“One Belt, One Road Series” The tour to Turkey, new opportunities in education

Both parties share their experience in education during the meeting. (Source: Chinese Turkish Economic and Cultural Exchange Association)
The Delegation took a photo with the representatives from the school. (Source: Chinese Turkish Economic and Cultural Exchange Association)

Turkey occupies a key position in Europe and Asia, adjacent to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Its humanistic atmosphere and traditional customs have always been fascinating.

To the Ancient China, Istanbul (the Constantinople in ancient Roman Empire) is one of the destinations of the ancient Silk Road. In the 21st century, China and Turkey, separated by more than 2,000 kilometers, will regain their close ties under the One Belt, One Road Program.

The Chinese Turkish Economic and Cultural Exchange Association arranged a Turkish cultural and investment delegation earlier this month to understand the potential of this emerging market in Turkey. The delegation was led by the Honorary Advisor Dr. David Lan. The former Secretary for Education, Mr. Eddie Ng Hak-kim, was also one of the members. I was fortunate to represent the Social Enterprise Research Academy to participate in this tour to be exposed to new knowledge.

Education is the key to the future development of a country and is a priority for every country. One of the destinations of the tour is one of the best university in Turkey, the Istanbul Technical University. We held an exchange meeting with a group of experts from the school to explore the future and direction of modern education.

 “What is the most important thing in today’s university development? It must be globalization and cooperation. No university can rank first in every aspect. Therefore, communication and cooperation between professors is also very important at the same time.” Said above.

He further pointed out that each university has its own unique style and teaching concepts. With different fields of advantages and talents, the universities in the two places can support each other.

He specifically mentioned that education needs to start from young people. He suggested that the primary and secondary schools in the two places can be sister schools, so that the teachers and students of the two places can communicate with each other. As Mr. Eddie Ng said, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to create a win-win situation.

Both parties participated in the exchange meeting at Istanbul Technical University. (Source: Chinese Turkish Economic and Cultural Exchange Association)

Another speaker from the school said that the dual degree system has developed quite a bit in Turkey, that means students from the Istanbul Technical University and the other cooperative schools overseas to study the same degree to help students absorb the culture of different places and broaden their international horizons.

The speaker introduced the ten largest double-educational degrees in Turkey, most of which are courses in business subjects. Perhaps readers will think that cultural and arts would be the strongest field in Turkey, which have a strong cultural atmosphere. In fact, like most of the young countries, since it became the Republic in 1923, Engineering has been the most popular subject in Turkey.

Over the years, looking at Central Asia and countries in North Africa, Turkey is one of the few countries with a solid industrial base. The main manufacturing industries in Turkey include vehicles and spare parts, textile and garment, chemicals, and motor electronics.

The factories of famous automobile brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW also set up assembly plants in Turkey. The industrial strength is evident, so the development of engineering disciplines is relatively mature. The strategic industries in Turkey, including automotive, chemical, electronic products, energy and renewable energy, information and communication technology, infrastructure, machinery, manufacturing, etc.,are a guarantee for employment and development.

In addition to the exchange meeting, the school also arranged visits to Start-up Center. According to the school staff, the school has provided them with a startup platform to help them find funds and even venture capital while the students are still in school.

Students are provided with a start-up platform when they are in school.  (Source: Chinese Turkish Economic and Cultural Exchange Association)

In the school’s start-up business plan, there are 60 companies that are assisted, and more than half of them have employees and offices in the United States to promote products locally. The school staff continued to refer to the plan to increase the number of assisted companies to one hundred in the next two years.

This is “one small step for the school, one giant leap for the students.” Under this policy, students and businesses are guaranteed and endorsed by the school, so that students can boldly move forward to the local and international.

Reviewing Hong Kong, our software and hardware perform better compared with Turkey, but we lack direction and courage for further development. The trip to Turkey has undoubtedly given Hong Kong an important sign.

(The author, Miss Bonnie Liao is the publisher of the magazine “the Creator” and the General Director of Social Enterprise Research Academy)

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