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VU University strengthens ties with Turkey

400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey

From 14 to 19 October, a delegation from VU University visited Istanbul, together with the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan. The visit took place in the context of 400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. 

“Turkey will be the strongest economy of Europe”.  At least, this stated the Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan, during the Higher Education Event in Istanbul.  The municipalities of Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam were in Istanbul to highlight 400 years of diplomatic and trading relations. VU University joined the mission to strengthen ties with partners and organised the event to look into the future through scenarios for 2062. The triple helix was represented in a panel, namely Mayor Eberhard van der Laan of Amsterdam, Vice President of Sabanci University Sondan Dorukanoglu Feyiz and VU University professor Peter van Hoorn.  Jak den Exter, Director of the Netherlands Institute for Higher Education in Ankara, moderated the interactive discussion.

The Netherlands has a large community with Turkish roots and many students are mobile between the two countries. Furthermore, knowledge institutions, businesses and governments are increasingly joining forces to create capacity for innovation and to search for solutions to societal issues. With the Higher Education event, VU University therefore wished to highlight the importance of collaboration between Turkish and Dutch businesses, government and knowledge institutions, both to the present and future generations. Alumni, current students, and representatives from these key players were welcome to discuss scenarios for 450 years of Turkish-Dutch relations: where do we want to be in 50 years time and what is needed to get there?

During the mission, VU University visited partners and other relations in order to stimulate student & staff mobility and joint research. President René Smit signed  strategic MOU’s with Sabanci University, Bilkent University and Haceteppe University.

René Smit Turkey
VU University chairman René Smit during the meeting in Turkey.

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