[Source]    Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University [Time]    2012-04-10 13:49:27 

The Secretary-General of the China Scholarship Council, Dr. Jinghui Liu, was accompanied by presidents, vice presidents, deans, and directors of 26 Chinese universities during her visit to our university. The morning activities began with an education fair, where the university directors met with potential students to give information about their universities and scholarship opportunities for Turkish students.

In the afternoon, a meeting was held for the university presidents, hosted by Prof. Dr. Nazli, director of the Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University (METU). The METU President Ahmet Acar first made an opening speech, which was followed by speeches by Dr. Jinghui Liu and Mr. Muharrem Kaplan from the Higher Education Council of Turkey. Dr. Liu expressed China’s interest in promoting student exchange between Turkey and China, while Mr. Kaplan described the Turkish higher education system, emphasizing the differences between public and private universities.

The opening speeches were followed by speeches given by presidents of Shanghai International Studies University, Northeastern University, Anhui Agricultural University, and Hubei University of Chinese Medicine from the Chinese side, and speeches by the presidents of Middle East Technical University and Ankara University, and Vice Presidents from Başkent University and Erciyes University from the Turkish side. Prof. AhmetAcar from METU talked about enhancing innovation in education, whereas the other university presidents focused on the specialization areas of their respective universities.

It was clear from both parties’ comments that there is a sincere interest towards further collaborations, beginning with student and faculty exchange. However, the key point seems to be identifying fruitful areas of collaboration in terms of specific areas of partnership. For this purpose, further meetings should be held on a one-on-one basis among universities to discover complementarities across the strengths of Chinese and Turkish universities. Obviously one important area of collaboration is Chinese language training opportunities in China to accelerate the learning process for Turkish students.

The meeting lasted for about three hours and was followed by a cocktail, during which all the participants, both Chinese and Turkish, were involved in a further discussion of mutual cooperation in near future.

Prof.Dr. Nazli, Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University