Having discovered the NAFSA conferences and their success for the first time in Boston last year, the AGU representatives were eager to join the event again this year and to draw on its internationalization potential for our University.
The objectives of the NAFSA Annual Conferences include:
- Providing a background for networking and partnership creation
- Allowing educators and people working in the field of higher education to develop new strategies, discover new trends and to learn from experts
The NAFSA 2016 Conference topic was Building Capacity for Global Learning and this year the Abdullah Gül University was represented by Emeric Abrignani (Head of the AGU International Office), Zeynep Çiftçibaşı Güç (Head of the AGU Erasmus Office and Youth Factory), Derya Büyüktanır (AGU Faculty member and Service Learning Coordinator) and Tuğba Çansalı (AGU Youth Factory member).
The Abdullah Gül University stand was once again part of the Turkish Pavilion, sharing the space with other respected Turkish institutions promoting their services and programs.
During the NAFSA week, participants had the opportunity to take part in the University of Colorado Boulder campus tour, which allowed our AGU members to get an insight into how CU Boulder organizes its campus and operations. They also discovered new interdisciplinary engineering programs recently launched by the university, which allow scientific minds to express their social and creative sides and social minds to develop their scientific skills.
Over the course of the conference week, the AGU delegation was able to organize many meetings with top international universities from across the Globe (more than 40 meetings with higer education institutions from over 20 different countries) and to meet with education experts working for the most globally active institutions, companies and networks.
During that time, the AGU team negotiated many agreements in order to further the international development of our University and to better serve AGU’s interest in any form of partnership. All forms of collaborations were discussed, including student, staff and knowledge exchange, strategic partnerships, joint programs and joint research, capacity building…etc.
NAFSA was also the opportunity to meet with some of our current or soon-to-be partners, as well as to exchange signed partnership contracts face to face.
The AGU representatives also did not miss the chance to attend sessions that will help our international experts to improve their activities and programs via the application of newly acquired best practices. The sessions attended by our team covered topics such as:
- International student recruitment
- International student orientation
- International Partnership creation
- Curriculum development, etc.
This year, the Abdullah Gül University was also an official sponsor of the “Turkish Night”, which each year is the most popular after-hour event of the NAFSA conferences. The event was a success and served to highlight Turkey’s welcoming and warm culture, as well as to promote the AGU brand via multiple videos, flags, logos, etc.
Once again, the NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo has played an important role in the internationalization efforts of the Abdullah Gül University: many partnerships have been strengthened and many new ones will be created following this Summit. AGU’s internationalization experts have grown their international network and developed their knowledge, which will benefit the implementation of AGU’s ambitious internationalization strategy.