Representatives of eight countries participated in the opening of the MU - Varna International Partnerships Forum. The Forum is being held for the second consecutive year aiming to turn it into a platform where MU-Varna partners can share ideas and generate fruitful educational, scientific and social projects. The main topic of the current event "International Partnerships for Youth – Students' Life and Erasmus +" is inspired by the fact that Varna is "European Youth Capital" for 2017, as well as the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus + Programme.
The main accent of the Forum is on the role of partnerships in the development of modern education, scientific and cultural exchange as well as in the process of universities internationalisation and networking. The scope of the meeting is to show students' and young researchers' life and activities supported by their professors and academic mentors, encourage the mobility process, enhance cooperation, information circulation, sharing good ideas and best practices among the participants. The ambition of the organizers is to establish and develop a sustainable network of international partners all over the world whose main purpose will be to improve education, science, health and quality of life of young people.
The moderators of the meeting Prof. Todorka Kostadinova – Vice Rector for International Relations, Accreditation and Quality and Dr. Aneta Dokova - Head of the International Relations Department made a comprehensive presentation of the international activities of the Medical University - Varna, the types of national and international partnerships and the results of bilateral and multilateral projects. Emphasis was placed on the need for more active interaction between higher education institutions, local authorities and the business to realize multi-sectoral projects for the benefit of young people and the population as a whole.
The Forum continued with the presentation of the foreign partners who shared their vision for future joint projects and areas for cooperation, after which the students have a speech. They expressed the young people's view for the role and impact of international partnerships on student life.
Following the idea of developing multi-sectoral cooperation, representatives of different partner institutions attended the meeting. Among the guests were the General Consul of the Russian Federation in Varna - Mr. Sergey Lukyanchuk, the Honorary Consul of Germany and France - Mr. Nedyalko Nedelchev, the Honorary Consul of Italy - Mr. Antonio Tarquinio, the Honorary Consul of Israel - Prof. Krasimir Metodiev, the representative of the Varna Municipality in the Managing Board of the Association "Varna - European Youth Capital" - Bilyana Raeva, Assoc. Prof. Antoaneta Tsvetkova - Chair of Permanent Commission "Healthcare" at the Municipal Council of Varna, Mrs. Katerina Savatova and Mr. Kalin Baychev from the Human Resources Development Centre in Sofia, guests from the First Moscow State Medical University "I. M. Sechenov ", North-West State Medical University" I. I. Mechnikov, University of Vilnius, University of Bogomolest in Kiev, National University of Medicine in Kharkiv, and young entrepreneurs from Florence and Rome Carlo Spellucci, Mattia Michelangeli and Nicholas Tommazini, representatives from the Varna Tourism Chamber, members of the academic management, lecturers and students.
The second day of the Forum included workshops on four major topics – "Partnerships within Erasmus + Programme", "Education, Science and Research", "Social and Community Activities" and "Culture and Sports". The expected result was the initiation and realization of joint activities and projects in each of the directions.
All participants united around the idea of a topic for the third edition of the MU - Varna International Partnerships Forum in 2018 - "University partnerships – a hub for policy-making in education, research and innovation".