During April 24-25, 2023, prof. Marian Preda, PhD, rector of the University of Bucharest and president of the Black Sea Universities Network (RUMN), paid an official visit to Turkey. The trip aimed, among other things, to facilitate the involvement of teaching staff, researchers and students at the University of Bucharest in international academic activities, together with representatives of all RUMN member universities.
The travel program included visits to the Permanent International Secretariat of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (OCCEMN), Istanbul University and Istanbul Boğaziçi University.
Thus, during the visit to the Permanent International Secretariat of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, prof. Marian Preda highlighted the joint activities, noting that, in the last five years, the Black Sea Universities Network and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization have carried out many activities on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Black Sea region. Also, in this context, the project aimed at creating tools for analyzing the indicators associated to the 17 SDGs, using the skills from universities and access to statistical and economic data from the OCEMN member countries, was also discussed.
This meeting was attended by Mr. Ambassador, E. S. Lazăr Comănescu, Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, prof. Eden Mamut, PhD, Secretary General of the Black Sea Universities Network, as well as from the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, Mrs. Sandra Vujinovic.
Also, prof. Marian Preda’s visit to the University of Istanbul provided the opportunity for discussions regarding the long history of collaborations and joint initiatives between the two universities, among the teaching staff, researchers and students within these academic institutions, which is an important factor in promoting collaboration and friendship between Romania and Turkey.
At the proposal of prof. Marian Preda, it was agreed to organize a Working Group, including vice-rectors and those responsible for scientific research, education and innovation activities to analyze the multiple opportunities for collaboration and establish a list of priorities to allow for adequate planning in the coming future. Moreover, the two rectors committed to strengthen collaborative relationships through joint internships, research activities in the Danube and Black Sea regions, but also in the Balkans, in the field of adaptation to climate change, preservation and valorization of cultural heritage. Thus, in the next period the two universities will initiate a collaboration in order to support the Tatar language spoken by the ethnic Tatar communities in Dobrogea.
They took part in this meeting, together with prof. Mahmut Ak, PhD, rector of Istanbul University, and prof. Mustafa Öncül, PhD, vice-rector of the University of Istanbul, prof. Metin Ünver, PhD, dean of the Faculty of Literature of the University of Istanbul, prof. Ayşe Zişan Furat, PhD, Director of International Relations, and prof. Eden Mamut, PhD, Secretary General of the Black Sea Universities Network.
This meeting was also attended by prof. Mehmet Naci Inci, PhD rector of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, and prof. Eden Mamut, PhD, Secretary General of the Black Sea Universities Network, representatives in the Executive Office of the RUMN of member universities from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
This meeting was also attended by prof. Nikolaos Theodossiou, PhD, President of the Black Sea Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as Alberto Zucconi, PhD, President of the Institute for Person-Centered Approaches, who presented the opportunities for collaboration between the institutions they represent and the member universities of RUMN.
The Agenda of the Meeting included the presentation of the activities carried out within the Network, the priority projects that will be carried out in the next period and the conclusion of the RUMN Activity Calendar.
The participants recalled that, under the aegis of RUMN, several projects with European funding are underway and that, over the last few years, collaborations with European University Alliances, such as the CIVIS and EPICUR, have been initiated. Also, at the proposal of prof. Marian Preda, it was agreed to set up a Group of representatives of the Member Universities to analyze the opportunities for collaboration and to facilitate the involvement of teaching staff, researchers and students from the Member Universities of RUMN.