Internationalisation Strategy

Internationalisation can be defined as “the process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery” of higher education (Knight, 2008, p. 21).  DEU considers internationalisation not an end in itself but as a drive for improvement with the aim to infuse international perspective into its institutional culture. Internationalisation strategy of DEU involves attracting researchers to DEU and preventing brain drain, increasing transnational mobility of both outgoing and incoming students. Besides, it aims at internationalisation of the curriculum through adaptations in line with the Bologna process, diversifying teaching and research staff, strengthening research and knowledge production through strategic partnerships at both national and international level, establishing strong research groups by participating in international scientific networks and being part of the global academic community within which to benchmark and share good practices.

Dokuz Eylül University was selected as one of the 20 pilot universities by Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK) in 2018 for implementing the internationalisation strategy and thus it has become one of the pioneer universities in Turkey which take the leading role in the process of internationalisation of Turkish Higher Education. The internationalisation strategy of Dokuz Eylül University is in line with the internationalisation strategy of Higher Education Council.

The Internationalisation Strategy of YÖK aims to increase the competitiveness of higher education system by giving importance to inter-cultural and social skills as well as academic skills. Besides, international collaborations are considered to decrease the cost of investing in research and to increase the know-how provided by the interactions of international specialists. International students play a pivotal role in the internationalisation of higher education system as part of the education diplomacy on a global scale and as part of inter-cultural social and academic life at the university. Furthermore, providing education to international students is part of the service export of a country. Globalisation, digitalisation and the increasing mobility of people across borders challenge the higher education systems to change for providing their graduates with internationally valid skills. The internationalisation of higher education institutions has become crucial for their competitiveness and sustainability (For more information see: Nasır, 2019; Higher Education Council, 2019).

The internationalisation strategy of Dokuz Eylül University not only involves cross-border mobility of students and researchers but also internationalisation of funding opportunities for research and developing strategic international alliances for improving education and research quality at the university. Therefore, internationalisation strategy of the university is a multi-faceted and long-term strategy embedded in all areas of university life.

Dokuz Eylül University applies its internationalisation strategy by encouraging the sense of ownership across the university ranging from academic and administrative staff to students and alumni.

The internationalisation strategy of Dokuz Eylul University has two broad strategic objectives and related sub-objectives. The broad strategic objectives are (I) making DEU an attractive hub in higher education and (II) increasing institutional capacity of DEU for internationalisation

The sub-objectives of the strategic objective (I) of making DEU an attractive hub in higher education:

1.1 to increase the number of international students

1.2 to increase the number of international academic staff (researchers/lecturers)

1.3 to attract Turkish origin academic staff to prevent brain drain

1.4 to increase the number of students and staff who participate in exchange programmes

1.5 to improve accommodation opportunities for international students

1.6 to improve international collaboration capacity

1.7 to increase international visibility of DEU

1.8 to increase the number of programmes of which language of education is English

1.9 to increase the capacity of academic staff to deliver lecture in English

The sub-objectives of the strategic objective (II) of increasing institutional capacity of DEU for internationalisation:

2.1 to establish an administrative department for international relations

2.2 to provide for quality and sufficient number of human resource specialized in the field of international relations

2.3 to establish inter-institutional communication mechanisms for keeping up with the current regulations, laws and trends related to internationalisation

2.4 to provide for the employment of “academic consultants” at the representative offices abroad

The internationalisation strategy of Dokuz Eylül University is closely linked to the University’s Strategic Plan and it is implemented by the common ownership and the engagement of all academic and administrative units in the process.


The above-mentioned strategic objectives of the internationalisation process correspond to the below mentioned six pillars on which the strategy is based. The quality of research and education experience is of utmost importance in each of these dimensions.

International collaborations for research and education not only enable the transfer of knowledge but also increase the visibility of DEU at global scale. Besides, to improve the visibility of the brand of Dokuz Eylül University, DEU takes part in prestigious global fairs & meetings and communicate its internationalisation priorities with effective public relations. As a member of various academic networks, DEU gives priority to the goal of reaching out to overseas universities abroad as part of its internationalisation strategy. “Study in Izmir” is a platform, which unites nine universities in the city with the aim of making lzmir an attractive hub for international students and researchers. Examples of other networks DEU takes part in are European University Association (EUA), Consortium of lnstitute of Higher Education in Health and Rehabilitation in Europe (COHERE), International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), European Network for Accreditation Of Engineering Education (ENAEE), lnternational Engineering Alliance, BUSINET, and NICE Network.

Internationalisation and integration with the global higher education and research system have been priorities of Dokuz Eylül University. DEU has long been a part European Higher Education Area. DEU has been awarded with an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education is important for internationalisation in that it “provides the general quality framework for European and international cooperation activities a higher education institution may carry out within Erasmus+. The award of an ECHE is a pre-requisite for all higher education institutions located in a Programme country and willing to participate in learning mobility of individuals and/or cooperation for innovation and good practices under Erasmus+. In addition, the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) is vital for encouraging excellence in European universities’ internationalisation policies and the concrete execution of their mobility activities” (European Commission 2016).

