By Maria Gregoriou
THE EUROPEAN University Cyprus has been given approval by the education ministry to start a medical school in the coming year, making this the first private university to provide a medical programme evaluated by the ministry.
The university received the green light from Education Minister, Kyriacos Kenevezos on August 1 after receiving recommendations from the evaluation committee of private universities on July 26.
Over the past year, the evaluation committee has been working with the university to get it ready for the final evaluation process.
This process is in three phases. The first is to be sure that the programme meets the modern medical standards, the second that the university has the appropriate resources and infrastructure, and thirdly that the practical training part of the degree is satisfactory.
“After seeing that the university is aligned with the European guidelines concerning medicine, we recommended it be able to run the programme as of October,” vice chair of the evaluation committee for private universities, Elpida Keravnou said.
The programme has been approved for a maximum of 30 students. Ten professors have been evaluated and approved to teach at the initial stage. The course will be taught in English, making it attractive for students from abroad.
“Many students from Amman are very interested in getting involved,” Keravnou said.
The programme has been approved for the first two years. After this time, the evaluation committee will evaluate it to make sure it is running smoothly.
The programme is a six-year course. The European University Cyprus has already made an agreement with Larnaca general hospital for the practical training part of the programme.
“In the third year students are expected to complete practical training. This is where they will be able to practice what they have learned so far in a real medical environment,” said the university’s Christoforos Hadjikyprianou.
According to Hadjikyprianou there has been a lot of interest in the programme from students in Cyprus and from abroad.
“Last week we interviewed the first 35 students who have already applied for the programme,” he said.
When asked about the medical school’s facilities Hajikyprianou said that a robot simulator had been brought over from America.
“This robot can be programmed to simulate different medical scenarios from which students can learn and practice,” Hajikyprianou said.
The University of Nicosia also runs a medical school but it is under the name of St George’s University of London. As the degree is awarded under the St George’s University title, the government is not expected to evaluate and approve its running.
A medical school is also due to begin running in September by the University of Cyprus.