Closing Conference of ICT Project, which was conducted under the scope of the financial cooperation between the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, took place on Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at Ankara Sheraton Hotel & Convention Centre with the participation of 250 people. The Beneficiary of the Project was Middle East Technical University (METU) that ranked 12th in the “Asia University Rankings” for 2015 according to the statement released by the UK-based Times Higher Education (THE) on June 10, 2015. In the 2012, 2013, 2014 THE World Reputation Rankings, METU was also named among the top 100 most reputable universities in the world.
The Conference started with a breakfast press meeting with the participation of around 30 press members, various stakeholders; representatives from the Beneficiary, contracting authority and Delegation of the EU to Turkey (EUD). After the press meeting, opening speeches of the Conference started. First, METU President Prof. Mustafa Verşan Kök took to the stage and welcomed the guests coming from the pilot provinces of the project and various provinces of Turkey. He talked briefly about the history of METU and then earnings and success of the project. After Prof. Kök, Head of Economic and Social Development Section and Counsellor François Begeot from the EUD talked briefly about the project and thanked all the parties concerning the project for their successful work. At the end of the opening speeches, Mr. Uğur Güneş from the Ministry of Labour and Social Securities Department of EU & Financial Assistance talked about the funds and the project. After a coffee break, project coordinator from the Operation Coordination Unit Prof. Kürşat Çağıltay speaked of the project history, basis and targets of the project. After Prof. Çağıltay, the Team Leader of the project took the stage and mentioned about implementation phase, outputs and achievements of the project. At the end of the first session of the Conference former team leader and training expert of the project, Ms. Sonja Priscan talked about the capacity development in the scope of the project. After lunch, a panel has been organised with the participation of five people from various stakeholders of the project and Mr. Serdar Bilecen as the chair. Speakers talked about the importance of the ICT usage in SMEs. A promotional pack involving USB discs containing the outputs of the project, touch-pens, notebooks and smart bracelets produced in order to promote and disseminate the project has been distributed to each participant.
Through the Project, which was successfully completed, 100 Online Courses related to Information and Communication Technologies was provided free of charge for employees and employers of SMEs and 80,000 people from various countries registered in the portal and thousands of e-certificates were granted to the learners as of October 2018. Additionally, in order to raise awareness for https://bilgeis.net/en e-learning portal, a run activity was organised and around 1000 people from all ages ran a 7.2 km parkour in Yalıncak at METU main campus. The activity was open to everyone regardless of profession, gender and age. There were also many children participating in the run accompanied by their parents.
We are pleased to implement such an impactful project!