Turkey’s METU Formalises Academic Links with Trinity College

Posted on: 10 May 2013

Turkey’s leading university, Middle East Technical University (METU), recently signed a strategic partnership with Trinity College Dublin, that will facilitate research and teaching exchanges between the two universities.  The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formed part of a government led trade mission to Turkey led by Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore.  

Speaking about the new partnership Trinity’s Vice President for Global Relations, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, said: “Trinity College Dublin is recognised globally for the quality of its research output.  This signing of the MoU creates the opportunity for both universities to realise the potential of important research projects by sharing expertise and innovation and will provide an excellent foundation for Irish researchers to build relationships with Turkish businesses.  It is also further testament to our appeal as a partner of choice in meaningful international research projects.”

Commenting on the strategic partnership, Professor Dr H. Nevzat Ozguven, Vice President for Academic Affairs at METU said:  “Its activities in teaching and research have made METU a leader in both national and in international circles. This new MoU between our institutions will stimulate fruitful academic collaborations in the future and create an environment conducive to deepening scientific relations between Ireland and Turkey.”

METU is known for its strong links with industry and has a number of enterprise units on campus.  The important connection between academic research and industry is reflected in the funding secured by METU from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜB?TAK) over the last five years. This MoU will encourage links between Trinity researchers and their commercial and academic counterparts in Turkey.  Trinity’s Department of Geology has already benefited from TÜB?TAK funding on a project on the geology of Turkey led by Dr Quentin Crowley, Assistant Professor of Geology at Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences, and Professor Erdin Bozkurt of METUs Department of Geological Engineering.

Another development was the signing of a new undergraduate Erasmus agreement between the Department of Geological Engineering at METU and Trinity’s Department of Geology.  The development of the new Erasmus agreement will further strengthen links with industry in Turkey and provide valuable experience for undergraduate students.  In 2012 two Trinity Geology students took up a work placement with a Turkish exploration company, TECK, during the summer months, and it is hoped that this model can be further explored in the future to provide more opportunities for students to gain real world field experience.