Culture of Responsibility in Conflict Zones Workshop participants at the Izmir Institute of Technology in Çesme, Turkey
From April 12th to 14th, 2019, HSP co-hosted a Culture of Responsibility in Conflict Zones Workshop with partners at the Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey. The Training-of-Trainers style conference took place in Çesme. The forty participants in attendance included faculty and leadership from 12 universities across Eastern and Southern Turkey that support large populations of students that have been forced to flee the conflict in Syria. According to the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, Turkey has hosted more than 3.6 million Syrian people since 2011, many of whom are college-age. It’s anticipated that at least 30 thousand Syrian students will be enrolled in Turkish universities for the 2019-2020 school year, making up nearly 25% of the international student body. Conference participants discussed best practices for foreign student integration and the importance of responsible science and biosecurity in their contexts.
The highlight of the workshop was a forum that facilitated faculty discussion on the challenges and potential solutions to the successful integration of displaced populations into the academic system and workforce. Participants reported that the forum was the first time universities with large populations of Syrian students convened to discuss issues surrounding teaching and foreign-student integration. They intend to build on the solutions discussed during the workshop by creating research partnerships, collaborations, and networks that will benefit Turkey and the guest communities they host. HSP will continue to support several of these universities as they further develop and implement the strategies discussed during the workshop.