ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT
The philosophy of education at ABU is student-centric and interdisciplinary in focus. Hence, ABU encourages its students to pursue double-major and minor degree programs during their undergraduate years. The underlying motivation of ABU’s institutional strategy and mission is its determination to become one of the leading HEIs across the globe. ABU provides the most globalized education environment to its students in Antalya, one of the most internationalized cities in Turkey attracting around 15 million foreign tourists every year, (3rd highest in the world). European students visiting ABU as part of the Erasmus mobility program will experience the colors of a truly globalized social environment. ABU puts internationalization and multiculturalization at the center of its institutional strategy, and receives at least 30 % of its students and 20 % of its teaching staff from outside of Turkey-the highest number among all Turkish universities. ABU has students from around the world, most notably central Asia,East Asia,Eastern Europe, Southeastern Asia,the Middle East,and Africa.
The medium of instruction at ABU is English. ABU pays great attention to improving the English language profiency of its students. To this end, ABU cooperates with the University of Wisconsin in the United States, and more than half of the English language instructors are native speakers.In line with its institutional strategy, ABU seeks to develop institutional cooperation with as many high-quality universities as possible across the globe.
As a manifestation of its efforts to become a global powerhouse of knowledge, ABU has thus far established international projects and academic partnerships with some non-European universities. Becoming a part of the Bologna process and engaging in academic cooperation and colloboration activities with European academic institutions is of prime value in this regard. ABU has already adopted the ECTS internal credit accumulation system to facilitate mobility within the Erasmus program. ABU’s International Office (IO) is in charge of organizing and implementing various cooperative projects to be initiated with European HEIs, and administering the process of mobility under the Erasmus programs. IO is assisted by the Erasmus Coordinators(ECs) from each department. Both outgoings and incomings are regularly informed about the mobility process. Academic advising and tutorial help are provided for incomings. Office support is given for incoming academic and non-academic staff. ABU’s staff at IO has a high level of expertise on the issues of exchange and credit transfer. All required information on the Erasmus program is announced and updated on the IO web-page on a regular basis, with a particular focus on the mobility of people, research projects, joint degrees and institutional partners. One of the criteria that ABU values in terms of selecting its partners is that they share ABU’s determination to contribute to the internationalization and multiculturalization of academic environments, as well as the universalization of knowledge. Each department is encouraged to seek its own partners based on its particular needs and priorities. Partners are evaluated in terms of success in research and teaching.Partners providing students with the opportunity of learning as many foreign languages as possible and pursuing double major and minor degree programs are given priority. In terms of geographical preferences, ABU wants to establish cooperative schemes with leading European and non-European HEIs. Partners from the United States and BRICS countries are treated as no less important than ABU’s European partners. Seeking partnerships with a wide variety of countries scattered across the globe is very much in line with the multicultural spirit of ABU. As a newly established university that prioritizes internationalization and modernization from the very beginning, ABU is well aware of the importance of mobility of students, academics and adminstrative staff within the area of the European continent. Pending to its admission to the Erasmus program, ABU will immediately contact key higher education institutions from all around the continent, with a view to creating joint cooperation in people-mobility activities, scientific research projects and dual-degree programs at graduate and post-graduate levels. As part of its institutional strategy, ABU has already adopted the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) quality management instrument of the EU. Mobility of students at the undergraduate level is the short term priority, whereas mobility of academic and non-academic staff, as well as graduate level students, are medium-to-long term considerations. Joint degrees in BA, MA and Ph.D. programs and dual diploma programs are also planned in cooperation with European counterparts. The major motivation lying behind this desire is to equip Turkish students with the same/similar academic proficiency as their European peers.
ABU seeks to establish joint summer school programs with its international partners with a view to contributing to the mobility of students and academic staffs. Academics form ABU and its European counterparts can organise joint courses and certificate programs with the participation of ABU and European students. An innovative teaching example of ABU is the implementation of the CUE( Creative Use of English) program in the School of Foreign Languages. The Underlying metivation of this program is the help improve the English proficiency of students in nın-class envirnments, absent anxiety, by the means of fun and leisure activities. This program well accords with the European Common Framework. Another example of innovative teaching concerns the “training in the industry” program. As part of their curricula, students of all faculties are supposed to spend at least 15 weeks of their education in the particular industrial sector pertaining to their major academic program. The major goal of this program is to enmesh the theoretical education in classrooms with practical exercise in th efield, as well as to make students familiar with the job environment they would likely find themselves in after graduation. All exchange students visiting ABU under the Erasmus Program will be eligible to be a part of this experience. The philosophy of the Aerasmus program seems also to accord well with ABU’s strategy to develop functioning industry-university cooperation at the local level. Contributing to the institutionalization and globalization of small and medium-sized companies based in Antalya will become much easier if ABU enters into collaborative research projects with some HEIs across Europe.
ABU hopes to extract great benefits from becoming a part of the Erasmus Program in terms of social and material considerations. Socially speaking, receiving numerous participants from European HEIs, students, academics and non-academic staff, will contribute to the internationazation and multicultal goals of ABU. The task of strengthening in the practices of intercultural dialogue and universal academic environment will become much easier through various cooperative activities to be established with European institutions. The ability of ABU students to acquire a truly global consciousness and vision will be buttressed through their transnational experiences within the framework of the Erasmus program. For the post-graduate students of ABU, thier Erasmus experiences will help a lot. Because the medium of instruction/education in ABU is English, and their experiences in various European universities will likely help the academic and non-academic staffs of ABU improve their experiences in various European universities will likely help the academic and non-academic staffs of ABU improve their English language profiency. In addition to English, ABU also prioritiezes the teaching of other European languages. The members of ABU will certainly improve their profiency in various European languages during their staying in different European countries under the Erasmus program. Cooperation with European HEIs on many areas and at different levels will not only add up to ABU’s success to forge such relationship with non- European HEIs but also increase its global visibility. ABU’s erasmus experiences will also undoubtedly improve its ability to attract talented and visionary students to its various academic programs. The graduates of ABU, as well as the European students who visit ABU within the framework of the Erasmus program, will surely provide European companies with highly qualified researchers. Strengthening quality throughmobility and cross-border cooperation will also become possible during this process. Linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development will also be likely. Improving governance and funding through the activities under the Erasmus program is also within the reach. ABU is of the view that cooperating with European counterparts within the framework of the Erasmus program will undoubtedly contribute to Turkey’s anchoring to the European family of nations. Diffusion of European values through people mobility activities will be of utmost importance in terms of the success of Turkey’s decades-long Europeanization process. Turkey is not only in Europe but also of Europe. Half of Turkey’s trade is with European Union. Antalya is one of thoso places in Turkey where Europeans feel at home. Becoming a part of the Erasmus programm will complement ABU’s efforts to globalize.