From Erasmus to Erasmus+: A Story of 30 Years

May 24, 2017 / Istanbul University

 

The Council of Higher Education, Ministry of EU Affairs, Delegation of the EU to Turkey and Turkish National Agency organized the program entitled "From Erasmus to Erasmus+: A Story of 30 Years" on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Erasmus, an exchange program for international students, in the Doctorate Hall at Istanbul University.

 

Ambassadors, consul generals, rectors, education counsellors of the consulates and students who benefitted from the Erasmus program attended the program.

 

Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç, President of the Council of Higher Education, Mesut Kamiloğlu, Director of the Turkish National Agency, Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, and Selim Yenel, Acting Undersecretary Ambassador of the Ministry for EU Affairs, made an opening speech in the program.

 

"We believe in the universal values of science"

 

Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç noted that they believe in the universal values of science and said, "We want to make them more visible by underlining how our past and the cultures of our vast region allowed these values to find a place in the history of world science. We do this by presenting our scientific knowledge more and increasing our support towards our national scientific values. A country with a weak university system cannot have an industry, technology, medicine, education, art and legal system, which will lead the country to the future."

 

"The number of international students is 110 thousand"

 

Prof. Saraç said that the number of international students has been increasing every year and that Turkey is the country with the fastest growing number of international students in the European Higher Education Area. Prof. Saraç said that the number of international students studying in Turkey in 2017 is 110 thousand. He emphasized that there was an increase in the number of students who came to Turkey for doctoral studies and that it proved that qualified international students started to choose Turkey to receive education. Prof. Saraç stated that Azerbaijan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Afghanistan, Greece, Kazakhstan and Libya were among the countries where most students came from.

 

Prof. Saraç stated that CoHE ascended to a higher level after taking into consideration the recent developments that took place in higher education systems in the world and that it had been managing this process with a number of parameters such as input, management style and output in relation to mission differentiation based on research universities. He noted that ten state universities would be determined as research universities and five universities would be organized as candidate universities. He said that the performance of the determined universities would be reviewed and that CoHE could make changes in the list of universities.

 

"We hope to build better relations with the other countries"

Mesut Kamiloğlu, Director of the Turkish National Agency, started his speech by giving information on "Erasmus +". He pointed out that the students of the Erasmus program find jobs more easily compared to other students, emphasizing that the program offers young people a new experience and opens up their horizons. He said that they hoped to build better relations with the other countries that have participated in the program. He ended his speech by thanking the European Delegation and Istanbul University.

 

Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, stressed that the Erasmus program provides opportunities and solidarity and stated that the Erasmus+ program created a chain that will never be broken between European societies. He ended his speech by congratulating the 30th anniversary of the program and thanking CoHE President Prof. Yekta Saraç, Istanbul University and the rectors of the Turkish universities.

 

Selim Yenel, Acting Undersecretary Ambassador of the Ministry for EU Affairs, started his speech by pointing out that the Erasmus+ program has enabled thousands of students to get to know each other and that it could be described as an antidote. He concluded his speech by saying that the Erasmus+ program is a good program for understanding each other and "telling about" each other and that there should be more meetings similar to that meeting.

 

"Erasmus coordinators have been determined in each unit of Istanbul University"

 

Istanbul University Rector Prof. Mahmut Ak said, "The Erasmus Program is a pioneering exchange program that has been successfully implemented for 30 years and is open to new developments and innovations. As the universities in both Turkey and Europe, we must strive to carry out this program in the upcoming 30 years. I believe that this meeting, which brought students and faculty members who were involved in the Erasmus program before and the decision-making bodies related to the program together, will be very effective. We will have very important outputs in terms of the future of the Erasmus program through mutual dialogue and sharing of experiences."

 

Following the speeches, CoHE President Saraç, Ambassador Selim Yenel, Acting Undersecretary Ambassador of the Ministry for EU Affairs, and Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, talked with the international students who are receiving education in Turkey.

 

As part of the meeting, CoHE Deputy President Prof. Hasan Mandal moderated the panel entitled "The Influence of the Higher Education Movement on the European Identity". Prof. Mahmut Ak, Rector of Istanbul University, Graham Wilkie from the European Commission, Prof. Leonard Azamfirei, Rector of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Târgu Mureș, and Prof. Marian Moiceanu, Rector of UAUIM, participated as panelists.