Indiana University

IU President McRobbie signs new partnership agreement with leading Turkish university

  • Sept. 25, 2014


ANKARA, Turkey -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie signed an agreement today between IU and one of Turkey's top higher educational institutions, Middle East Technical University.

As a result of the agreement of friendship and cooperation with Middle East Technical University, students and faculty of both institutions will have new opportunities for research and study.

During his visit to METU, McRobbie met with the university's president, Ahmet Acar, and toured ODTÜ Teknokent, Turkey's first, largest and most innovative science and technology park.

He also participated in a working meeting with Acar and more than 15 METU administrators and faculty from its departments in economics, engineering, education, physical education and sports, and computer and instructional technology.

“Providing Indiana University students and faculty with increased opportunities to study and work overseas, especially in such culturally and historically significant countries as Turkey, is of paramount importance to IU,” McRobbie said. “We are delighted to formalize our partnership with such a pre-eminent institution as Middle East Technical University and to explore new exchanges and research collaborations that will greatly serve the needs of both institutions and build upon IU’s longstanding engagement in this vital economic and political part of the world. It will also dramatically enhance our presence in and understanding of contemporary Turkey, which will continue to play a major role in international affairs all across the surrounding region.”

Since its inception as a state university in 1956, METU, which has more than 24,000 students, has developed into one of Turkey’s most competitive universities; most of its departments accept only the top 1 percent of the approximately 1.5 million applicants taking Turkey’s National University Entrance Examination. Today, it is widely recognized as the leading university in Turkey in terms of depth and breadth of international ties and the amount of funds generated from international research projects.

The signing ceremony in Ankara, which followed a discussion about potential collaborations in such areas as business, education and the social and physical sciences, among other areas, took place during a weeklong visit to Turkey by an IU delegation that also includes meetings with government officials, heads of several of the nation's top universities and leaders in philanthropy and business.

Joining McRobbie on the historic trip, the first to Turkey by a sitting IU president since 1955, are IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret and IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie.

While in Ankara today, McRobbie also met with members of Turkey’s national higher education board and officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss IU’s goals for dramatically expanding its presence in the country. This evening he is addressing a gathering of IU Turkish alumni.

On Friday, he will visit another IU partner, Ankara University, the first higher education institution founded in the Turkish Republic. Ankara University is a partner in the prestigious Turkish Flagship Program at IU, the only federally funded program in this area.

For decades, students and scholars have come to IU from Turkey to pursue educational opportunities and collaborate with IU faculty. Turkey consistently ranks among the top 10 nations of origin among IU's international students, and many IU students continue to engage in overseas study in a country that bridges Europe and Asia and, today, is the major economic, political and military power in the region.

Reports from McRobbie's trip are available at a blog site, IU Goes to Turkey, and through official IU social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Links

IU President Michael A. McRobbie and METU President Ahmet Acar sign an agreement between their universities.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie and METU President Ahmet Acar sign an agreement between their universities.

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Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications

Ryan Piurek