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Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

CWU to host delegation from partner Turkish university on campus

Through a new international partnership agreement, CWU will welcome representatives from Hacettepe University of Ankara, Turkey to Ellensburg tomorrow through next Wednesday (July 13-18).

During their visit, the Hacettepe professors, Arif Altun, computer education and instructional technology; and Ahmet Ilhan Sen and Pinar Koseoglu, mathematics and science education, will meet with President James L. Gaudino and their CWU peers, along with touring campus.

They will also make a presentation about their university and the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed with CWU allowing for further discussions on potential areas of cooperation.

“Our goals include enhancing and increasing our internationalization efforts with these types of partnerships,” said Ediz Kaykayoglu, executive director of the CWU Office of International Studies and Programs, about the significance of this new partnership. “It’s vital to have faculty and staff exchange opportunities with our partners.”

Hacettepe University, which enrolls nearly 43,000 students, was ranked as among the top 90 global universities in Asia by U.S. News & World Report. That ranking took into account universities in China, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere throughout the region.

“Hacettepe University is one of the leading higher education institutes in Turkey,” Kaykayoglu noted. “We really appreciate their commitment and partnership in increasing the quality of our international education activities.”

The Hacettepe delegation is coming to Ellensburg through a grant from Erasmus+, a European Union program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

Kaykayoglu visited Istanbul, Turkey in April to attend EURIE, the Eurasia Higher Education Summit. He was a co-presenter on a discussion about “The value of international education.”

“Turkey is viewed as a bridge between east and west,” says Kaykayoglu. “With new developments in the region, in terms of international education, and with Turkey having a large population of university-aged students who are aware of the significance of study abroad, we are working now to align CWU to be a key destination for them.”

As part of the partnership, three CWU representatives—professors Grace Blum, education, CWU-Des Moines; and Michael Johnson, chair, World Languages and Culture; along with Rick Paradis, associate vice president of University Advancement—will soon travel to Turkey to visit Hacettepe.

Blum has some previous experience in Turkey, as part of her year-long work in northern Iraq as an education program officer with an international non-governmental organization (NGO).

“The opportunity piqued my interest because of my background in international education development, particularly in a Middle-Eastern context,” said Blum. “I’m particularly interested in learning about the university, developing relationships, and exploring possible opportunities for our teacher candidates to have an international experience in Turkey.”

Kaykayoglu added, “Our partnership will continue to grow seeking more joint research, project and grant opportunities.”

Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,

July 12, 2019

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