International students are cultural ambassadors for our country!

DOI : https://doi.org/10.32739/uha.id.44933

Evaluating the issue of international student mobility and educational tourism, Üsküdar University Rector Prof. Nazife Güngör emphasized that universities are institutions that do not discriminate against any basis due to their missions and operate according to universal values and criteria.

Stating that diversity, plurality, recognition, and adoption of differences on university campuses have a positive effect on the world, Prof. Güngör expressed that "They are our guests. When they complete their education and return to their own countries, each of them continues to contribute as cultural ambassadors for our country."

Üsküdar University Rector Prof. Nazife Güngör evaluated the issue of international student mobility and educational tourism.

"Universities are open to those who want to study regardless of religion, language, race or color"

Stating that the root of the word university comes from the "universe", and therefore the university has an obligation to keep its doors open to all people who want to study and produce science, regardless of religion, language, race, ethnicity and color, Prof. Nazife Güngör said that "With the education given at the university, qualified people are raised not only for a certain society, nation or country, but also for all humanity. The science produced at the university is also offered to the service of all humanity. Universities are institutions that do not discriminate against them and operate according to universal values and criteria."

"University campuses are the living spaces of multinationalism"

Noting that humanity has come from primitive times to today, with the ideas developed in universities and the scientific knowledge produced directing humanity, Prof. Nazife Güngör continued her remarks as follows:

"No matter where they are in the world, university campuses are the habitats of multinationalism, multiculturalism, multilingualism, multiethnicity, all kinds of diversity, plurality and difference. Since science is universal, what could be more natural than that universities, which are the production centers of science, also have the feature of universality?

Intellectual interaction and sharing of scientific knowledge also enable all people of the world to be aware of each other's existence, to communicate and to socialize."

"For the establishment of democratic understanding and a more peaceful world..."

Explaining that diversity, plurality, recognition and adoption of differences on university campuses have a positive effect on the world, Prof. Nazife Güngör stated that "The tolerance of diversity and differences to be together is the basis for the solution of many problems in the world. Therefore, diversity and plurality on university campuses are important in terms of spreading tolerance, ensuring peace, establishing a democratic understanding and establishing a more peaceful world."

"All countries in the world take educational tourism seriously"

On the other hand, Güngör noted that international student mobility means a kind of tourism, and continued her remarks as follows:

"All countries in the world take educational tourism seriously in this respect. When you go to any university in any country, the first thing that catches your attention is the diversity of languages, religions, races, and colors on campus. No one asks, ‘Why are they here?’ and no one alienates, excludes, or marginalizes. Everyone knows that they are the valuable guests of that country who need to be protected.

International students are an important source of income for our country. We all know that our country allocates significant resources for the promotion of our country at the international level, as well as the efforts made in this direction. It is important for the country's foreign tourism mobility to gain momentum to strengthen international prestige, strengthen the country in the world economy, ensure social welfare, and increase social and cultural interaction."

"Defamation campaigns against international students..."

Stating that no matter who or what ideological or political opinion they have, everyone has to agree on this point and that international student mobility should be considered from this point of view, Prof. Nazife Güngör said that "Unfortunately, some political circles in our country have launched some defamation campaigns against our international students in recent days. It is hard to see why. Making generalizations based on isolated incidents harms our universities and damages the image of the country. If there is a problem somewhere, the well-intentioned attitude is to convey the problem to the authorized units without generalizing it and to make an effort to solve it."

"Each of them is a cultural ambassador for our country..."

Expressing that there is also confusion between international students and asylum seekers or immigrants, Prof. Nazife Güngör stated that "Our international students come to our country to receive education services. They both contribute to the improvement of the quality of education and science in our universities and have significant foreign currency transfers to the country. They are our guests. When they complete their education and return to their own countries, each of them continues to contribute as cultural ambassadors for our country. We should only be proud of our international students who have studied at universities in Türkiye and spread all over the world. Instead of trying to drive them away from our country with smear campaigns, it is necessary to protect them together and encourage them to come to our country."

"It is important to strengthen the academic staff of universities at the international level"

Pointing out that international students should be encouraged to come to our country, Prof. Nazife Güngör said that "This aspect of our higher education policies should be strengthened. For this reason, it is important to strengthen the academic staff of our universities to provide education at an international level. At this point, it is important to improve the research and scientific infrastructure conditions of universities. On the other hand, there are currently over 200 universities in our country. Some of them are located in Anatolian cities. Especially in regions that have not yet completed the development process, it is important to open universities in terms of accelerating the development process."

"Ensuring the flow of international students in a planned manner prevents possible problems"

Prof. Nazife Güngör also noted that the conditions of the region where the university is located should be considered in the admission of international students to universities, and concluded her remarks as follows:

"Giving priority to universities located in big cities in international student admission, keeping universities in other regions under constant observation and ensuring the flow of international students in a planned manner depending on the development processes can prevent possible problems to a great extent.

As a result, the admission of international students to our universities is of great importance in terms of the economic development of the country on the one hand and social and cultural interaction at the universal level on the other. Instead of making generalizations based on individual problems, it would be a more sincere and meaningful contribution to go to the source of the problem and create solution proposals. Encouraging our universities, which have suitable academic staff qualifications, research and scientific infrastructures, to accept international students will contribute positively to the development of our country in various aspects."

 

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)