MARIBOR. In the year 2009, Alma Mater enrolled the first group of students - 100 students of Nursing and Physiotherapy in Murska Sobota. ”These were the times of the economic crisis that touched Pomurje region most of all. And that in itself was the challenge, through which we offered study programmes to those young people who were looking forward to further education in the field of professions with high potential. We hoped that he government of Slovenia would recognize this too, by giving us financial support for the studies” said prof. dr. Ludvik Toplak, president of Alma Mater Europaea – ECM.
Alma Mater's main mission from the very beginnings was to develop new, interdisciplinary study programs, complementary to existing ones. Shortly, implementing academic and research work in those areas where there is the largest deficit in the society. Given that Alma Mater Europaea is an internationally oriented institution, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts gave it an academic and institutional patronage in 2012, and on this basis the European Center Maribor was renamed into Alma Mater Europaea - ECM and continued work on the principles of transnationality, interdisciplinarity and building bridges, especially in the Danube region. The AMEU ECM dedicated its work to the basic challenges of the Danube Region, such as ecology, transition and reintegration, intercultural communication, health and social issues, and demography.
“In the past decade, AMEU ECM has accredited and re-accredited, and developed undergraduate, master and doctoral programs in health sciences, in particular nursing and physiotherapy, and integrative health sciences. Faced with new demographic trends, scientists and experts have developed and accredited study programs of social gerontology at all three Bologna cycles, with a special emphasis on active and productive aging. Since 1990, the Danube countries have been faced with transition and reintegration issues, and AMEU has developed study programs in the field of Business Systems and Management, European Business Studies, as well as Project Management and Strategic Communication Management at the doctoral level,” says prof. dr. Toplak.
Changed circumstances of the economic and political system also represent a new challenge for humanities. Alma Mater Europaea - ECM has merged with the Postgraduate school of Humanities, Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis in Ljubljana, an institution with a rich library and more than 150 doctors of humanities. ISH is opening in the international space. Its young intellectuals want to give new content according to the experiences of global trends towards cyber humanism.
The development of new technologies in the world presents a new challenge for education. Alma Mater Europaea accredited the first degree (undergraduate study) of the study program Web Science. Masters and doctoral studies in Web Science and Cyber Security are under preparation.
New technologies have created conditions for the development of a new independent academic discipline of Archival studies and Records Management. AMEU ECM has accredited 1st and 2nd cycle study programs, while the accreditation process is underway for the doctoral program of Archival sciences, which has aroused great interest in academic and other public institutions in the world.
Considering that Slovenians are the only people in Europe who did not develop dance arts up to the academic stage, and despite more than half a century-long efforts, Alma Mater Europaea has established and accredited the Dance and Ballet program in Ljubljana and Maribor.
“Alma Mater Europaea follows the needs of the society in all academic fields in accordance with the principles of quality, relevance and rationalization. Quality can confirm itself in competition; the relevance of education is measured by the employability of graduates who generate added value, and the relevance of science by the implementation of scientific achievements in the economy and in the sphere of social standard, where added value is created. Rationalization of education is measured by the contribution of a successfully employed graduate, while rationalisation in science can be measured by using value-added assets. And here we must emphasize that Alma Mater Europaea has the highest level of employment of graduates among all Slovenian higher education institutions. We expect the government to recognize this and provide equal study opportunities to all citizens in Slovenia in accordance with the Constitution and to follow the principles of the Bologna Process, such as autonomy with responsibility, compatibility, mobility, quality, de-etatisation, rationalization and employability. Only by doing so will young people be guaranteed equality and a respectable status in Europe,” was also added by Toplak.
The activities of Alma Mater Europaea have been recognized by partner universities in Europe and international organizations. This year, Alma Mater Europaea was entrusted with organizing the 11th European Congress of Integrative Medicine and the 4th European Congress of Aesthetics. We are delighted that our partners from Slovenia and abroad also take part in the traditional AMEU Scientific Conference every year. The next conference will be held in March 2019. Scientists are also involved in scientific journals, with great international responsiveness, founded by Alma Mater Europaea - ECM, and in other forms of scientific journalism.
AMEU was also invited to co-organize a number of other conferences, symposia and work on projects. The greatest pride are our students, and our recognition goes to those who are engaged in projects in academic, humanitarian, sports and other public life, as well as successfully pursuing master's and doctoral degrees at home and abroad.
“On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the work of Alma Mater Europaea, I would like to express my gratitude to all higher education teachers, researchers, mentors and other colleagues for the work they have invested into bringing Alma Mater Europaea so far. We also thank students and parents for their trust, and partner universities, institutions and mentors for carrying out clinical training.
We are also grateful to the to the pioneers of the academic programmes at Alma Mater Europaea, and appoint them as Honorary senators:
- Prof. ddr. Mara Ovsenik in the field of Social gerontology
- Academic prof. dr. Zmago Turk for his work in the field of Medicine and health sciences, and
- Academic prof. dr. Božo Kralj for his active role in the Alma Mater senate in the name of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts,” was concluded by Toplak.
Katarina Pernat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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