“We are working continuously on the advancement of expert and research work, while investing in equipment was among our priorities in the previous period and our plan now includes the process of building capacities and constructing new infrastructure, including a student dormitory, canteen and student clinic,” notes Dr Christos Alexopoulos, director of Ćuprija’s College of Applied Health Sciences.
Interest in enrolling in your college is increasing year on year. How would you explain this?
– The College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija is located in a modern building covering 6,400m2 and has an excellent geographical position, making it accessible and popular among young people from all over the country. Our school exerts great efforts to enable as many young people as possible to study. With the signing of a contract with the Ministry of Defence, we’ve secured incentives for the children of fallen soldiers and employees in the Army of Serbia in terms of the level of tuition fees, while students from families with four or more children are entitled to study at our college for free.
We’ve opened a pharmaceutical block with a pharmaceutical, galenical and chemical laboratory, and I must also mention the construction of a simulation centre, the first and only one of its kind in the region, with the latest teaching facilities and equipment which will be ceremoniously opened by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić
Likewise, students with special needs have the right to free education at our college and have been provided with special parking spaces and school access, while we also plan to install a lift.
How much do you invest in the educating of teaching staff and investments in equipment?
– The College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija works continuously on the advancement of expert and research work, encouraging and providing conditions, while the results of the research are implemented in the teaching process. We are recognisable for our extremely well developed international cooperation, which is reflected in exchanges of students and professors, the education of our students in higher education institutions in Norway, and projects that have their results applied in the accreditation of undergraduate, specialist and master’s studies programmes. We also develop scientific professional, educational and research activities as a member of the network of Higher Schools of Europe, ENM.
Investments in equipment were among the priorities of our college in the previous period.
We can boast newly equipped cabinets and multimedia classrooms, a newly-formed server room, and the providing of an optical link that enables students to master the IZIS programme.
We’ve opened a pharmaceutical block with a pharmaceutical, galenical and chemical laboratory, and I must also mention the construction of a simulation centre, the first and only one of its kind in the region, with the latest teaching facilities and equipment which will be ceremoniously opened by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.
The plan for the period ahead includes capacity building and the construction of new infrastructure. A project has been created for a student dormitory with a canteen, a student clinic, a multifunctional hall and a research centre. In the scope of the dormitory, there will also be sports fields and a summer amphitheatre.
To what extent are the programmes of your college harmonised with EU standards?
With the aim of integrating as much as possible into European flows, the College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija has launched the process of implementing European directives. With this in mind, a cooperation agreement was signed recently with the Faculty of Health Studies of the University of Rijeka [Croatia], which has study programmes that are harmonised with EU Directive 55/13.
In order for us to implement the necessary preparations, we’ve established communication with an institution that has more experience than ours, and from which we can learn how and in which ways to implement directives in the shortest possible period. We will soon start teaching new curricula by accreditation and we want that to be based on these directives.
Moreover, within the scope of ensuring continuous improvements in the quality of work, we are in the process of implementing quality management system ISO 9001: 2015, and I would also add that steps have been taken to enable the school to obtain an energy passport in accordance with European standards.
We consider that the “green school” in the future, while the aim of the project is to reduce the use of resources required for heating, to replace lighting with more efficient LED panels and to improve building insulation.
You received at the end of last year a certificate of accreditation from the National Body for the Accreditation and Assurance of Quality in Higher Education. How important is this news?
– Accreditation from the state institution that is the leader of education in the field of healthcare and nursing is of great importance, as it educates personnel for very promising occupations in the health domain. Accreditation means quality and confirms that we’re on the right track. Five study programmes have been accredited, amongst which are Professional nurse, Professional physiotherapist, Professional medical radiologist, Professional midwife and Professional pharmacist.
Our students have available the dummies “Juno” and “Kloe”, which are designed to acquaint our students with real life situations through a range of scenarios in the healthcare sector
Under the process of being accredited are two-year vocational master’s studies that are evaluated with 120 ESPB points, which will be awarded as a professional master nurse-organiser in the health care system, as well as a series of short study programmes lasting two semesters in the field of anaesthesia and reanimation, patronage, rehabilitation, dermatological cosmetology and interventional radiology.
Tell us more about the publishing activities of the College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija.
– On the basis of the Rulebook on textbooks and publishing activities, at the College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija students are provided with the necessary number of copies of textbooks necessary to master the material included in each subject.
The publishing activity of our school, apart from textbooks, also includes two professional journals. “Zdravstveni radnik” [Health Worker], which was founded and is published by the College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija, and which is a professional informative journal that aims to contribute to the quality of work in all of our college’s study groups, as well as informing students and professors about novelties in professional and scientific achievements within the scope of medical professions.
Since 2018, the school has also been a co-publisher of professional medical journal PONS, in cooperation with the Pomoravlje Public Health Institute from Ćuprija. The new organisation of PONS is evaluated as a modern editorial and managerial approach.
Do your students learn foreign languages in conjunction with preparing for their exams? And also, are they planning to stay in Serbia or move abroad, and what kind of employment opportunities does a diploma from your college provide in Serbia and abroad?
– In addition to regular teaching of the English language, the college also organises free courses in German, with the aim of enabling the obtaining of TELC certificates. Our school’s diplomas are recognised worldwide, as evidenced by the numerous members of our alumni who have secured work in countries like Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Dubai.
Our college’s alumni Club is a voluntary association that all students who have completed basic and/or specialist studies at the College of Applied Health Sciences Ćuprija can join, free of charge, with the aim of connecting all generations of students in order to exchange know-how and experience, and establishing mutual cooperation in the country and abroad.