The conference to mark the successful conclusion of the EU-funded Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project was held on 10 October 2017 at the Ankara Sheraton Hotel & Convention Centre and was attended by 250 people.
The EU’s partner organisation for the project was the Middle East Technical University (METU), which was ranked 12th in the 2015 Asia University Rankings according to the UK publication Times Higher Education (THE) in June of the same year. The publication’s World Reputation Rankings also placed the METU among the top 100 most reputable universities in the world in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The conference began with a breakfast press meeting, involving around 30 members of the press, various stakeholders, and representatives from METU and the EU Delegation to Turkey (EUD). A number of distinguished speakers then took to the podium:
- METU President Prof. Mustafa Verşan Kök welcomed the guests, including those coming from the pilot provinces covered by the project and other provinces in Turkey. He talked briefly about the history of METU and then spoke about what had been learned and achieved under the project.
- 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 involved for their successful work.
- Uğur Güneş from the Ministry of Labour and the Social Securities Department of EU & Financial Assistance, talked about how the funds had been applied and about the project in general.
- After coffee, Prof. Kürşat Çağıltay, the project coordinator from the Operation Coordination Unit, described the project’s history and its objectives.
- Çağıltay, the project’s Team Leader, covered the implementation phase, and the project’s outputs and achievements
- At the end of the first session former team leader and training expert, Ms. Sonja Priscan, spoke about the capacity building under the project.
- After lunch, a five-person panel discussion took place, involving representatives of the various stakeholders, with Mr. Serdar Bilecen in the chair. Speakers talked about the importance of ICT for SMEs. A promotional pack containing USB discs (loaded with information about the outputs of the project), touch-pens, notebooks and smart bracelets given to each participant to promote and disseminate information about the project.
The project provided 100 online courses related on ICT free of charge to SME employees and employers and 80,000 people from various countries registered on the portal. By October 2018 thousands of e-certificates had been awarded to learners. In addition, in order to raise awareness for the e-learning portal https://bilgeis.net/en), a 7.2km fun run was organised, which saw around 1,000 people of all ages, genders and professions, plus children and their parents, running around a park in Yalıncak on the METU main campus.
WEglobal is delighted to have contributed to such an influential project!