Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) will launch a master program in nuclear medicine for foreigners in September 2019. TPU is a participant of the 5-100 Project and Export of Education project of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The first students from Ghana, Nigeria, and Egypt are expected to study the production of radiopharmaceuticals, radiotherapy, and radiodiagnostics. They will be the only international students in Russia whose classes will be conducted at the operating nuclear facility. This is Russia’s only operating university nuclear reactor available for the training of international students.
The international students will take the program Nuclear Science and Technology. Being a network programme, it combines two educational fields in particular nuclear power facility operation and nuclear medicine.
TPU implements it together with the Siberian State Medical University and Tomsk Regional Oncology Center.
Director of the School of Nuclear Science & Engineering Oleg Dolmatov says:
‘Nuclear Medicine has been available for Russian students since 2015. Recently the program has been translated into English. In 2018, we enrolled two students from Egypt to the direction of nuclear medicine as a pilot project. Earlier, foreigners studied only the program related to the operation of a nuclear reactor. The academic year for these pioneers was successful and now we are willing to admit more foreigners.’
Now the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and Rosatom are approving quotas of foreign students but the University has already received a number of requests from such African countries as Ghana, Nigeria, and Egypt to study nuclear medicine.
‘The interest of these countries is obvious because there is a great demand here in specialists of radiotherapy, radiodiagnostics, and the production of radionuclides for medical purposes,’ says Oleg Dolmatov.
Due to the network format, students have an opportunity to attend practical classes not only at the TPU nuclear reactor but also at medical laboratories, and the radiological canyon of the Tomsk Regional Oncology Center.
‘Nuclear medicine as an educational field includes three tracks: the production of radiopharmaceuticals, radiotherapy, and radiodiagnostics. To date, we offer Russia’s only program which provides students both from Russia and abroad an opportunity to choose any of these tracks. The infrastructure we have is a profound basis for this,’ notes the director of the School of Nuclear Science & Engineering.
The first two students from Egypt who came to study nuclear medicine were Ahmed Ramadan Salem and Tafik Helmi. They are both clinical oncologists who worked before the admission to TPU at the clinics of the Ain Shams University Clinics (Cairo, Egypt).
Ahmed Ramadan Salem says:
‘In Russia, nuclear medicine technology is at a high level. We would like to see how work is being done in Russia, what you have and what Egypt lacks. We are interested in the production of radiopharmaceuticals and some new technology in the therapy and diagnostics of cancer diseases. Master degree is necessary for our career promotion. A foreign master degree is of particular importance. Is there a better place to choose for studying nuclear technology and medicine, if not in Russia?’
International students who are going to take nuclear medicine and nuclear power facility operation at TPU will study in groups with Russian students.