European Internship Consortium Information Meeting Held in Istanbul
The information / Senior Management meeting for the European Internship Consortium was held in the main building of Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI). The consortium is made up of five universities and trade bodies based in Istanbul. Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) is among the members of the consortium that will send students for internship in Europe as part of ErasmusPlus program. In his speech at the meeting, Erdal Bahçıvan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ICI, referred to how they called for industry-university cooperation at every possible occasion and highlighted the emphasis they laid on the project which holds humans at its core. He added that when young people take the right steps in internship, they create major opportunities both for themselves and for industrialists and drew attention to insufficient resources allocated for the education of the youth. Bahçıvan stated that young people who are about to build their future start improving themselves in business only after graduation from university. The remarks by ICI Chairman were as follows: “The socialization of our youth with different cultures and societies will be beneficial both for the young people themselves and for our country.”
During the meeting, Professor Sermin Örnektekin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of European Internship Consortium and Vice Rector of İstanbul Kültür University, made a presentation on the activities launched by the Consortium. Professor Örnektekin stated their desire to introduce young people equipped with necessary competencies to the labor market. Örnektekin also referred to the considerable success of the institutions involved in the consortium which sets a model in joining trade bodies and non-governmental organizations.
Rector of Istanbul Kültür University Professor Sıddıka Semahat Demir was among the speakers who took the floor at the meeting. She touched on the advantages for young people who get to know the business world during their studies, adding that they would acquire different perspectives with experiences abroad. Nevzat Tarhan, Rector of Üsküdar University, referred to the value of ICI’s presence in the Consortium, which he said served the need to guide students in their careers.
During his speech, President of Turkish Cultural Foundation-AFS (American Field Service) Mete Fanusçu noted that AFS has been sending high school students in Turkey to foreign countries for sixty-three years. Fanusçu added that AFS sends students to nearly sixty countries abroad each year, underscoring the significance of student exchange in education and the benefits of partnership between trade bodies and universities for student exchange.
Following the meeting, Professor Sermin Örnektekin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of European Internship Consortium awarded plaques to the representatives of participating institutions. The participants included Turkish Informatics Foundation President Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Turkish Informatics Foundation Board Member Vural Yılmaz, Turkish Cultural Foundation-ASF Director Fatma Akgün, Burcu Atalay Emre and Erhan Akarlar from Istanbul Kültür University; Vice Rector Professor Tahsin Erkan Türe, Hande Baltacı and Hatice Melek Taşçı of İstanbul Şehir University; Vice Rector and Professor Ali Güzel, Asst. Prof. Dr. Sinem Akgül Açıkmeşe and Ayça Öztürk from Kadir Has University, Şule Yalçın and Aslı Kiper Sucuğ from Sabancı University and Rector and Professor Nevzat Tarhan and Ecem Hazal Öksüzömer from Üsküdar University.
European Internship Consortium
The Consortium, supported by the European Commission and the Republic of Turkey, was founded as part of the “Mobility Project for Higher Education Students and Staff” under the “Erasmus+ Learning Mobility of Individuals” (Main Activity 1) of ERASMUS+ Program to be launched between 2014 and 2020.
Coordinators who established the project include Istanbul Kültür University, and seven other institutions, namely Istanbul Şehir University, Üsküdar University, Kadir Has University, Sabancı University, Istanbul Chamber of Industry, Turkish Informatics Foundation and Turkish Cultural Foundation– AFS
Goals of the consortium
- Foundation of an international internship network that creates benefits and incorporates higher education institutions,
- Establishing a functional relationship between trade bodies and higher education institutions with a structure that works fast and meets expectations,
- Establishing connections between similar Consortiums in Europe, sharing good practices and experiences between partnering Consortiums and thereby consolidating university-industry partnerships on a global scale,
- Introducing to the labor market graduates with enhanced competencies who meet the labor force profile required by the given sector,
- Contributing to the improvement of synergy between higher education institutions and the business world thanks to the cooperation and experience potential created by the consortium,
- Building a practical and functional framework for internship mobility cooperation between higher education institutions and industry, thereby sharing the experiences of such cooperation with universities by updating curricula or developing new curricula to include such experiences.
Expected outcomes of the consortium
- Specifying methods for students to improve themselves in light of the experience they have gathered during their internship, help them acquire skills to choose their professions and manage their career and thereby establishing a culture of active involvement in building their own careers,
- Raising awareness for the goals of the consortium in sectors that will create an employment profile through internship mobility,
- Offering students opportunities to acquire international experience and vision during their academic practices and to develop their adaptation skills for multicultural business environments,
- As a priority, help students engage in work experience during their years active as students and/ or help them make a correct start in career planning with an internship offer right after graduation,
- Supporting the entrepreneurship potentials of students,
- Positive discrimination for disadvantaged students (disabled students, students raised in orphanages, students with limited economic resources etc.) and thereby offering equal opportunities in employment,
- As an example of good practice in Turkey, supporting the foundation of other Consortiums by sharing experiences with other institutions.