BME-ENA - Biomedical Engineering Education Tempus Initiative in Eastern Neighbouring Area (2013-2016) 

The BME-ENA project is a Joint Project within the TEMPUS IV program, involving 7 Institutions from EU and 10 Institutions from Partner Countries.

The main objective of the project is to promote, establish and improve Biomedical Engineering (BME) Education in the Eastern Neighbouring Area (ENA), through the creation of 4 joint multidisciplinary MSc BME programs in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The 4 MSc programs will be designed and implemented according to the most recent developments in the BME field and following the recommendations of a previous very successful TEMPUS IV CRH-BME Project and with the support of the EU Universities with the long experience in the field. The structure of the programs will be built upon the European Higher Education Area principles, thus facilitating the harmonization and leading to comparable degrees based on two main cycles and the ECTS that will allow mutual recognition and increased students and teaching staff mobility. 

The education of biomedical engineers will have major positive effects in both the health technology industry sector and the health delivery system through the appropriate management and safe use of medical devices. The BME-ENA project will enable four ENA countries to face these challenges through capacity and institutional building measures. An ultimate goal of this project is to prepare a new generation of Biomedical Engineers able to understand, develop, manage and use advanced medical technology.

Brief report on Workshop «Biomedical Engineering Education in Europe», April 28th 2014, University of Patras, Greece

WORKSHOP

«Biomedical Engineering Education in Europe»

April 28th 2014

Conference and Cultural Centre, University of Patras, Greece


A Workshop on «Biomedical Engineering Education in Europe», endorsed by the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE), the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE) and the Hellenic Society for Biomedical Technology (ELEVIT), was held on April 28th 2014 at the Conference and Cultural Centre of the University of Patras.

This scientific event was organized with the occasion of the Kick-off Meeting of the TEMPUS BME-ENA Project (Biomedical Engineering Education Tempus Initiative in Eastern Neighbouring Area), which is implemented by a Consortium of 17 Universities and coordinated by the Biomedical Technology Unit (BITU) of the University of Patras.

Welcome addresses were given by Prof. Ratko Magjarevic, IFMBE President, Mr. Panagiotis Malataras, Board Member of ELEVIT, Mr. Athanasios Giannadakis, President of the Technical Chamber of Greece/Regional Sector of Western Greece, and Mr. Pavlos Arnaoutis, President of the Hellenic Association of Health - Research and Biotechnology Industry. Prof. Venetsana Kyriazopoulou, Dean of the School of Health Sciences of the University of Patras, officially opened the Workshop.

 

The Workshop program consisted of the following presentations:

■ BME Programs in European Universities: Ratko Magjarevic – Professor, University of Zagreb Prof. Magjarevic presented in detail the Biomedical Engineering profession and the international perspectives offered, based also on the report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on the jobs of the future, where the Biomedical Engineer profession holds the first place, with an expected growth of 72%. The speaker also presented the results of the study conducted in the framework of the TEMPUS CRH-BME Project, which showed that today there are more than 150 European Universities offering more than 300 study programs in Biomedical Engineering, while in 2000 the respective number of Universities was 50.

■ Generic curriculum of BME postgraduate studies: Tomaz Jarm – Associate Professor, University of Ljubljana The speaker presented the generic curriculum of BME studies, one of the outcomes of the collaboration of 23 Partner Universities in the framework of the CRH-BME Project that has already been applied in 12 of the participating academic institutions. This generic curriculum established a group of core study areas and proposes at least 4-5 of them to be part of any 2nd cycle BME program. An extensive – but not exhaustive – list of elective topics is also provided, among which a selection can be made according to local expertise and needs.

■ The TEMPUS BME-ENA Project: Anastassia Rodina-Theocharaki – PhD, BITU, University of Patras This speech consisted of a detailed presentation of the TEMPUS BME-ENA Project (Biomedical Engineering Education Tempus Initiative in Eastern Neighbouring Area, 2013-2016). The main aim of this project is to create 4 Joint MSc programs on Biomedical Engineering in 4 ENA countries: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The curricula will be based on the CRH-BME recommendations.

■ The Interuniversity MSc Program on BME – UPAT & NTUA: Nicolas Pallikarakis – Professor, University of Patras The Coordinator of the Interuniversity Postgraduate Program on Biomedical Engineering, which is co-organized by the University of Patras (UPAT) and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), presented an overview of this 25-year old MSc Program. Prof. Pallikarakis also stressed the need for all involved parties to collaborate in order to achieve the continuation of postgraduate studies in this field through the reestablishment of this Joint BME Program, as required by the law on postgraduate studies in Greece.

■ The student experience: Evgenia Papavasileiou – Student of the Interuniversity MSc Program on BME The student of the above BME MSc Program presented the students’ point of view and focused on the numerous advantages of Bilateral Agreements with European Universities, which enable both student and teaching staff mobility. As a result of this possibility offered to the BME Program’s students, more than half of those that were enrolled during the academic year 2012-2013 elaborated their Master’s thesis in Collaborating European Universities.

All Workshop participants emphasized the need to promote BME Education in Europe through the creation, harmonization and updating of study programs, in order to prepare a new generation of skillful Biomedical Engineers, able to face challenges in this rapidly evolving field.