CoHE President Özvar Attends International Conference on Dialogue and Cooperation in the Black Sea and Balkan Regions in Romania

October 14, 2022

CoHE President Erol Özvar went to Romania for a working visit on the occasion of the International Conference on Dialogue and Cooperation in the Black Sea and Balkan Regions, hosted by the University of Bucharest, Balkan Universities Association and Black Sea Universities Network. CoHE President Özvar was accompanied by CoHE Deputy President, Prof. Haldun Göktaş, and CoHE Member Prof. Naci Gündoğan.

In his opening speech, CoHE President Özvar pointed out the importance of scientific and cultural cooperation to be developed between universities during these difficult times.

Özvar stated that the conference would create an important platform for exchanging information and ideas between the universities of the Black Sea and the Balkan region, and strengthen the ties between the countries of the region, adding that the quality of higher education and research would increase all over the world as international interactions spread.

Özvar noted that Türkiye was a growing country with 208 universities and more than 7 million students, and said, "Türkiye, which ranks first in Europe in terms of the number of students and offers quality higher education, has a great potential to contribute to the sustainable development of the Balkan region."

Özvar gave a speech entitled "The Role of Higher Education in Turbulent Times" at the second session of the conference attended by more than 70 university representatives from different countries. In his speech, Özvar drew attention to COVID-19, the war conditions in some countries and those who had to leave their countries due to the war, and emphasized the difficulty of managing the higher education process under these conditions.

He talked about the success of Türkiye and Turkish Higher Education in managing this process. He pointed out the importance of providing a quality higher education to people who were adversely affected by extraordinary situations, and said, “Quality education is extremely important for displaced people as well as for their future and well-being. Unless people affected by emergencies receive quality education, they will be more prone to cheap labor, early marriage and radicalization. Considering the pandemic, climate changes and large migration waves, higher education systems should be ready for similar crises. In this respect, higher education systems should develop their own infrastructures and human resources and increase their quality. The most important measure to be taken by the international community regarding young people during these difficult times is to give more importance to access to higher education.”

-Meeting with Romanian National Education Minister Deca-

The CoHE delegation visited Liga Deca, the Romanian Minister of National Education. During the meeting, cooperation opportunities between higher education institutions of the two countries were evaluated. Özvar and the accompanying delegation also visited the Bucharest Embassy and University of Bucharest.