Erasmus Policy Statement (Overall Strategy)
Please describe your institution's international (EU and non-EU) strategy. In your description please explain
a) how you choose your partners, b) in which geographical area(s) and c) the most important objectives and target groups of your mobility activities (with regard to staff and students in first, second and third cycles, including study and training, and short cycles). If applicable, also explain how your institution participates in the development of double/multiple/joint degrees. (max. 5000 characters)
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University (FSMVU) was founded in 2010 as a private, non-profit institution with a long term internationalization strategy. Internationalization is among the most vital objectives of FSMVU in long term. Under this strategy, the university believes in common core values of the human race (i.e. tolerance and understanding) could be experienced through international experiences offered by Erasmus activities, which in turn contribute to educating well-rounded, responsible individuals for the 21st century work force. In an endeavor to establish a more peaceful future, to create functioning intercultural bridges, dialog and mutual understanding is only possible through creating opportunities for intercultural exchange.
a) The University aims to create an international academic environment. As part of this purpose our partner selection is based on finding institutions that will bring variety to the campus and academic life and has similar structures to ensure the quality of education for students and faculty visiting FSMVU. In line with this vision the university focuses on developing its staff and student mobility. There is always room for future changes within departments and courses which would allow increased student mobility. This would also create more opportunities for further teaching collaborations within departments. For the further development of internationalization and networking the university encourages projects leading to joint degree programs.
b) As an HEI, FSMVU would like to be pioneers in leading broader strategies to find common grounds developing more international roots within education. With this perception in mind Erasmus is an exciting opportunity for all participants to gain more cultural exchange through staff and student mobility. When selecting partner institutions, the university pays attention to quality and equality to its own academic structure. The diversity in education can be done by setting up academic collaborations and exchange students and staff with qualified universities in any geographical region. Currently, we have 29 Erasmus and academic collaboration agreements with 21 different countries including Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. Being highly dedicated to the Bologna Process, the University values the opportunity to work in collaboration with European institutions, building thematic networks and collaborating in mobility programs.
c) FSMVU’s objective is to increase international mobility in all cycles. According to its internationalization strategy, FSMVU plans to have at least 20% of the students experience international exchange in the next 5 years. For this reason 30% of classes are taught in English with the university elective and compulsory courses. It is important for FSMVU to engage in international activities, which advance students’ knowledge, skills, and career choices. As an initial step, the university encourages each one of our departments to sign at least 3 active bilateral agreements under the next 5 year Internationalization strategy. According to the strategy, FSMVU planned a special program to make agreements more active and establish new ones in 2012. Such as the exchange of faculty members for short and long-term visits for the purpose of research, teaching and seminars, hosting visiting research scholars, and teaching. Other agreements include, training our doctoral students and faculty members at pre-doctoral and post-doctoral levels respectively, as well as joint supervision of doctoral students between the interested faculty members. The academic and non-academic staff of the University is already supported by the current Life Long Learning Program to teach and also to be trained.
FSMVU participates actively in the development of joint degrees and seeks to develop internationally to establish mutually beneficial collaborative research projects between departments and individual faculty members on areas of mutual interest. With international cooperation agreements FSMVU plans to offer international undergraduate double degree programs and Master’s and PhD’s joint degree programs.
If applicable, please describe your institution ‘s strategy for the organization and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation project in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Program. (max. 2000 characters)
Today, international partnerships are essential for the success of HEIs. As a young and innovative university, the next five-year internationalization strategy includes building partnerships with European and non-European Universities. The institution emphasizes offering courses compatible with ECTS under the Bologna process, reflected in the curriculum and also outlined in syllabuses. FSMVU administration underlines that each department should increase number of bilateral agreements signed every year. One of the priorities is to accomplish student, faculty and staff exchange to advance international experience. FSMVU’s main objective is to internationalize the institution by taking advantage of international programs such as Erasmus and other international joint programs.
The FSMVU has policies, which ensure strong measures and outline the institution’s non-discrimination objectives (e.g., actions related to gender equality, incorporation of disabled students and staff, enrichment of social and economic cohesion and encounters). Thus, issues related to discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, social class, financial status and disability will be closely inspected by a committee and if found to be present will be penalized accordingly.
FSMVU has previous experience in international exchange and cooperation programs which has been preparing the university for matters related to students’ exchange and facilities (i.e., language barrier, credit transfer and living accommodations, close routine supervision). With the goal to become a global university, centered in Istanbul, agreements and MOUs were signed with various international universities. Thus, Erasmus and other international academic programs are valued in the internationalization of the FSMVU. In this context in these programs, FSMVU has engaged in specific activities such as inviting the program coordinators of partner or potential partner universities which received the Erasmus Charter.
Please explain the expected impact of your participation in the Programme on the modernisation of your institution (for each of the 5 priorities of the Modernisation Agenda) in terms of the policy objectives you intent to achieve. (max. 3000 characters)
FSMVU aims to modernize its curriculum, teaching methodology, types of social projects organized within the university premises. Furthermore, our modernization objectives include cultural exchange through various channels such as Erasmus, raising awareness about the multilingualism in Turkey as well as expanding educational experience of our students in the international field.
The University intends to implement different projects in different departments in collaboration with the other countries. In these international programmes and/or other projects, target groups are the undergraduate-graduate students and the teaching staff from different European countries. The University has already taken part in a lot of Projects supported by TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), Life Long Learning Program or other organizations in order to modernize itself constantly. The University also intends to take part in programs and projects across the world to foster intense, long term cooperation with other Institutions around European and other countries around the world.
Our curriculum can be modernized in line with the innovative courses in European countries. The main objective is to play an extremely active role in the Bologna process as an institution. Through gaining access to Erasmus Exchange Program, the University also aims to take the first step to obtain ECTS and Diploma Supplement Labels which are all necessary requirements in all modern universities all around the world. As a part of its modernization process, FSMVU is in the process of corresponding with other institutions in order to reach bilateral agreements with various institutions. Moreover, FSMVU is organizing student information panels, forums, and cooperating with relevant authorities such as the Turkish National Agency.
Through work placements, mentoring program and career counseling, we intend to have not only well-educated but also conscientious graduates who are well aware of the newest developments in their respective areas of expertise and can adapt to these conditions easily.
In addition to all these, there should be more emphasis on the merits of cultural exchange in most Turkish universities. As an innovative institution, we aim to endow our students with all possible benefits of cultural exchange. As common sense dictates that these kinds of cultural exchange projects will help our institution to modernize as a whole.