Under the ABTA Academic Mobility Programme, a group of seven doctoral students and researchers from UK institutions, including University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Exeter and University of Nottingham visited two prestigious Turkish universities: Bogazici University and Istanbul Technical University (ITU). Assistant Professor Bilal Gokpinar, an executive board member of ABTA, led this trip between 30 October 2013 and 4 November 2013.
On the first day of the trip, the group was hosted by Senior Management of ITU. A meeting with ITU Vice President for Research Professor Mehmet Sabri Celik took place where collaboration/partnership opportunities between ITU and UK universities were discussed. The group had a great opportunity to see facilities in the research centers and Turkey’s largest technology park namely, ARI Teknokent. ARI Teknokent researchers made a presentation based on their R&D and innovation activities. The first day of the trip ended with a visit to Dean of the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Prof. Omer Usta.
The group started the second day with a campus tour of Bogazici University accompanied by Bogazici Vice President for Research Professor Lale Akarun. The visiting group gave presentations and shared their academic and research interests with participating academic staff and researcher in different departments including: Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Management. After the seminars, speakers had research discussions and explored possible academic collaboration opportunities with seminar participants. They visited several research centres and Technology Transfer Office in Bogazici University. A panel discussion on PhD Studies in the UK was organized for undergraduate and graduate students of Bogazici. Our panel participants shared their personal PhD journeys in UK's leading universities, and provided advice on PhD application process, funding and scholarship opportunities, benefits of a PhD in the UK, etc. The panel proved to be very popular with more than 150 students attending.
Later on, the group had the opportunity to enjoy the natural and historical heritage of Istanbul. This tour included visits to the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and old city center. They also explored the magnificent shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul with a Bosphorus cruise boat trip and the heart of Istanbul, Taksim square.