Protocol Signing Ceremony and Second Steering Committee Meeting

5 June 2017

In the scope of “Capacity Development of Employees and Employers via Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)” Project (Bilgeiş) which is co-financed by the European Union and Republic of Turkey and implemented by Middle East Technical University (METU), “Protocol Signing Ceremony” was held with the project stakeholders. Hosted by Vice Rector Prof.  Gönül Sayan and the project team, the event was organized on 23 May in Ankara Point Hotel with the participation of approximately 60 representatives from stakeholders.

Vice Rector, Prof. Gönül Sayan from Metu; Prof. Kürşat Çağıltay, faculty member in the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology; and Meltem Koca, Team Leader of Bilgeİş project made opening speeches in the event.

In the first opening speech, Prof. Gönül Sayan, Vice Rector of METU, explained the contributions by METU in ensuring adaptation to technology in Turkey. Giving examples from renewable energy, robotics, and biomedical researches conducted within the university, Prof. Sayan pointed out that METU was listed among the top 100 universities in the World in 2014. Prof. Sayan said, “In line with METU’s mission to be a community university, we wish the human resources in Turkey to utilise the educational quality in METU even with off campus access”.

Taking the floor after Prof. Sayan, Prof. Kürşat Çağıltay, from the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology highlighted the predominance of SMEs on Turkish economy. Referring to the labor force report by OECD, Prof. Çağıltay stated that the qualifications of labor force in Turkey is considered to be under the desired level and pointed out that the qualifications in the countries with an advanced industry are high. He indicated that METU is one of the most competent institutions in Turkey in terms of Information Technologies and added that they would like to share this accumulated knowledge with the society. Prof. Çağıltay explained that 100 free courses can be accessed through education portal which is open to the public access, particularly SMEs and he said, “If we want to reach Industry 4.0 level, we need to continuously improve ourselves using Life Long Learning tools”.

Lastly, Project Team Leader, Ms. Meltem Koca summarised the activities carried out within 16 months in the scope of the project. Ms. Koca showed samples from courses on portal. She stated that they would like to improve technology adaptation skills of users through brief, clear, and free courses. She thanked the stakeholders for their support.

Following the opening speeches, memorandum of protocols were signed with high level representatives of Professional organisations, foundations, associations, and universities including Ankara Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Artisans (ANKESOB), Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO), Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO), OSTİM OIZ, Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce (GTO), İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ), Koç University, Ege Association of Business Women, İstanbul Dudullu OIZ, Eskişehir Chamber of Commerce (ETO), Eskişehir Chamber of Industry (ESO), Dokuz Eylül University (DEU), Yaşar University, KAİSDER (Association of Women Employers and Industrialists), and Informatics Association of Turkey (TBD).

After the lunch break, 2nd Steering Committee meeting of Bilgeİş project was held with the selected representatives of the stakeholders. During the two hours meeting, project related questions from the stakeholders were answered. Stakeholders’ recommendations and comments were received for improving the project and ensuring its sustainability. These comments will be reflected in the minutes of the meeting and will be evaluated by the project team.