Forward-looking development in health tourism education

At a dissemination conference and workshop hosted by Egészségtudományi Kar [ETK] Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) of the University of Debrecen, international experts discussed the results of the HealAll project and health tourism education development in the digital space. The event, which was held at UD’s Innovációs Központ [Innovation Center] also showcased the potential of the e-Twinning innovative teaching method.

With the upgrading and modernization of the curriculum, institutions of higher education must constantly adapt to the changes in everyday customs and habits related to tourism and, in order to achieve this goal, a specific digital education development is necessary, through which students can acquire state-of-the-art knowledge. This was the overall message conveyed at the meeting held on Friday related to the tender HealAll: Educational development and rethinking of health tourism. In addition to the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Debrecen, other participants joining the international digital education development initiative included Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, INNOVA Észak-Alföldi Nonprofit Kft. [INNOVA North Great Plain Non-profit Ltd.] from Hungary and Marco Polo G.E.I.E. Association from Italy.

Apart from launching a joint curriculum development, the aim of the program was to launch a website to mediate internship opportunities abroad, with the help of which students from areas of tourism can apply for internships abroad. A part of the twenty subjects created were taught using the so-called e-Twinning methodology, the experiences and results of which are now incorporated into the teaching materials. The experiences gained through this activity and further possibilities were summarized in a plenary lecture by Zoltán Szakál, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Debrecen.

“It is essential to focus on what sort of practice-oriented training programs students can participate in, where and what kind of experiences they can gain, and how they can eventually incorporate these into their future professional work. Due to the practice-oriented nature of the project, it is the development of student and teacher competences that significant advances can be expected in. The challenges of tourism revival following the COVID-19 pandemic may possibly provide answers to the query concerning the extent to which the practical experience of the program can be utilized,” said Zoltán Szakál.

Ildikó Miklóssy, Assistant Professor at Sapientia University of Transylvania, emphasized the fact that the project provided great opportunities mainly for students, as they could familiarize themselves with education at the University of Debrecen on the one hand, while on the other hand, they could participate in study-abroad internships at the same time, getting to learn about the most recent achievements in the field of health science.

Gábor Vámosi, Managing Director of Hajdú-Bihar INNOVA Észak-Alföldi Regionális Innovációs Ügynökség [Hajdú-Bihar County INNOVA North Great Plain Innovation Agency], underlined that, together with FHS, Sapientia University and the Italian organization, a joint project based on tangible results has been completed. The results that have been obtained can now be used for the benefit of tourism development in general, while the training of young professionals equipped with up-to-date knowledge and practical experience has also been achieved.

In two separate sections of the professional event, Hungarian and foreign experts had the opportunity to share presentations on a variety of topics, such as communication models applicable in tourism informatics, the support of course development in the Moodle system, the results of curriculum development related to the HealAll project and the digitalization of higher education.

The project entitled HEAlthy Life ALLiance for Health Tourism Education Development and Reorganisation (ID 2020-1-HU01-KA203-078799) has been implemented within the framework of the Erasmus+ program.

Press Center - BZ