“Regarding the consequences of the pandemic, tourism appears to be the most sensitive branch of the economy. In our program, we will incorporate the best practices into the forms of education by using the experience acquired during the past year. As parts and features of the program, in addition to student mobility, we will design a webpage that can connect the actors of the branch of tourism with the students and can also provide useful information for the corporate sector,” said professional program coordinator Péter Takács, Director of the Institute of Health Sciences at the Faculty of Health of the University of Debrecen, following the kick-off work meeting of the project.
Through the project, the students of our university can get to travel to and work at the best practice locations in Italy and Transylvania with the help of the partner organizations, where they will have a chance to acquire formative professional experience for their future careers.
“Students can also come to Debrecen and to Nyíregyháza from Romania and from Italy. Nevertheless, we would like to expand the possibilities so that students enrolled in programs other than the ones in the Health Tourism specialization of the Faculty of Health at UD should be able to join in, too,” said Péter Takács.
Levente Varga, the economic coordinator of the program added that the diversity and the success of the project would be guaranteed by the multi-faceted experience of the partners involved in it. UD can contribute significant knowledge in the field of health tourism, while the Transylvanian university possesses considerable experience in agritourism. In turn, Marco Polo G.E.I.E is expected to deliver Italian features into the project and the company INNOVA is supposed to bring the Hungarian partners closer to the students.
“This project incorporates great opportunities for the students in the Touristic Engineering and Management BA of the Romanian university. Apart from the professional progress of the students, the curriculum developments may also provide broader and more extensive competences to them and, thus, they can facilitate the work of our instructors as well,” said Ildikó Miklóssy, a department head of Sapientia Erdélyi Magyar Egyetem Csíkszeredai Kar.
The Italian partner Marco Polo G.E.I.E, which participates in the project, has been mediating between the actors of the tourism and catering sectors and the educational institutions, primarily within the framework of the ERASMUS program. Ferdinando Martignago, the president of the organization, called the initiative of the universities forward looking.
“Our task and responsibility is to find the ideal practice and training locations for the students, and to help them during their stay abroad. However, health tourism represents a novel area even for our organization, which is why the project poses a real challenge for us, too,” said Ferdinando Martignago, President of Marco Polo G.E.I.E.
Anikó Horváth, project manager of INNOVA Észak -Alföldi Nonprofit Kft., added that their regional development and innovation agency assists in the practical apprenticeship training of the students in a way similar to the one offered by the Italian partner organization, in addition to which it also participates in market research, situation analyses and in curriculum development.
The project will be implemented within the framework of the program called KA2 Strategic Partnerships 2020, as part of HEAlthy Life ALLiance for Health Tourism Education Development and Reorganisation. The project reference number is 2020-1-HU01-KA203-078799.