In the continuation of its Internationalization efforts, which remain at the heart of AGU’s activities, the AGU International Office, represented by Dr. E. Burak Arıkan, Advisor to the Rector on Internationalization and by Emeric Abrignani, Head of the International Office, took part in the 27th EAIE Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
EAIE (European Association for International Education) organizes Europe’s largest international education conference, which is a global meeting place for professionals of the higher education sector, as well as a platform for the creation of international partnerships and collaborations.
These Conferences, the first edition of which took place in Amsterdam in 1989 and which welcome representatives of the World’s top universities willing to be active on the international arena, have been the opportunity for individuals and universities to
“exchange ideas, discover the latest trends and foster new partnerships with organisations and like-minded peers” (eaie.org).
This year’s theme was “A Wealth of Nations” and focused on
“the leap into a more fruitful economic era and [on] harnessing the wealth of knowledge residing in Europe’s diverse nations”, “addressing topics as varied and fascinating as international higher education policy and practice, notions of power and privilege, as well as global civic responsibility, and environmental sustainability” (eaie.org).
This year, the event took place in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), a well-known and important landmark of the Glaswegian landscape and welcomed over 5000 participants from more than 90 countries (resulting in 29 country pavilions in the Centre), almost half of them being newcomers (46%). The two most important groups of participants were Managers of International Offices (15% of participants) and Responsibles of Strategic Partnerships and Networks (representing over 25% of participants). The programme for this four-day Conference included 200+ sessions, 30+ workshops and 20+ networking events.
The Abdullah Gül University could not miss the chance to be part of this major opportunity for growth and expansion of its international outreach. This time, unlike during the NAFSA Conference in Boston in May, our team did not have a stand or booth, but rather filled their programme with many meetings and by attending multiple plenary sessions. During their meetings with other university representatives, our AGU International team members shared the Abdullah Gül University’s project, as well as its vision, mission and objectives. During this time, our representatives connected with university members from Japan, Germany, China, the USA, India, Ireland, South Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands and many more. The participants they met showed great interest in collaborating on a multitude of projects (student and staff exchanges, social development projects, joint study programmes, etc.).
Three attributes especially of the Abdullah Gül University caught the attention of their interlocutors:
- The Abdullah Gül University’s very detailed vision and, as a 3rd Generation University, its will to empower youth (through knowledge and skills) for a long-lasting positive impact on society, as well as its approach focusing on Education, Research and Societal Impact.
- The impressive early results and achievements that AGU managed to obtain at the national and international levels despite a very short period of time and a competitive environment.
- The fact that all AGU’s programs are taught 100% in English and that the University’s campus is becoming a real multicultural hub, attracting numerous international students and professionals.
The AGU team also took advantage of the presentation sessions organized during the Conference, where they were able to exchange best practices involving the latest trends in the world of International Education. During the 2015 QS Ranking Launch session, they gathered key information on the way students choose their university, how employers use rankings and how to integrate the most famous world University Rankings; as it is part of AGU’s internationalization action plan to become part of the most prestigious international University Rankings.
Some of the sessions attended by Dr E. Burak Arıkan and by Emeric Abrignani included:
- Introduction To Higher Education In Scotland
- Back To Basics: Internationalization For Newcomers
- What’s Hot And What’s Not In Admissions?
- Building Dream Teams In Admissions And Credential Evaluation
- How Students Choose A Study Destination, And How You Can Influence That Choice!
- Successful Multichannel Student Recruitment On A Tight Budget
- The Globalisation Of Internationalisation: New Perspectives From Emerging Voices
- Creative Marketing In Recruitment: Practical Strategies That Work
Now back in Kayseri, after a short but satisfactory immersion into Scottish culture and after having planted the seeds of future international exchanges and partnership opportunities at the EAIE Conference, the AGU International Office is excited and eager to get to work on turning these initial contacts with potential partners into real-life Student/Staff Exchanges, Short-term Visit opportunities and Joint Research Projects for our AGU members!