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A New University as Emerging European Centre of Excellence: Medical University Graz, Austria

United to the top is the vision of the new Medical University Graz. Based on the model combining biological, psychological as well as social aspects, research, studies & programmes and medical care are the three supporting pillars of this vision, about to be realized in Graz at all levels.

January 1st 2004 was the founding day of the Medical University Graz as a new university with full legal capacity. A young university, yet based on historic ground, as it succeeds the Medical Faculty of the Karl-Franzens University Graz. Traditional virtues combined with a start from scratch will guarantee the realisation of common visions., ,With laying emphasis on both research and top-level medical care, the Medical University Graz will gain a distinctive profile. New centres will cover major scientific fields, including the Biocentre dealing with lipid research or a centre for skull base surgery, currently under discussion. Scientists and physicians of different departments will cooperate in an interdisciplinary way, an ideal atmosphere to increase synergies, while at the same time serving as prerequisite to establish top-level medical care according to the latest scientific results. The necessary structures already exist, we only have to intensify them, says founding rector Gerhard Franz Walter, MD, PhD. Furthermore, the new university will apply a pro-active approach in research management, which will facilitate access to specific research funding programmes, and targeted technology exploitation. Last but not least, a range of measures in the area of international cooperation will position the Medical University Graz in the fields of research and higher education within the European Research Area and beyond. High touch combined with high tech is one of the leading principles of the new university. Based on the bio-psycho-social model of medical care, the patient and her/his disease, embedded in the respective social environment, is in the centre of attention. Specialists will work with the patient in a well-coordinated and interdisciplinary system that guarantees first-class and patient-oriented attendance. This approach is also the basis for the new curricula for Human Medicine and Dentistry diploma studies. Studies & programmes, guided by the latest scientific findings, focus on the holistic perception of the human being, thus taking into account the individual needs and personal environment. Right at the beginning of their studies all students will have to do bed-side practical training either at the University Hospital Graz or at other institutions and will attend classes for instruction in methods of teaching. The Virtual Medical Campus Graz (VMC) has been successfully introduced, is highly approved by the students, supports distance learning and provides specialised tools for teaching and presentation in medical sciences. The Virtual Medical Campus is a first step into the direction of a Virtual Medical University Alpe Adria, a reach out into the Alpe Adria region and the regions of South-Eastern Europe. ,Facts & figures of the Medical University Graz: · 14 University Research Institutes and 25 Clinical Departments including 45 Divisions,· Centre for Medical Research,· 1700 employees of which 1030 make up the academic staff (professors, assistant professors, lecturers, external lecturers , honorary professors),· 4400 students,· about 550 first-year-students in the winter semester 2003/2004 ,· 336 graduates in the academic year 2001/2002 ,Key Study Programmes: Human Medicine diploma studies: The new curriculum, which, according to the objectives of the bio-psycho-social model, puts the patient in the centre of attention, combines practice and theory, increases the practical part, and enables students to combine the pre-clinical and clinical studies in each phase of the programme. Highlights of the programme: the practical part right from the beginning of the study programme, and the Virtual Medical Campus (VMC). Dentistry diploma studies: a new, specific study programme in dentistry, which corresponds to the approach of the Human Medicine diploma studies. Medical Sciences doctoral studies: The first step towards a scientific career. It is built on a new foundation by the doctoral study programme. Medicine studies: (old curriculum) Several post-graduate university study programmes including Public Health; the new international Masters study in cooperation with the universities of Triest and Ljubljana; and the new course of studies in the field of Health Care Sciences to be implemented in fall 2004. ,For further information please contact: Sabine Herlitschka, PhD,Vice-Rector for Research Management and International Cooperation,Medical University Graz, AUSTRIA,E-Mail: sabine.herlitschka@meduni-graz.at

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Austria