Memorandum of Agreement

May 06, 2013

Rivier University signs Memorandum of Agreement with Atilim University in Turkey

Rivier University is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Atilim University of Ankara, Turkey. This mutually beneficial strategic alliance will enable students from both institutions to experience a rich, vibrant culture and live and learn alongside their peers in the United States and Turkey. 

This MOA is the foundation for initiatives that will enable Rivier students to travel and learn in Ankara, Turkey, and for Atilim students to experience living and learning in the United States. The student exchange program will allow for students in each institution to attend from one term to one full academic year at the other institution.

Dr. Gunhan Pasamehmetoglu, Atilim advisor to the board of trustees and former president of Atilim, and Dr. Hasan Akay, Atilim's provost and professor emeritus at Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), were on the Rivier campus April 12 for the official MOA signing with Dr. Mark Meehan, associate vice president of Global Engagement, and Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, president of Rivier.

"We are thrilled to be launching a partnership with Atilim University, one of Turkey's leading higher education institutions,” said Dr. Mark Meehan, associate vice president for Global Engagement at Rivier. “The newly signed agreement will directly connect our faculty and students to a cutting edge institution in one of the world's most strategic countries."

Atilim University’s facilities in Ankara, Turkey will host Rivier University study abroad programs to include students and faculty. The study abroad experience may include Turkish language courses, cultural immersion activities, service learning activities and experiential learning projects. The program will start in fall 2013 through a joint course focused on global issues which will be taught simultaneously in Nashua and in Ankara, and students will meet via a high definition video system each week to discuss shared reading assignments.

“We are very pleased to sign this collaborative agreement with Rivier University,” said Dr. Hasan Akay, Atilim's provost. “The agreement encourages short-term student and faculty exchanges, as well as collaboration among faculty and students. Some areas of collaboration we can foresee are in the business schools of both universities as well as math, psychology and computer science related programs. Because the educational values of Rivier are in line with our values, we expect a sustainable relationship as a result of this agreement.”

Akay added that he has been impressed with Rivier’s global engagement program, and that Atilim hopes to host Rivier faculty and students for teaching trips in the future, as well as co-teaching courses from both campuses in which students can work on joint projects online.

Also included in the agreement is a faculty exchange where faculty from both institutions will be able to conduct research and/or teaching residencies at the other institution.

Atilim University was founded by the Atilim Foundation on 15 July 1997 to serve as a Foundation University in the capacity of a legal entity pursuant to provisions of Law no. 2547 concerning the Foundation of Higher Education Institutes.

Atilim’s goal is to develop individuals with the capability of attaining and putting to use the universal information required in the age of technology; individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields, able to work as members of a team, and are not afraid of competition. In addition, they will operate in close relationship with the international community while being able to protect and preserve artistic, cultural and historical values, and be sensitive towards environmental issues while being dynamic, inquisitive and aware of their country’s problems. Atilim University is located on 250 acres of land in one of the most recent and fastest developing residential areas of Ankara. The campus contains faculty buildings, a new library building, a research center of excellence, several laboratories, conference halls, basketball and volleyball fields, a gymnasium, tennis courts, an amphitheater, a swimming pool, recreation areas where outdoors activities are also carried out, cafeterias and restaurants. 

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Founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier University is a Catholic institution recognized for distinctive academic programs, offering many of the region’s leading programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. With Nashua as our home and the world as our classroom, the Rivier experience ensures that students develop leadership skills as well as an awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures in New England and around the world.