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International Partnerships Advance

Turkish Universities, Greek Consul in Boston Sign Agreements

Constantinos Orphanides, left, Consul General of the Greek Embassy in Boston, and Provost Ahmed Abdelal.
Constantinos Orphanides, left, Consul General of the Greek Embassy in Boston, and Provost Ahmed Abdelal. 

By Sandra Seitz

The world of possibilities is expanding for UMass Lowell faculty and students as the University signed partnership agreements with three eminent universities in Turkey and with the Greek consul general in Boston.

A number of UMass Lowell faculty and administrators have traveled to Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, to discuss partnership opportunities with their counterparts.

“The goal of our trip was to formulate and formalize student exchange and research partnerships with three outstanding Turkish universities," says Prof. Craig Armiento, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. 

"As a result of our relationships with Bilkent, Yeditepe and Bahcesehir universities, UMass Lowell students will have the opportunity to study in Turkey. I also expect the cultural diversity of our campus to be enriched by the presence of visiting Turkish students and faculty.  These partnerships will also offer avenues to extend our research with a part of the world that is rich in history, art and technology.”

Collaborations with Bahcesehir and Yeditepe universities will include assistive technology programs and summer joint MBA electives, as well as faculty and student exchanges. An agreement with Bilkent University will feature joint research projects and publications, including work by graduate students at the partner institutions.

All the agreements emphasize faculty and student exchanges, opportunities for paid internships and development of joint degree programs. Cooperation in academic and research programs will include nanotechnology, bioengineering, medical device development and the UMass Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology Ph.D. program.

Five students from Turkey are currently graduate students in UMass Lowell engineering programs. A sixth, Berke Gur, completed his doctorate and is now an assistant professor at Bahcesehir University. While at UMass Lowell, Gur was a University Graduate Research Fellow and won the Dean’s Medal.

Closer to home, the city of Lowell includes one of the most significant Greek-American communities in the nation — an immigration that began in the 1870s and continued into modern times. UMass Lowell strengthened its academic and cultural connections to Greece and Greek-Americans recently by signing a partnership agreement with Consul General Constantinos Orphanides of the Greek Embassy in Boston. Provost Ahmed Abdelal represented UMass Lowell at the ceremony.

“We are happy to engage in and embrace this collaboration,” said Orphanides. “This will be beneficial for many young people. Greece has much to gain and we can offer also to you a lot of opportunities.”

The partners will promote cultural and educational exchange programs, joint research of scholars from UMass Lowell and Greek universities and economic development projects.