On December 10, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass and the Rector of Ankara University, Prof.Dr. Erkan Ibis, opened a one-day workshop on creating partnerships between Turkish and American universities. The workshop was attended by more than 40 representatives of Turkish higher education institutions from across the country as well as delegates from the Turkish Higher Education Council and the Fulbright Commission.
Presenters Clare Banks and Linda Tobash, both experts in the internationalization of higher education, spoke about the U.S. higher education system, accreditation system, and ways to go about building and sustaining long-term institutional partnerships and joint degree programs and how to attract U.S. students to Turkey. Regional Education Advising Coordinator Dr. Christopher Medalis delivered remarks on EducationUSA’s services, and a panel of experts from leading Turkish universities spoke about what they have learned through their own partnership efforts, challenges and opportunities in partnership process.
The event was held to respond to the many requests post has received from the burgeoning Turkish university system for assistance in reaching out to American institutions of higher education.
As Turkey seeks to establish itself as a country with global reach, the demand for international affiliations and exchange of students and faculty has increased exponentially. However, the decentralized nature of the U.S. system has made it difficult for newer Turkish universities to build such partnerships. The PAS-sponsored workshop was a key part of the mission’s efforts to assist Turkish universities in finding U.S. partners and also to build goodwill among the higher education community.