivanov.

Prof. Tsanka Dikova shared her rich experience in the international partnerships of the Faculty of Dental Medicine from Tokyo to Texas and the Vice Dean for Science and Research at the Faculty of Public Health Assoc. Prof. Natalya Usheva made an overview of the contributions of the Faculty to the development of education, research and policies.

Prof. Ruzha Pancheva demonstrated the specific outcomes of the projects in the field of child disease prevention and nutrition, Assoc. Prof. Minko Milev talked about biomedical technologies in favour of healthcare specialists and the Deputy Director of Varna Medical College Assoc. Prof. Emiliya Georgieva spoke about their research on the etheric oils and antibiotics.

The Director of the Research Institute of the Medical University - Varna Prof. Dr. Anton Tonchev focused on present projects and future perspectives for the institute and the European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Translational Stem Cell Biology at the Medical University of Varna Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra looked at the TRANSTEM project from the perspective of European research partnerships.

The international forum finished with great satisfaction shared by all participants. It demonstrated internationalisation in action by giving voice to partners to share experience and ideas for new projects. It exemplified the sustainability of the partnerships in core fields of university activities and contributed to the enhancement of the international image and visibility of Varna Medical University. 

* The International Partnerships Forum of the Medical University of Varna was initiated in 2016 and developed as a platform for partner exchange of ideas and generation of educational, research and social projects. It is held annually and focuses on the processes of internationalization and social responsibility of MU – Varna for the improvement of education, science and health.