Erasmus Policy Statement of Samsun University
Samsun University (SAMU) was founded in 2018 as a state university in the Black Sea Region of Turkey. Currently, SAMU has 5 faculties, 1 college and 1 vocational school, and aims to be a continuously developing and producing university in Turkey and worldwide by increasing the scientific effectiveness and productivity of the students and research staff in both national and international areas. Therefore, internationalization is one of the main strategies of our University as underlined in the “SAMU Strategic Plan”. In our international strategy (EU and non-EU), we attach importance to participate and have an active part in all kinds of international and national programmes for education, training, youth and sport; develop international academic, mobility and activity cooperation with EU and non-EU countries; support, promote and recognise student and staff mobility (including those from disadvantaged groups) at all levels (academic and administrative); attend in international fairs and exhibitions for international recognition and establish cooperation; increase academic degree programmes in English; start joint-degree programmes; develop an international and multi-cultural campus environment; further develop our multi relations with the City Council, Chamber of Commerce and Trade, the Governorship, local governmental (GO) and non-governmental organisations (NGO) and enterprises and their international partners; develop joint international projects.
As a part of its internationalization policy, SAMU is open for all kind of programmes and international activities. Erasmus partners are chosen among all over Europe based on the benefits of the parties. In this process, we frequently collect the requests of our students and staff (academic and administrative); the propositions of local GOs and NGOs (Provincial Directorates of National Education, of Youth and Sport, of Industry and Technologies; Regional Development Agency, Chambers etc); and the other possibilities we encountered on different occasions (visits, congress, fairs and exhibitions) with internationally recognized institutions and corporations. After the preselection of candidatures, we re-evaluate the partnership prospects depending on the interests, needs and mutual compatibility of institutions by consulting the relevant department authorities and sometimes even consulting the Turkish Higher Education Council.
In addition to 28 member countries of the European Union, other developed countries such as the United States of America, Russia, China, Japan, and Canada are favoured as target non-EU geographical areas. Balkan, Middle East and African countries have also major partnership potential for their easier visa requirements, cheaper costs of living and closer distance to Turkey. These latter factors can be vital for our students from lower socio-economic backgrounds who do not wish to experience tougher visa procedures and who cannot afford to live in expensive countries with their grants provided by our University.
The most important objectives of our mobility activities for our students and staff are:-to improve their professional skills and resolve linguistic and cultural barriers;
-to enhance the academic programmes of our University and enrich the experience of our student and staff;
-to promote our Country, Region, City and especially Samsun University with its own values, traditions and culture by embracing the others and celebrating the diversity;
-to create a multicultural and international environment for our students and staff in our campuses.
Our students, at all levels (short, first, second and third cycles) and all our administrative and academic staff members are the target groups of our university mobility activities. Their selection process is carried out fairly, transparently and coherently, concurring with the stipulations set out in our contract with the National Agency (NA). Every potential participant has equitable opportunities.
The development of new double/multiple/joint degrees are particularly encouraged with institutions previously in collaboration via mobility programmes as a final stage to widen the partnership with them. In our University, the participation of related departments like aerospace, naval, architecture, design, engineering and civil aviation to the development and application of corresponding degree programmes is most beneficial and consistent for all parties. The main reason for that is the crucial role and large extent of internationalisation in these fields.
In SAMU, the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects are performed by the Erasmus+ Office according to the “Programme Directive” and the “Project Office Directive”. Erasmus+ Office provides all support to the mobility coordinators in the academic departments, the students and staff regarding the application procedures for the projects and carries out the secretariat: For example, when realizing a mobility project, the important dates for the applications, evaluations and next steps, and the requirements are announced in various ways (website, e-mail etc.); the applications are evaluated by an unbiased commission with respect to the selection criteria included in the Programme Directive of Erasmus+ Office; the results are declared in a way that each candidate will see; and an orientation meeting is hold for the formalities before and after the mobility (passport, visa, accommodation, insurance and documentary issues). In addition, the Erasmus+ Office promotes programmes and the projects in our university through our website, regular meetings, presentations, publishing brochures and posters and disseminating them to all target groups. The number of international cooperation projects, both for EU and non-EU countries, is one of the important indicators for our yearly performance programme, in accordance with the “SU Strategic Plan”. Academic departments and staff are encouraged to develop new cooperation projects. The results achieved by the projects are announced in several ways (website, social media groups and printed materials). This helps to increase the recognition of the projects and the Programme itself, therefore, has a potential to create motivation for the rest of the academic staff.
The modernization of Samsun University is regulated according to modernization agenda of the EU as well as regional needs. We believe that as a newly founded institution, the Programme will determine the main architecture and ensure a harmonious growth to its true potential.
The aim of our University is to maintain high quality while increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers that Europe needs. We hope that our participation into the programme (Erasmus for all) facilitates the reach to the levels of higher education and research set before us by sharing new ideas for developing clear progression routes of education; designing and implementing new strategies of research in line with both European Qualification Framework and Union’s R&D targets.
Samsun University aims to equip graduates with valuable knowledge and competences required to succeed in high-skill occupations. Staff exchanges (international or cross-country) with other institutions and involvement of active professionals are used to respond to this demand of high-quality and profession-relevant education programs and people accordingly in labour market. Staff exchanges are also crucial for the continuous skill growth and high excellency of researchers.
Strengthening cross-border co-operations to boost higher education performance is another goal set by Samsun University to increase professional, social and intercultural skills of SAMU staff and students. By enhancing mobility, the University tries to eliminate barriers unnecessary in the research and higher education; to improve the recognition of the programs and to ameliorate access, employment conditions and progression opportunities for both students and researchers.
It becomes clear that education, research and business knowledge triangle is necessary for all parties to the local and global sustainable development for every institution and the country. To obtain this relation works, we know that close and continuous cooperation are important and essential both for students to gain experience in their prospective professional area and for researchers to improve in their studies. We also encourage our students to participate in European Voluntary Service (EVS) for diverse cultural, artistic and social welfare activities; to become active in international professional organization like European Association for Aerospace Students (EUROAVIA) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and finally to work as trainees for a whole term in their semester-in-industry.
The Project Management Office (PMO) in our university intents to provide funding to our staff and students and many areas of research, mobility and projects. Nonetheless, our University is working on further developing other effective governance and funding mechanisms (TUBİTAK, Government, EU etc) in support of excellence.