International (EU and non-EU) strategy of Istanbul Commerce University
‘’A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.’’ Within the scope of this expression, Istanbul Commerce University focuses on a more sustainable and tangible strategy. The strategy is not only a fancy word for the ICU, is like more putting it into action. We live in an era of the modern and digital world; hence the main objective of the ICU is increasing its education system to the level of the modernisation of Higher Education. We are aware of qualitative and quantitative education as well. This purpose of the ICU is to reinforce the identification and implementation of the internationalization and globalisation policy.
Istanbul Commerce University gives importance to the Erasmus Programme in order to reach an international and European education system with other members of the EU. During the 2014-2020 term, we have been accredited to the Bologna process and ECTS grading system. we have opened several English taught or English supported programmes for internationalisation. As in the present case, in 1st cycle; 4 English taught programmes and 9 English supported programmes, in 2nd Cycle; 7 English programmes and in 3rd Cycle 2 English programmes have been teaching for to prosper our internationalisation policy. One of our main objectives is to increase English taught programmes for 2021-2027. We also support our students to deepen their knowledge of a variety of foreign languages with optional courses and our university gives certificates of languages to its successful students. As we experienced, English taught programmes number is one of the important points that we have to focus on. For this reason, we are working to compensate for this point by increasing our sending and receiving mobility number during the 2021-2027 term.
Being a part of the Erasmus Programme is one of the significant steps for institutional internationalisation. The staff of the university gets a chance for teaching and training. They observe the European education system and methods for self-assessment. The staff gets in touch with other academicians and administrative staff for the next collaborations. They get a chance to share their experiences in the international area and scientific studies. Therefore, one of the other objectives is to attend scientific researches and studies with strategic partnership projects. On the other hand, the Erasmus Office also gives training courses and conferences to our staff and students to write Erasmus projects. Concerning this, we are supporting more staff and students to take part in all international programmes between Europeans and non-Europeans institutions. Moreover, Istanbul Commerce University provides equal opportunities to all students without discrimination on the grounds of nationality, gender, colour, age, religious or political beliefs, disability, or any other circumstances.
Currently, ICU has 76 Bilateral Agreements with 23 program countries with partner countries this number approximately 100 universities. According to our evaluations and monitoring of mobilities, we would like to focus on some deficiencies to encourage more students and staff for providing new options and opportunities. Regarding this point, we will be more sensitive about some topics and clauses when we establish new partnerships. In addition, Istanbul Commerce University actively works on the development of future joint and double degree programmes. Joint programmes will strengthen the existing partnerships and will establish a ground for graduate students to be well equipped with knowledge and skills for future labour market opportunities and challenges.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, we are living in a digital world. With this fact, we must follow new developments to revise our digital platforms, teaching systems, and methods. If we would like to sustain our modernisation strategy. As all we know, unexpected situations and unpredictable cases happen just like the COVID-19 pandemic. As an HEI, we must be ready to maintain studies for students, therefore the ICU had been made collaboration with an on-line learning system just like Blackboard Open LMS, so all students keep going their education seamlessly. In addition, we plan to carry out more international distance learning programs and certificate programmes with this opportunity. The infrastructure of the ICU is ready for all unexpected cases. As known, with the new Erasmus term, we will be included in a digital and paperless process. The ICU is one of the first universities that has been registered to the Erasmus Dashboard without a paper system. Last two years, we create Learning Agreements in Dashboard with some of our partners. We will launch to create and renew our Inter-Institutional Agreements via Dashboard as well. We plan to process all Erasmus mobilities in the Dashboard system within 2 years. All faculties, institutes, and administrative departments will be informed about the process of adaptation.