Erasmus Charter & Policy Statement
Erasmus Policy Statement (EPS)
Gebze Technical University (GTU) was established on November 4, 2014, based on the foundations and experience of Gebze Institute of Technology (founded in 1992). GTU is located at the heart of industry, between Istanbul and Kocaeli with a huge green area. GTU has been listed among the "Top Ten Universities in Turkey" in terms of research both at national and international levels. GTU pioneers technological developments and has close relations with many scientific institutions located in the same region. Internationalization has been accepted as a primary goal in the GTU strategic plan. Accordingly, GTU offers 100% English-instructed academic programs in most of the departments. Harmonising its processes with the European Education Area plan, GTU has successfully completed the implementations of diploma supplement and ECTS and launched the implementation of paperless Erasmus project and digitalization. Erasmus Programme is a vital opportunity to reach its strategic goal and to support modernisation of education both in GTU and the EU. Erasmus mobilities have gained momentum in recent years at GTU thanks to about Erasmus 60 agreements. New projects have been introduced such as KA107, voluntary service (EVS), KA2 project applications, Ka103 consortium project coordination, etc. More than 100 students and staff benefit from Erasmus programme every year. Yet, the programme opportunities are provided to both all GTU students and staff (approximately 8000 students and 1000 staff), industrial partners in the region and the youth all around Turkey. GTU aims to increase the number of Erasmus students and staff every year while raising the quality of mobilities. Moreover, GTU aims to focus on international cooperation between HEIs and industrial partners from EU and all around the world, by diversifying the type and scope of Erasmus projects. These objectives will serve to internationalisation and modernisation of education area in both Turkey and the EU.
Internationalization has been accepted as a primary goal in the GTU strategic plan for several years. Accordingly, GTU has been participating in the Erasmus Programme since 2004-2005 (satisfactorily completed 3 ECHE era), audited by the Turkish National Agency since then and found successful. Moreover, GTU has received diploma supplement and ECTS labels during the labelling years, and ECTS is being used at GTU as the main credit system. GTU is also accredited by various diploma accreditation institutions (both national and international) thanks to its high-quality education and joint research projects. With this international experience and collaboration competences piled up over the years, the GTU diploma has gained widespread recognition, especially in Europe and generally all over the world. The previous EPS of GTU includes the following statement: “Erasmus activities are considered as an important tool for both achieving the goals put forward in the Strategic Plan. GTU is committed to excellence in teaching and learning within an environment of internationally recognized research.” Accordingly, within the scope of Internationalization, GTU offers 100% English-instructed academic programs in most of the departments. Having harmonizing its processes with the European Education Area plan, GTU has successfully completed the implementations of diploma supplement, use of ECTS and, up to date Erasmus course catalog and launched the implementation of paperless Erasmus project and digitalization. In order to work within the framework of the European Education Area project as well as to achieve the internationalization goal in its strategic plan, GTU is planning to (from the strategic plan): -Open interdisciplinary graduate programs which include joint programs with its partners from industry and its international partners. -Increase the student attraction by opening new undergraduate. -Accelerate international student exchange programs. -Be able to use time more effectively by switching to the distance education system, (which will pave the way for virtual mobility) -Provide the necessary support for academicians and students to be successful in the international platforms. -Develop necessary software in process management. -Qualify for accreditation to international organizations. GTU has made progress in almost all of these goals. But with the help of opportunities provided by Erasmus Programme, new interdisciplinary and joint graduate programs will be opened with education offered in 100% English. Having been successfully certified and are widely applied within the institution, quality and complaint management systems will be kept as vital tools to assure quality in the administrative and academic processes. With the aim of digitalization, necessary software is developed or provided for most of the internal processes. These softwares will be further developed for future needs of students and staff. Accreditations have been granted by international organizations and new ones are aimed to be made. The distance education system is being used successfully in Lifelong Education Center and integrated into regular courses due to the needs emerged from Covid19 Pandemic. New international exchange opportunities and projects are aimed to double in number and with a high-quality to provide international support to students and staff.
International exchange programs have gained momentum in recent years at GTU. The number of Erasmus exchange students and staff increase every year. Opportunities also have been increased with new projects such as KA107, Volunteering project (ESC), KA2 project applications, Ka103 consortium project coordination, etc. These projects will be diversified to cover as many as key actions under Erasmus Programme. The number of mobilities, especially incoming ones, will be increased. All in all, by continuing with the Erasmus Programme, GTU will cooperate with other institutions in Europe and around the world, transfer know-how, and will be able to realize its modernization and internationalization strategy.
