The International Balkan University (IBU) located in North Macedonia has become one of the academic education centers of the Balkans with 13 journals in the field of social sciences and engineering as well as providing educational opportunities to students from all over the world.
Operating in a historical building belonging to the period of the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II in Skopje, with the support of Turkish philanthropists IBU was opened in 2006 to offer education opportunities especially to students in Macedonia and the Balkans.
The university, which continued its educational activities with the construction of the campus of the building, which was used as an artillery barracks during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II in the same city, gained an international university identity with students from different countries of Europe.
Today, the university provides 100% English education to its 3 thousand students with 9 faculties, 14 accredited master’s and 2 doctoral programs, and contributes to the world of science with 13 academic journals in the field of social sciences and engineering.
“The education process that started with 8 students now continues with 3 thousand students”
IBU Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Dursun Erdem speaking to the Anadolu Agency reporter, stated that the university was established in 2006 to provide education opportunities especially to students in Macedonia and the Balkans.
Noting that there are faculties of health, law, architecture, engineering, education, human and social sciences, economic administrative sciences, art design and dentistry within the university, Erdem said that the educational adventure that started with 8 students in its establishment continues with around 3 thousand students today.
Erdem, pointing out that more than 70 percent of these students are from Macedonia and the Balkans also stated that the university currently has students from more than 20 countries, from the United States to Qatar and also from Turkey to Turkmenistan.
Stating that the graduates of the university are employed in the state, political and administrative units in the Balkans, Erdem said: “All of these students love Turkey. Because there even the state universities are paid. In our university 90 percent of them study with almost zero charge. A 10 percent portion actually study with very symbolic figures. Graduates understand the value of this very well after they start to work.”
“Started to train the academicians, scientists and intellectuals of the region”
Stating that academics from Istanbul and Ankara also teach at the university, Erdem said:
“We were chosen as the best university in Macedonia according to Shanghai criteria. The perception towards us in Macedonia is the same as the perception for the first or second ranked university in Turkey. We have had a Christian student trend for 2 years. When we were chosen first, Christian students started to force quotas to enter our university. ”
Reminding that, apart from Turkish language education, lessons are conducted 100% in English, Erdem continued as follows:
“The eight journals published in the field of social sciences within the university have mixed publications in English, Turkish and Russian languages. Especially 5 engineering journals are publishing 100% in English. These are serious publications with international indexes. For example,” Turkish Studies “a journal published in the field of social sciences last year. According to the data of the National Academic Network and Information Center (ULAKBİM), was chosen as the second most cited journal and as the first most viewed journal. It was also seen that it received thousands of citations in the Web of Science index. ”
Stating that graduate programs have been implemented in 14 fields for 4 years at the university, Erdem said, “As of this year, we have opened our doctoral programs. We started with the programs of Economics and Turkish Language Literature. Turks live in Macedonia and there was no university where they could do their doctorate in the Turkish Language Literature program, we opened it. Quotas are full to the brim. Let’s say, if we have declared 6 quotas, 20 people applied. International Balkan University started to train the academicians, scientists and intellectuals of the region. ”
“Students living in the Balkans enter universities without examination”
Erdem, referring to the recent allegations towards the university in the press stating that students were accepted with their high school diploma, without the criteria for an exam or diploma grade, said that: 200 thousand international students in studying in Turkey have registered to these universities without an examination and only with their diploma.
Erdem stated that they accepted students according to their success in the language and general culture aptitude test, as it is done in many universities in the UK or the West, and used the following statements:
“It is called a university without an examination. No matter which university you go to in the Balkan region, you will enter all of them with a diploma. This is the same in Europe and America. There are some universities in Europe and America with a lot of enrollment. They situations where they have their quotas exceeded. They set special criteria. they choose the specific students, they want the grade point average at a certain level. We apply these criteria in case of the quota is exceeded. What measure will you be able to apply before the quota is full? They accuse Macedonia’s best institution of being an exam-free university. Which university accepts international students by exam? These are all aimed at creating perception and I guarantee that they are works based on FETO. ”
“There is a very difficult education process in our university”
Erdem stated that it is easy to enter IBU but it is difficult to graduate, “Today they attacked us, especially with the aim of creating perception, ‘law with diploma and without examination’. We have 4 students who can graduate in the fourth year of law. Half of the students entering our university are eliminated in the first year. There is a difficult education process, he said.
Emphasizing that the allegations about the university are news made by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) or influenced by this mentality, Erdem continued his words as follows:
“FETO is very common in this region, ‘I wonder if the claims come from there?’ I say. We face the same allegations. This year we have a number of students studying in Turkey. They are trying to make a lot at us out of it. Almost every university in the world can send guest students to another university that it has a mutual agreement with. Today, not only us, but also Turkish students studying at many universities around the world have made guest student applications due to the pandemic. They have been accepted if their programs are suitable and appropriate. Although they themselves know this, they are trying to create a very serious perception against the university.
An international student goes to the university of another country around the world without an examination. Although this is known, they try to create a perception by emphasizing this in particular. FETO is professional in creating these perceptions. The International Balkan University has been a very important obstacle for FETO structuring in Macedonia and the Balkans both before and now. They still keep trying. I consider it within this scope. I want those who listen and read us to call us when any news or situation comes out. We will give all the necessary answers. ”
Erdem added that IBU is the only university in Macedonia that can implement and systematically execute online education during the Covid-19 process.