METU aims to become a Mediterranean Leader in Research and Development in its 15th Year
Celebrating its 15th year, METU Northern Cyprus Campus is ready to achieve new successes and break new grounds for many 15 years to come.
The opening ceremony of the 2019-2020 Academic Year of METU Northern Cyprus Campus was held on September 27, 2019, at the Rauf Raif Denktaş Hall, Culture and Convention Center. The ceremony was attended by Hasan Taçoy, Minister of Economy and Energy, members of the parliament, senior officials, and METU members.
METU Northern Cyprus Campus President, Prof. Dr. Nazife Baykal, who spoke at the ceremony, gave an account of the achievements of METU in the last 14 years and strategic goals of the University for the future:
We set out with great dreams and broke many grounds
Prof. Dr. Baykal said that they have taken great steps forward to increase the quality of higher education in Northern Cyprus and create a science and education base in Kalkanlı by virtue of the determined and strong stance of METU. She stated that METU has broken many new grounds in line with its tradition as an innovative and enterprising university. The President thanked all the ambassadors, rectors, officials of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and METU members who contributed to the success of METU Northern Cyprus Campus for their services performed during the time extending from the end of the 1990s –the era when the feasibility studies started- till present. Professor Baykal said:
“In 2004, we set out with only 5 undergraduate programs. Today, we offer 14 undergraduate and 6 graduate programs. We have over 3,000 students from 50 countries around the world. 75% of our students receive scholarships. 85% of our graduates find employment within the first six months after graduation. The number of our graduate students has increased by 55% in the last three years. We broke many grounds with the pioneering character of METU with projects such as Solar Power Plant, Sustainability Center, Graduate Program for Sustainable Environment and Energy Systems, Think-Try-Transform (T3) Entrepreneurship Program, and Science Festival. In our 14-year history, while implementing innovations in the fields of education and research in line with the effective leadership stance of METU, we have actualized projects that will respond to the needs of Northern Cyprus through community service programs.”
Nazife Baykal stated that they are looking ahead many more 15 years to come with determination and ended her speech with the following words:
“We hold the responsibility of sustaining a 15-year-old campus.”
“We are looking forward to many fifteen years of accomplishments. We are ready to work diligently to maintain METU’s tradition of success. We bear the responsibility of a fifteen-year-old campus that has completed its foundation. In the years to come, we will attract more highly qualified students from more countries to our campus. Our primary objective is to increase our research activities and publication output. We aim to become a research campus where our students are also involved in the research processes and where innovative products are created in collaboration with the industry. ODTÜ Kalkanlı Technology Valley, which we put into practice by our goal of technology-driven development, will increase the research opportunities of our island. Our University will have new partnerships with industrial organizations and public institutions to develop projects that will turn into products. Our goal is to become a Mediterranean leader in research and development. We will stand firm to our principle of “excellence in education” as we move along this path. Our undergraduate programs started to gain ABET accreditation. More METU NCC programs will gain accreditations in the forthcoming years. The world will need more METU graduates in the future, as it does today, and we will continue to educate many bright minds as new METU graduates!”
Any growth which does not prioritize quality will bring harm rather than benefit
Prof. Dr. Baykal highlighted that Northern Cyprus higher education ecosystem is growing every passing year, and she said: “Any growth which does not prioritize quality will harm the brand value of higher education in the country,” and she said that METU Northern Cyprus Campus will continue to serve as a model university that attaches great importance to scientific approach, quality, research productivity, and community service.
The ceremony ended with a piano and vocal recital performed by Prof. Dr. Cevanşir Guliyev and soprano Vasfiye Çakırtaş.