​​9th Eurasia Higher Education Summit Begins

February 27, 2024 / Istanbul

CoHE President Erol Özvar stated that the future of higher education would be shaped by the ability to embrace the dual nature of cooperation and competition and said, "The future lies in collaborative higher education."

Özvar attended the opening of the 9th Eurasia Higher Education Summit (EURIE) organized by the Eurasian Universities Union (EURAS) in Istanbul, bringing together all stakeholders of the international education sector, representatives of universities from different parts of the world, international promotion and educational technology companies, foreign education consultants, and public stakeholders in higher education.

In his speech, Özvar stated that Türkiye was hosting an important meeting for the prospective students of the countries in the region for international student mobility and said, "The summit aims to explore the cooperation opportunities of the countries in the Eurasian belt in the field of higher education and to increase the relations between the universities in this region in science and technology."

He gave information about Turkish higher education and said that they emphasized topics such as globalization, sustainability, equality, inclusiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship.

He pointed out that technological innovations had led to extraordinary changes in all sectors and explained that three critical points had come to the fore in higher education in recent years.

He noted that due to the evolution of digital technologies and the emergence of online learning platforms, the 'ubiquitous learning' paradigm gained importance beyond conventional campus-based learning and added, "The emergence of online courses, webinars and virtual classrooms offers a wide range of learning opportunities by eliminating geographical barriers. Adopting the philosophy of 'ubiquitous learning' prepares students for the complexities of a dynamic and interconnected world by fostering a culture of continuous discovery and self-learning."

He stated that the Council of Higher Education perceived ‘ubiquitous learning’ not only as a technological change but also as a fundamental shift in mindset. "In this context, we see this concept as an opportunity for strengthened international cooperation and actively encourage university students to be inspired by different sources."

He emphasized that artificial intelligence had become widespread in all fields with the transformation of digital technologies and said, "We are involved in these transformation processes and we are working relentlessly to make our higher education system compatible with the ongoing digital revolution."

Describing the works carried out on artificial intelligence, Özvar said, "We will continue to attentively monitor and respond to the effects of artificial intelligence on higher education."

He stressed that another critical issue was establishing new networks in higher education and that it was important to develop collaborations with all stakeholders, including the public and private sectors. He stated that CoHE encouraged students to get to know the sectors at an early stage and to gain knowledge beyond the traditional university environment, taking into account the importance of vocational and technical education.

"We closely follow the global transformation in higher education"

In his speech, he also pointed out the importance of micro-credentials and said:

"Micro-credentials are an important step in bridging the gap between university education and the requirements of the industry. These credentials offer a flexible and targeted approach to motivating individuals to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary for personal and professional development. In Türkiye, we have recently launched an initiative to legislate for non-university skills to be credited within our higher education system. This visionary initiative, coupled with concrete programs, proposes to connect our students with real-life challenges and market requirements as they pursue their education. We want to achieve this goal and this requires us to continuously monitor higher education, increase our capacity and maintain strict quality standards. You can be assured that Türkiye is closely following the global transformation in higher education."

"The future lies in collaborative higher education"

Özvar underlined the need to be both competitive and collaborative on the global stage in order to provide high quality education to future generations. "The future of higher education will be shaped by our ability to embrace the dual nature of collaboration and competition. By recognizing their value and potential, we can create a more dynamic, innovative and effective educational environment. As leaders, educators and policymakers, it is our responsibility to channel these forces wisely and ensure that they serve as complementary engines driving us towards a future where education transcends borders and truly benefits all. In conclusion, I am confident that our interactions during this summit will contribute to the continued advancement of higher education and foster a global exchange of knowledge and ideas. The future lies in collaborative higher education," he concluded.

After the opening ceremony, Özvar visited the booths and received detailed information about their works.

-Summit will last for three days-

Participants from more than 60 countries will organize workshops and panels at the summit. The summit will last until February 29. Topics such as internationalization trends in higher education, international student mobility in the world, Erasmus+, international projects, international exchange programs, digital transformation, quality assurance and international rankings will be discussed in more than 50 concurrent sessions.