Medical University of Varna (MU-Varna) is among the largest and most prestigious medical universities in Bulgaria. It is the first and the only one of its kind in the country which introduced the model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM ®) for Business Excellence in 2008.
MU-Varna has four faculties: medicine, dental medicine, public health and pharmacy, a medical college and three affiliates in Sliven, Shumen and Veliko Tarnovo. Nearly 5 000 undergraduates, graduates and doctoral students are being trained here in all specialities of health care, not only from Bulgaria but from more than 45 countries worldwide.
Education in most of the programmes is full-time but there are also part time programmes where students can successfully combine studies with work. In the last years (2012-2015) in the framework of a nationally funded project for the development of electronic and distance forms of education in MU-Varna the “Blackboard” platform was provided and is already in use.
MU-Varna maintains active international cooperation and relations and is included in the European educational exchange programmes for students and maintains long-term partnerships with many universities around the world. The University has developed active collaboration and partnership with a wide range of municipal, non-governmental, public and private organisations in the field of health and social care not only on a local but on a national level as well.
MU-Varna has an experience in the field of research and collaboration (FP7 Projects), in the field of training and research for human resources management (Master – and PhD programmes), health systems and models for change, demographic and health status assessment, health inequalities (WHO projects), quality and patient safety, workforce in health care (Joint Action on Health workforce Planning and Forecasting under the Health Programme of European Commission).
MU-Varna has also an experience with Research, development and innovation actions (Feel4diabets) and Marie Curie actions (K-Trio – Researchers’ night) within the framework programme Horizon 2020.
The Department of Foreign Language Teaching, Communications and Sport is a successor of the Department of Foreign Languages, founded in 1962. Since its establishment the Department has contributed to the modern European vision of the University. It provides language teaching in Medical Latin, Bulgarian, English, German and French to students from the four faculties and the College. The Department provides preparatory courses in Bulgarian and English to foreign students and postgraduates. For 20 years the Department has become one of the most prestigious language centres for Bulgarian language training for academic and medical purposes in Bulgaria. Each academic year these one-year courses train over 60 foreigners from various medical specialties.
Foreign Language Teaching and Communications at MU-Varna is entirely practice- oriented to the specifics of the foreign language with a view to the professional needs in a definite specialty. The most modern means and methods for foreign language teaching that develop the necessary phonetic and language skills are being used. The latest achievements in international theory and practice in this kind of training, specialized language network software, as well as up-to-date lecturers’ teaching materials for the specific courses are applied.
The International Distance and E-Learning Center was founded in 2014. It organizes courses and seminars for teaching our faculty and staff on topics related to the specifics of electronic education, the tools and the resources used in distance and electronic education. Additionally, in 2016 MU-Varna held an E-Learning conference aiming at establishing exchange of practices and skills in electronic learning and teaching, which included participants from different universities in Bulgaria as well as several colleagues from Germany.
Ilina Doykova holds a Master’s degree in English and Bulgarian philology from the University of Veliko Turnovo and a PhD in Linguistics (Germanic Languages). She is an Associate Professor in English for specific purposes at the Department of Foreign Languages, Communication and Sport at Medical University – Varna, Bulgaria where she teaches English for Dental Medicine and Scientific writing to undergraduate and postgraduate students of various medical specialities.
Since 1992 she has been working in the field of foreign language teaching at several universities and
gained international experience as a lecturer in ESP at the University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg.
Her main academic interests are technology enhanced learning, corpus linguistics and translation studies. In 2018 she was chosen to head the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at MU-Varna.
Ivan Merdzhanov graduated in German Philology at the University of Veliko Tarnovo and Rostock University and holds a PhD degree in the field of didactics of German language teaching and e-learning from Sofia University. He is an Associate Professor in pedagogy of the teaching of specialized foreign language and e-learning. Since 2014 he is the director of the Department of Foreign Languages, Communication and Sport, as well as of the e-Learning Center at the Medical University of Varna. He teaches specialized German for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and health care. As a manager and expert, he has participated in 4 European projects under the Grundtvig, Socrates and Leonardo programs. His scientific interests are in the field of teaching foreign languages for specific purposes, e-learning and e-testing didactics.
Nikolay Dragnev is a System administrator in the International E-learning and Distance Education Department at the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. His main expertise is in system administration and maintenance of servers (e.g. Unix, Windows) and LMS such as Blackboard and Moodle. He has experience in working with PhpMyAdmin, Bash, MySQL, ISPConfig, cPanel, Proxmox and VMware ESXi.
Zornitsa Naydenova is an E-learning Consultant in the E-learning and Distance Education Department at the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria since May 2014. Since May 2020 she is a Training and Qualification Expert in the International E-Learning Center, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. She has Master in Architecture degree from Varna Free University, Bulgaria. She is following an MBA program in University of Economics – Varna. Her passion in software and programming comes from the higher education years in High School of Mathematics. Zornitsa has numerous interests in different areas: architecture, sustainability, applied arts, graphic design, computer visualization and animation, photography, management, business communication and presentation process.
Milena Dragneva is an E-learning Consultant in the E-learning and Distance Education Department at the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria since February 2015. Since May 2020 she is a Training and Qualification Expert in the International E-Learning Center, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. She holds a Bachelor degree in Early childhood and primary education from Sofia University, Bulgaria. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in information and communication technologies in education. Her professional interests include human interaction in teaching and learning, adult learning styles, computer visualization and animation, instructional design and e-learning course development, learning technologies for people with disabilities, graphic and web design.
Iliyana Georgieva is an E-learning Consultant since April 2017 in the E-learning and Distance Education Department at the Medical University Varna, Bulgariа. Since May 2020 she is a Training and Qualification Expert in the International E-Learning Center, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. She has a Bachelor degree and Master in Industrial Management from Technical University of Varna. Her Bachelor’s degree has a Renewable Energy Profile, her Master’s degree has a European Project Management profile. Iliyana has interests and experience in areas: creating e-learning materials, online education, computer visualization and animation, instructional design, teachers’ training, learning management systems (LMS – Blackboard, Moodle), project management and renewable energy technologies. The main goal of her work now is to improve the content of training and learning experience based on the latest educational trends in e-learning for the purposes of higher education.
Siyana Aleksandrova is an E-learning Consultant since June 2020 in the International E-learning and Distance Education Department, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Technical University of Varna. Siyana has interests in areas – online education, E-Learning materials development, computer visualization and animation, instructional design, virtual learning environment (Blackboard, Moodle). She has experience with web design, CMS platform development and front-end programming.