Galatasaray University, which was founded in 1992 by an international treaty signed between Turkey and France, is the result of a commitment to international cultural and scientific cooperation. The university is a francophone institution of higher education that strives for excellence in all areas of education and research. Excellence should lead, in this competitive environment, to the development of mobility and internationalization. One of the pillars of the international strategy of Galatasaray University is to consolidate its position among the francophone institutions of higher education in Europe. This requires the establishment of a dynamic policy, improved visibility and strong partnerships to enhance the activities of research and education, and make our university an integral part of European Higher Education Area.
Although Turkey was not eligible for Erasmus programme prior to September 2003, Galatasaray University has been a pioneer in this field by organizing student exchanges with French partner institutions from September 2000 onwards. It is now a signatory to more than 100 Erasmus agreements with institutions in 13 different countries. European and international cooperation projects have enabled us to take advantage of academic and technical experiences (labs, libraries, administrative and financial management of projects, etc.) of other higher education institutions participating in the Erasmus Programme by sharing best practices. We now intend to enrich this cooperation policy in other regions of Europe and extend to non-participating countries such as Canada.
Designated as a "Research University" by the authorities of Turkey (YÖK - The Council of Higher Education), Galatasaray University's mission is to provide top-notch undergraduate and postgraduate training of students, train future educators-researchers for other Turkish universities, organize and participate in international research programmes as well as offer lifelong training for senior managers. Our ultimate goal is to enable all students and staff benefit from international cooperation through effective use of resources offered by the Erasmus Programme and other international mobility programmes. In this perspective, our university also aims to develop and coordinate cooperation in common degree programs, joint supervision of theses and research with European universities. Moreover, as a means for establishing strategic partnership with enterprises, the project “Corporate Club” that has been implemented with French companies operating in Turkey constitutes a good practice that we intend to continue and enhance for better collaboration in fields of creating internship opportunities, development of research projects and planning professional careers.
In order to achieve these objectives, the requirements of the Bologna process are followed vigorously with campaigns to raise awareness among faculty members and administrative staff. Human resources of the Office of International Relations were strengthened particularly through increasing staff of the Erasmus Office and creating an “internships” unit and a “relations with the non-participating countries” unit. Galatasaray University is committed to demonstrate its active support for the internationalization of Turkish higher education by mobilizing all its resources and structures to inform the community of new initiatives, ongoing activities and their final results.