Dokuz Eylül University has been granted European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) Label and Diploma Supplement (DS) Label by the European Commission. These labels are tools of internationalisation in the European Higher Education Area. European Credit Transfer System and Diploma Supplement facilitate student mobility between higher education institutions by overcoming problems concerning the recognition of qualifications and mobility periods abroad. These ECTS label and Diploma Supplement Label are granted to Dokuz Eylül University upon its excellence in the application of procedures regarding the recognition of academic qualifications for student mobility.

The DEU benefits largely from its geographical position as being at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East and has a geographical dispersed internationalisation strategy (covering both EU and non-EU countries). DEU actively participates in exchange programmes with many European countries. Dokuz Eylül University, which participated in the Erasmus Mobility Program as of the 2003 – 2004 academic year, has 355 inter-institutional agreements as of the academic year 2018-2019. Again, 2,221 students of Dokuz Eylul University were sent abroad for training and 1,028 students came to the university from abroad. To learn more about Erasmus exchange opportunities at DEU, visit:

Dokuz Eylül University also takes part in Mevlana Exchange Programme which involves exchange opportunities with higher education institutions all over the world without geographical discrimination. Students may study abroad for one (minimum)  or two (maximum) terms and academic staff may lecture abroad from one week (minimum) to three months (maximum). Accordingly, students and academic staff from any country may benefit from this programme being hosted by Turkish higher education institutions in order to study or lecture. To learn more about Mevlana Exchange programme, visit:

DEU also has bilateral academic collaborations with 76 education and research centers world-wide as of 2018. If you are interested in academic collaborations please visit:

As part of its internationalisation strategy, the course/subject titles of the all degree programmes are easily available at the website of Dokuz Eylül University. Dokuz Eylül University publishes the course catalog in the national language and in English. All interested parties can easily access the catalog which provides detailed, user-friendly and up-to-date information on the institution’s learning environment involving the qualifications offered, the learning, teaching and assessment procedures, the level of programmes. The course catalog also involves information on the programme outcomes and the contact information for the programme and courses. The course catalog is available at the homepage of the university and you can reach it here:

Dokuz Eylül University offers vivid and engaging university life for students and researchers. In the 2019 – 2020 academic year, our university has reached 70.000 students. 17 faculties impending maritime, education, literature, science, fine arts, nursing, law, economics and administrative sciences, theology, business, architecture, engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and tourism, 6 graduate schools, 4 institutes, 1 conservatory, 3 schools, 6 vocational schools, 58 research and application centers, as well as a total of 94 units. As of 2017, there are 3,272 academic and 2,969 administrative staff in our university.

As mentioned above, the most important target groups of DEU’s mobility activities are researchers living abroad, incoming/outgoing students (short cycle, first cycle, second cycle and third cycle), teaching and research staff. DEU aims to become an attraction point for international researchers and reverse the flow of brain drain and to enhance its international profile by developing joint degree and double degree programs. ln this regard, DEU, offers double degree programs in Business Administration, Economics and International Relations programs with the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), (USA) and Maritime Business Administration, Marine Transportation Engineering, Marine Engineering with Maine Maritime Academy (USA). One of our primary objectives is to increase double degree programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Techno-park DEPARK – Dokuz Eylül University Technology Development Inc. manages research & development, innovation and entrepreneurship under three different brands. These are DEPARK – Dokuz Eylül Technology Development Zone, DETTO – Dokuz Eylül Technology Transfer Office and DEGA – Dokuz Eylül Entrepreneurship Academy. DETTO Unit is highly motivated to establish partnerships and organize international mobility projects through EU grants, especially through H2020 and Erasmus+.


Regarding scholarship opportunities for international students, The Turkiye Scholarships program, also known as Turkiye Burslari is a good opportunity. The scholarship offers scholarship for range of programs designed for each level of study, including undergraduate, graduate, research and language education opportunities in the most prestigious universities in Turkey for international students and researchers. For more information visit.

Dokuz Eylül University has a rich network of alumni and international alumni are important constituents of internationalisation strategy of the university. The Office of Career Planning & Alumni Relations provides students with the best preparation for their work life, establishes links between students, representatives of the business world and international alumni.

For more information about internationalisation of education and research our university, please have a look at the info box on the left tool bar.



European Commission (2016). ECHE Monitoring Guideline. Available at:

Knight, J. (2008). Higher Education in Turmoil. The Changing World of Internationalization. Rotterdam and Taipei: Sense.

Nasır, A. (2019). Uluslararasılaşma Politikası (Internationalisation Strategy).  Quality Board of Higher Education. Available at:

Higher Education Council (2019). Türk Yükseköğretiminin Uluslararasilaşmasi: Fırsatlar ve Tehditler Çalıştayı (Workshop on Internationalisation of  Turkish Higher Education: The Opportunities and Threats), .