GTU aims to participate in the program to run different projects under Erasmus Programme with a basic emphasis on international learning mobility and partnership projects. Gebze Technical University’s vision is to become a leading university worldwide that shapes the development of the knowledge produced in fundamental sciences, engineering, and social sciences and that conducts high-level education and research. Activities carried out with the Erasmus Programme will contribute to GTU's vision and goals in its strategic plan. Having completed 3 ECHE call periods since 2004-2005 and successfully implemented the Erasmus Programme, GTU has made a zero grant refund since 2017. This effective usage of grant budget will be carried out in future because it provides an efficient inclusion of as many students and staff as possible into international mobility. The percent of the Erasmus students to graduates in GTU is 5% and aimed to be increased. This will adds to both internationalization at home and abroad, fully supporting GTU’s internationalization and modernization strategy. GTU, which aims to contribute to science, especially in the field of engineering and natural sciences, has been the coordinator of an internship consortium since 2017-2018 to provide internship opportunities to its students abroad. In this consortium, there are also 2 prestigious universities of the country (Boğaziçi University and Sabancı University) and prestigious institutions such as Şişecam and Kocaeli Chamber of Industry. This consortium will continue in new Erasmus period because it gives value to all the partners. For example, GTU has a joint master program in glass technologies in collaboration with Şişecam which is the leading glass company in Turkey and worldwide. Current partnerships established through such consortia and previous individual KA103 and KA107 projects create further individual mobilities, joint research opportunities and potential joint programs. These also facilitate high quality and quantity of international mobilities. Focusing on work placement mobilities in the last few years as a technical university contributes to employability of GTU graduates which in turn contributes to labor market. Therefore ,this emphasis of encouraging work placement mobilities under KA1 and placement aiming projects under KA2 will be pursued in the following ECHE periods. Rector of the University was elected as the current chairman at the 4th General Assembly of the International Universities Council (IUC). This role will support application for European Universities and will diversify GTU’s international platforms as well as support GTU to achieve its internationalization goal in the strategic plan.
In addition to having successfully applied KA103 projects for sixteen years, GTU also implements KA107 projects. In addition, it has been successfully continuing the EVS project since 2018. KA2 project applications have been supported and realised in the last a few years. Having focused on diversifying its projects under Erasmus Programme accordingly, GTU is ready for boosting projects under KA2 and KA3 with its well-established sources: its professional International Relations Office (IRO), which has staff with experience more than 10 years of Erasmus Programme, its Erasmus regulations accepted by University Senate for smooth-running of the program, and its regularly trained Erasmus department coordinators. Moreover, other supporting offices vital to organisation of Erasmus Programme in GTU have officials with long-term experience in the IRO-Erasmus Office. For example, an officer with 4 years of Erasmus experience works in the student affairs office. She is dealing with students.
affairs of international students. In the technology transfer office (TTO), one staff who had worked in the Erasmus office for 3 years runs Horizon 2020 and other EU projects. Moreover, GTU provides assistance to all incoming and outgoing participants related to accommodation and obtaining insurance and visa. GTU also provides all the necessary support and sources related to these issues for the participants. GTU has a buddy system: local students meet incoming students at the airport and guide them at GTU and Gebze to find accommodation, to help for everyday life and meet with the other local students.
Participation in the program will enable GTU to develop more international mobilities and international projects. Erasmus cooperation projects will help GTU to achieve GTU’s internationalization strategic goal. The increase in the number of outgoing and incoming students and staff as well as in the cooperation projects will be indicators of achieving this goal.
GTU has reached a good amount in the number of outgoing students and staff in recent years. This number is increased every year compared to the previous year. The number of incoming students and staff has not reached the desired level and increasing this number is the target of GTU as an indicator of success (The targeted numbers are not given due to the Covid19 pandemic). In order to be attractive for incoming students and staff, GTU has new developments for the last years in addition to its experienced state-of-art laboratories. It has started offering most of its programs in 100% English. GTU has become an easily-accessible campus with a train station in it from/to Istanbul, the heart of student and academic society. In future, GTU will focus on giving discounted or free accommodation to incoming mobilities.
GTU has already applied for KA2 projects and wants to take more place in such collaborative projects. Towards the end of 2019, KA2 projects introductory meetings were held for academic staff at GTU and some of the staff applied for KA2 projects as a result of these meeting. GTU has set the target of increasing the KA2 project applications every year. Some of the academic staff who have potential to conduct KA2 projects are those who have already had experience in carrying out Framework Projects, Horizon 2020 and COST projects, which are coordinated by GTU Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and its staff has 3 years of Erasmus Programme experience. This experience and coordination among TTO and IRO creates a synergy and sustainability of EU projects. Therefore, such potential professors will be especially supported in applying KA project so that the number of KA2 project applications will be increased.
GTU has ISO-9001 quality management system and ISO - 10002 complaint management system certificates which are renewed every year since 2018. GTU follows its goals in strategic plan with this quality system as well. For example, GTU aims to increase the number of students and staff exchanges every year and it does this by setting a target over the previous year which is stated in its quality measurement processes, too. These quality systems assures achievement of goals with high quality processes, and the monitoring both the quantities and qualities by external audits. GTU has set the goal of full compliance with the paperless Erasmus project and the implementation of the Erasmus student card and participation in the European education area by 2023. In addition, GTU aims to increase the number of KA2 projects and incoming and outgoing mobility every year.