The rector of the University of Cyprus Constantinos Christophides said on Saturday he would propose the appointment of Diko MP Zacharias Koulias as an anatomy professor at the University of Cyprus’ Medical School, following the latter’s criticism of the school’s programmes and practices.
Christophides dismissed the claims MPs made on Friday concerning the medical school during discussion for the university’s 2017 budget in parliament.
During the debate, Koulias had said that, as chairman of the House watchdog committee, he had received a number of complaints about the school.
He also voiced concerns about the recognition of degrees and questioned the competency of staff, mentioning that students who are in their fifth year have yet to see a corpse.
“We should bring in Koulias as an anatomy professor,” Christophides told the Cyprus Mail.
He added that the degree of the medical school is recognised as the school is part of the University of Cyprus.
“The University of Cyprus is among the top 300 universities in the world, and ever since its medical school was established, we continue to climb in ratings. That tells you something,” Christophides said.
As regards the evaluation of the medical school’s degrees by the local accreditation agency,
Christophides said that this hasn’t happened yet as the agency in question has yet to set the accreditation criteria. This, he said, is true for all the medical schools operating in Cyprus.
Head of the Cyprus Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (Dipae) Dr Mary Koutselini confirmed the existing programmes of medical schools have not been evaluated by the agency yet. Their evaluation, according to the law, must start in June 2019.
Some medical schools, she said, maintain that they have already received accreditations by international organisations but none of them has received accreditation by the local agency.
Dipae, Koutselini said, which was established in 2015, has adopted the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) criteria for the evaluation of medical programmes, which will be discussed at the beginning of June in a conference with the participation of the WFME.
The aim of the conference is to discuss the procedures and the criteria to be used by Dipae for the evaluation of medical institutions and programmes as well as for the evaluation of health and paramedical programmes.