ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT
As a young university established in 2010, Bursa Technical University (BTU) is committed to achieving and sustaining excellence in teaching and research and has recently been awarded with the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) Committed to Excellence Certificate. Our quality, modernization and internationalization targets are guided by our “Strategic Plan 2014-2018”. The institutional strategy emphasizes the importance of being part of the globalization of higher education and building links with leading research institutions and enterprises in Europe and beyond. Our aim is to stimulate strategic partnerships and productive knowledge alliances, to enhance international mobility of students and staff and to promote transnational teaching and research activities such as international joint degrees and research projects. Performance indicators were determined for our internationalization and modernization targets in our Strategic Plan such as the number of visiting academicians, exchange students and intelligent classrooms that use new ICT.
The University is fully engaged with the Bologna Process that aims to create a European HEA and attaches great importance to the Europe 2020 target of raising higher education attainment to 40 percent. We promote courses conducted in English. We adapted our credit and grade system to the ECTS principles on the basis of the student workload. A Diploma Supplement was issued in line with the model recommended by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES.
Turkey’s unique geographical location makes it a European, Middle Eastern and Eurasian country at the same time and increases Turkey’s potential to become one of the key countries of the Alliance of Civilizations. We want to contribute to this process by building bridges between the European, Middle Eastern and the Eurasian countries at social, cultural and education dimensions.
We hope that the Programme will help us to foster our partnerships with the European institutions. We are interested in multiplying our partnerships in the Middle Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian and Central Asian countries with which we have strong historical, cultural and linguistic ties. The Mevlana Exchange Programme will provide us the opportunity to reach non-EU countries. The BTU is a member of Black Sea Universities Network, which has more than 100 members from 12 countries. We want to develop strategic partnerships with the member universities. Our aim is to benefit from international experiences and networks of our academicians, who completed M.A. or PH.D. programs in Europe or the U.S. Our target is to sign 50 bilateral agreements in 25 countries in 3 years. We hope that students and staff from these countries will meet and share experiences in BTU and contribute to improvement of understanding, tolerance and cooperative relations among people from different cultures by increasing intercultural interaction.
We have already signed agreements with almost 40 universities in Europe, the U.S., the Greater Middle East and Asia. We signed an agreement with a university in the U.S. to open an international joint degree program. The University is aiming to increase the number of joint and dual degree programs in the coming years. Our academicians have already been cooperating in international projects with their European colleagues.
International partners are carefully selected to ensure long-term and synergy creating collaboration in education and research. We look for academic and research compatibility with our programs and activities, strong links to the business and industry, respect to the non-discrimination principles, similar disciplinary strengths, number of courses taught in English and similarity of course structure.
We want our first, second and third cycle students and staff to experience the educational, linguistic and cultural benefits of international exchange and cooperation programmes. Our target is to provide international experience to ten percent of our students by the time they graduate. We believe that participating in international exchange programmes enriches the culture of respect and tolerance to different norms, beliefs and attitudes by increasing intercultural interaction. Our aim is to prepare our students to a competitive global labor market by increasing their skills and enhancing their foreign language proficiency. We want to enhance international cooperation opportunities for our teaching staff and give them the opportunity to research with new academic paradigms in addition to lecturing in leading institutions.
Enhancing cooperation between the industry and our university is among our priorities in our Strategic Plan. We believe that the Programme, which strongly supports strengthening the links between the constituents of the knowledge triangle, will create opportunities for us to develop transnational cooperation with international enterprises and institutions.
STRATEGY OF BTU FOR THE ORGANISATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL (EU AND NON-EU)COOPERATION PROJECTS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME
BTU attaches great importance to research and innovation in line with the Europe 2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and a knowledge economy and in line with Turkey’s national strategy of transformation into an international hub for knowledge, technology and innovation.
We believe that building strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances that allow sustained collaboration with universities and innovative enterprises in Europe and in the world are best ways to enhance the number of international cooperation projects that can bring mutual benefit to the project partners in terms of modernization and internationalization.
The Project Support Office (PSO) supports our researchers with the development and implementation of international projects and works closely with the International Relations Office. We developed a process and an action plan to ensure that international cooperation projects in teaching and research receive financial, administrative and technical support at development and implementation stages. The Foreign Support Office and the BTU-Industry Cooperation Office of the PSO organize seminars and information meetings to increase capacity of our researchers to develop international projects. They inform our academicians about opportunities and programmes for their international projects such as the Erasmus+, the Horizon 2020, the World Bank, the EUREKA and the European Research Council. We publish achievements of the staff on the website and mobility activities are taken as important factors in formal staff evaluations and promotions.
Advanced Technologies M.A. program was developed in an interdisciplinary manner by the University and was approved by the Council of Higher Education of Turkey. Our aim is to design new interdisciplinary international joint/dual M.A. programs with our partners in the EU and in the world.
THE EXPECTED IMPACT OF BTU'S PARTICIPATION IN THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME ON THE MODERNISATION OF OUR INSTITUTION
The BTU is keen to widen participation to higher education and achieve the Europe 2020 target and believes that internationalization and mobility support attainment. The Programme will help us to make our academic programs internationally accredited, which will support attainment levels by giving our potential students the prospect to have an internationally-recognized diploma and by receiving education from international researchers. The Programme will help us to increase satisfaction levels of our students and ensure higher completion rates.
BTU strives for excellence in research and education. We attach great importance not only to quantitative but also to qualitative development. We strongly believe that international staff and student mobility and cooperation projects bring invaluable knowledge and expertise into our university. The Programme will raise our ability to collaborate with enterprises across Europe and ensures that our students will have access to high-quality traineeships at international enterprises.
We believe that our efforts for excellence and quality in higher education will strongly be supported by the mobility and cross-border cooperation opportunities the Programme provides. The positive impacts of the Programme includes curriculum reform and transferable skills development, development of international joint degree programs, enhancement of employability of our graduates through traineeship at international companies and transfer of the examples of good practices in Europe.
International cooperation projects within the framework of the Programme will help us to benefit from rewarding transnational collaborations with innovative businesses by helping academicians to gain access to international networks and expertise. The synergy created will help us to reach our goal of making Bursa a regional hub of technology and innovation. Practical learning and traineeship have become building blocks of modern education systems. We believe that traineeships at international companies enhance employability of our graduates by preparing them to global competitive environment.
The University is dependent on public funding. We want to diversify our financial sources by developing new international dual and joint degree programs across a range of disciplines, by increasing number of international students and by engaging in externally funded international projects. Our teaching staff has already been receiving financial support from national and international resources for their projects. The Programme will provide another opportunity for our researchers to get the financial support they need for their projects.