Uşak University International Relations Office organized an international event called “2nd International Staff Week” on 16th-17th March 2021 and brought together the Rectors and institution representatives of the universities, which have an agreement with Uşak University within the Erasmus+ and Mevlana Exchange Programs.
Rector of Uşak University Prof. Dr. Ekrem Savaş, stated in their opening speech that because of the pandemic, the 2nd international staff week could not be organized face-to-face as the first one; nevertheless, from 20 countries a total of 45 university and institution representatives - those are the universities that have the Erasmus+ and Mevlana Exchange Programme agreements with Usak University - participated in the event even if it is on-line this year. Drawing attention to the fact that Uşak University has contributed greatly to internationalization studies in the last three years, Prof. Dr. Savaş said, “We have a total of 3,196 international students from 61 countries. We have taken important steps in internationalization since 2018. The number of bilateral cooperation agreements within the Erasmus + and Mevlana Exchange Programs increased. We have signed a total of 29 agreements in the Erasmus Program and 20 agreements in the Mevlana Program. By increasing the number of agreements, we enabled our students and staff to benefit from these exchange programs. We brought the most important budgets in Turkey through EU Projects, Consortium, the ICM and KA2 projects to our University.”
Rector Savaş ended their speech by sharing a presentation about the development of Uşak University after thanking all the participants and expressing that they want to hold the third of the international staff week in the next academic year face-to-face after the pandemic and to host the participants in Uşak.
Digital Network Expanding
International Relations Office Coordinator Dr. Özgür Tarhan, stated that the theme of the event this year is “Digital Network-In” and gave information about the activities to be held in the two-day event in their opening speech.
Local Values Were Introduced
In the program's morning session, keynote speakers gave their speeches. The first speech was by HAVELSAN Management Consultant Tolga ERKMEN on “Future Readiness”, the second one was by Turkey's National Agency Representative Expert Ahmet Fatih IŞIK on “Erasmus Projects in Turkey,” and the third one was by Ankara University Erasmus Office Coordinator Inst. Onur HOŞNUT on “Virtual and Blended Mobility in the New Erasmus Program.”
The afternoon session began with the presentation of Inst. Gaye KURU who introduced Turkish culture, and continued with the presentation of Prof. Dr. Rainer M. Czichon who gave information about the history and archeology of Uşak. Then, the demonstrations of the mixed exhibition, Ceramic, Illumination and Miniature works and of Zeybek dance prepared by Faculty of Fine Arts academicians in Uşak University were performed.
A Five-Minute Challenge to Introduce the Institutions
The first session of the second day of the International Week started with the introduction of international programs in which Uşak University is actively involved. The program continued with three presentations; the Erasmus program presentation by Inst. İbrahim UZ, the Mevlana Exchange program presentation by Dr. Tolga Kargın and the Office for Foreign Students presentation by Dr. Ferhat KARAMAN. After the presentations, the participants from various countries introduced their universities and had the opportunity to share their contact information to establish new partnerships through the activity entitled “Five Minutes Challenge to Introduce Your Institution”.
A panel entitled “Digitalization, Blended Learning and Virtual Mobility”
In the first afternoon session of the second day, eight participants carried out their projects’ dissemination activities by introducing their ongoing projects. In the second session, the panel entitled “Digitalization, Blended Learning and Virtual Mobility” was held through the presentations of Dr. Tolga KARGIN from Uşak University, Turkey, Dr. Suriati ABAS from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the US, Dusana FINDEISEN from Slovenian Third Age University, Slovenia, Olena KORHYKOVA from Open Europe NGO, Spain and Maya DANOVA from VIOne Consultancy, Netherlands. After the question and answer session, a demonstration of classical and modern Turkish music was performed.