University of Nebraska, Turkey’s Ataturk University sign agreement to expand faculty collaborations, student exchanges

December 5, 2012

The University of Nebraska and Ataturk University in Erzurum, Turkey, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that strengthens the long-term partnership between the two institutions and lays the groundwork for expanded faculty collaborations and student exchanges.

Collaborations will focus on achieving mutual goals, such as those related to food security and water management, education and human capital development, and public health and medicine – areas that are all critical to Nebraska, Turkey and the world. The University of Nebraska and Ataturk University each have established strengths in these areas and are well-positioned to leverage their shared resources and expertise for mutual benefit.

The relationship between the two institutions dates to 1957 when, under then-Chancellor Cliff Hardin, the University of Nebraska offered its resources to the Turkish government to help create Ataturk, the country’s first U.S.-style land-grant university. Ataturk has helped to expand the benefits of higher education more widely, and to put research into practice around the region – efforts that have contributed significantly to strong economic growth in Turkey. Thanks to contributions by Nebraska and others, Turkey has become a reliable ally, major trade partner and leading economic competitor.

“The University of Nebraska has a long and rich history of international engagement, thanks in part to the vision of Chancellor Cliff Hardin, who recognized what kind of impact we could have – both here and abroad – when we leverage our resources for global good,” NU President James B. Milliken said. “NU’s leadership played a key role in helping Ataturk University become what it is today – a successful university helping launch a modern Turkey into a leadership position in the world. Everyone I’ve met in Turkey knows the role Nebraska has played in their country’s success and I am very pleased that our partnership will continue well into the future. The University of Nebraska and Ataturk University share a commitment to addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges and I am confident that with the combined expertise of our faculty and students, we can make a real difference.”

Hikmet Koçak, Ataturk University rector, said: “The cooperation between our universities is so strong that after 55 years we are still working together. Ataturk University has become a well-known university because of the important role of University of Nebraska played in our establishment. This long-lasting relationship is well-known not only by our universities but others as well. Today, we are re-establishing this collaboration more strongly for years to come.”

Global engagement continues to be a high priority for the University of Nebraska. Today, NU is focused on mutually beneficial international partnerships that create new opportunities for faculty and students to conduct research and study with their colleagues abroad – particularly in critical areas like water and agriculture, public health, energy and early childhood education. The university also aims to increase international student enrollment and grow the number of students who study abroad.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska