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Strategic Plan

 

EMU Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Strategic Plan 1st JANUARY 2022– 31st DECEMBER 2024

 

The aim of this strategic plan is to declare the frame of the action plan of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in line with the mission, vision, and values of the faculty, for the next three years.

 

The Mission, Vision, and Values of the Faculty

 

The Mission Statement

To offer education in the arts and sciences at a high standard to the students of the faculty as well as the students of other faculties, to conduct research at international standards, and to serve the needs of the society.

 

The Vision Statement

To remain as a respected and competitive faculty in all core disciplines of the arts and sciences, to contribute to the ongoing developments in all these disciplines, and to apply these changes in our curricula in order to graduate first-rate students in the international arena.

 

The Values

 The Faculty of Arts and Sciences abides by the following values:

  1. Justice and Equality
  2. Honesty
  3. Transparency and Accountability
  4. Creativity
  5. Productivity
  6. Cooperation
  7. Responsibility
  8. Continuous Development
  9. Loyalty

 

Policies, Objectives and Principles

 

The Policies of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Based on the mission and vision statements, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has developed the following policies:

 

Student Centered Education:

Our faculty pays great attention to the needs of its students and follows a student-centered education system. The curricula of various programs, course contents and the interactivity of courses have been revised and updated, and new projects are still underway. The faculty is also proud to provide its students with up-to-date laboratory facilities for many disciplines, such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Psychology and Translation. We also aim to improve our well-equipped classrooms. The faculty values maintaining a high level of communication with its students and sharing information with them, focusing on collaborations to solve problems and develop ideas for improvement. The participation of student representatives in the faculty board meetings and the accessibility of the faculty administration team have been crucial elements of this approach. Further important components in our student-centered education are our orientation programs and seminars and workshops designed specially to improve students' academic and professional development.

 

Research:

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences encourages its academic staff to engage in research, and in publishing articles in internationally reputable academic journals, and both participating in, and organizing, academic conferences and seminars. In addition to the constant pursuit to improve the research facilities, the faculty has established a research project advisory committee in order to guide and assist faculty members in applying for research project funding schemes.

 

Quality Assurance and Accreditations:

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences aims to adopt new Quality Assurance (QA) principles and guidelines, parallel to the EMU's policy regarding QA. In addition to having YÖK accreditations for all of its programs, the faculty has applied for and obtained prestigious national and international accreditations for the BSc in Psychology (English) program from TPD (Türk Psikologlar Derneği), for the BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics program and MSc in Medical Biotechnology (without thesis) from ASIIN. Moreover, the Department of Mathematics has been a member of the American Mathematical Society since 1993. The faculty is also in the process of applying for the extension of the above accreditations and obtaining further accreditations for the other programs of the faculty.

All undergraduate and graduate curricula have been revised in line with the principles and values of the Bologna Process as established by the Leuven Communique of 2009.

 

Given its goal to operate and compete at the highest levels internationally, the faculty's long-term goal is to expand its range of accreditations, not only from national organizations, but also from international accrediting bodies, especially from the more selective and prestigious ones.

 

Internationalization:

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences aims, in line with EMU's policy of internationalization, to increase the number of international students in its undergraduate and postgraduate programs. We also aim to increase the proportion of foreign members of the faculty, which has traditionally been high in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Furthermore, the Faculty is making efforts to expand the existing collaborations with other international universities, institutes, and research centers.

 

Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are as follows:

  1. To educate the students in becoming well-equipped, self-confident, and productive individuals who are ethically responsible professionals.
  2. To contribute to the welfare of the society.
  3. To play a significant role in the social and cultural development of the country.
  4. To become transparent and to promote transparency both within the university and in the country in general.
  5. To represent the Faculty and the University in the most effective way, nationally and internationally, by conducting significant research and organizing academic, social and cultural events.
  6. To facilitate the communication and collaboration between the university and the community.
  7. To conduct scientific research in all the disciplines within the faculty, to contribute to the international academic literature, and to create works of art.
  8. To develop collaboration with other academic institutions.


 

Strengths and Areas that Need Development

Strengths

1.      Highly Qualified Staff Members

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences benefits from highly qualified and experienced academic staff members, many of whom are foreign and/or have received their PhDs in internationally respected universities.

 

2.      Offering Education in English

Many of the programs offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (except for the programs in Turkish Language and Literature, BSc in Psychology (Turkish) and Urban Archeology and Cultural Heritage Master's Programs (with and without thesis)) are offered in English. Over the last three years, the faculty established four undergraduate programs, all of which are in English, and four Master's programs, two of which are in English. Furthermore, ten new double major programs and two minor programs were established in this period, all of them in English. This enables the faculty to attract students from all over the world. Offering our programs in English not only enables the students to have access to up-to-date information, but also provides an excellent opportunity to the graduates in their future careers throughout the world. The presence of many international students contributes to the diversity within the faculty and creates a richer learning environment for all students.

 

3.      Strong Record of Successful Graduates

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has been graduating students from all over the world for 30 years. As of the beginning of 2022, the faculty has graduated 4575 undergraduate students, 815 Master's students, and 163 PhD students. We are proud that many of our graduates have successful careers in different areas, and many others have continued their education in highly respected universities.

 

4.      Successful Graduate Programs

Our faculty has been offering graduate programs – M.A., M.Sc., and Ph.D. – in several disciplines for many years. We have graduated over 160 Ph.Ds. and over 810 M.A./M.Sc. students, with all the Ph.D. students graduating with publications in internationally respected academic journals.

 

5.      High Research Output

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences have been publishing books and chapters in books by internationally respected publishers, as well as articles in internationally respected journals, in various disciplines. The numbers of publications and citations have been increasing yearly. For instance, in the year 2021, 155 publications and over three thousand citations have appeared on Web of Science, which is the highest ever in the faculty's history and making the faculty the strongest within the university. Furthermore, faculty members have several awards for their research and have been ranked among the leading researchers in their fields. Faculty members have also received significant grants from important scientific foundations such as TÜBİTAK.

 

6.      Academic Prestige

The academic prestige of the faculty has been steadily increasing in recent years. This is reflected in the higher position of the faculty in several ranking lists such as Times Higher Education Physical Sciences subfield and the relevant Nature Index subfield.

 

7.      Well-Equipped Facilities

In the last 3 years, the following improvements were made to the faculty's research and education facilities. In the Department of Biological Sciences, a new research laboratory was set up. In the Department of Chemistry, the equipment was upgraded, and the establishment of the new undergraduate laboratory was initiated. In the Department of Mathematics, a new research laboratory was established, and three existing computer laboratories were modernized, and their capacities were increased. In the Department of Physics, two completely new undergraduate laboratories and one new research laboratory were established. In the Department of Psychology, the computer laboratory was modernized, and its capacity was increased. In addition, the establishment of psychology research laboratory was initiated. In the Department of Translation and Interpretation, a new translation laboratory was created. The infrastructure and office equipment were also substantially improved.

 

Areas That Need Development

1.                  Staff Assessment

The faculty would benefit from an effective system for the fair, continuous and transparent assessments of its academic and administrative staff. The quality of the members of the Faculty would be improved by a system of rewards and critical feedback based on such assessments.

 

2.                  Contact and collaboration with academic and research institutions abroad

Over the last three years, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has taken steps to establish dual degree programs and research and teaching exchange programs. However, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences needs to further increase and activate its currently inadequate level of contact and collaboration with highly regarded academic and research institutions.

3.                   Collaboration within the Faculty and the University

Over the last three years, the faculty established ten new double major and three minor programs. Despite these programs and the obvious advantages of interdisciplinary work, the level of such collaboration within the Faculty and the University remains limited and should be increased.

 

4.                  Unity within the Faculty

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences consists of two different wings, as in many Faculties of Arts and Sciences: pure/natural sciences on the one hand, and arts, humanities and social sciences on the other. Due to structural differences between the departments, the level of inter-departmental collaboration and/or interaction   is inadequate. Although some steps have been taken over the last three years, this problem needs to be further addressed.

 

5.                  Accreditation

All the programs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are accredited by the YÖK ( The Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Turkey). In addition, the faculty has obtained a number of national and international accreditations for some of its programs. However, the majority of the programs do not have such additional accreditations. This deficiency should be taken into consideration in the following three years.

 

6.                  Promotion of the Faculty

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences would benefit from more intensive and effective promotional activities in countries other than North Cyprus and Turkey.

 

7.                  Student and Graduate Satisfaction

The faculty administration should have long-term goals and policies to monitor, evaluate, and improve the satisfaction of its current students and graduates.

 

8.                  Diversity among the Faculty's students and staff

The number and proportion of international students and faculty members in the faculty is inadequate for achieving a satisfactory level of diversity. Beyond nationality status, gender equality and inclusivity, diversity in terms of sexual orientation and all levels of ability must be encouraged.

 

 

 

 

9.                  Research project funding

EMU faculty members are ineligible for many international research project funding schemes, most importantly the EU-funded programs and most of the TÜBİTAK programs.

 

10.              Low research output in some departments

The research outputs of certain established departments are stronger in the faculty. However, the annual research output in certain departments in the faculty will need to increase further

 

Opportunities and Challenges

Opportunities

1.      Current regional economic status

Recently, and especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a large-scale global crisis, which unfortunately affects the region severely. The region has been especially affected by the devaluation of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies. These conditions have made studying at EMU more competitive with respect to the quality/cost of education ratio, relative to other universities on the island and abroad. The cost of studying at EMU has become more affordable relative to studying abroad, and the opportunities offered by a prestigious diploma from EMU has become more valuable for students from unstable regions experiencing this crisis. This effect has been even greater on Turkish Cypriot students who can no longer study in UK universities on EU rates, as a result of Brexit.

2.      Support of the Republic of Turkey

As in many other universities in North Cyprus, EMU benefits from being recognized by the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and Turkish students entering the university through the centralized Turkish university entrance examination. Furthermore, Turkish students are able to receive loans from the Turkish 'Kredi ve Yurtlar Kurumu'.

 

Challenges

1.    Increasing Competition

There is increasing competition from Faculties of Arts and Sciences in both new and established universities in Turkey and Eastern Europe.

 

2.   Impact of the Global Economic Crisis

The global economic crisis in recent years has had an especially strong effect on the Arts and Sciences in Higher Education. Students who would normally be interested in some departments in Faculties of Arts and Sciences have shifted, due to worries about employment, to vocational and professional programs. Such crises disproportionately affect particular departments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

 

Actions to be Taken

I – Responding to areas that need development

  1. Pushing forward the ongoing process of developing a university-wide system for the assessment of academic and administrative staff.
  2. Establishing and expanding new contacts and collaboration with international academic and research institutions.
  3. Improving the level of collaborative work within the Faculty and University, especially by increasing the number of double-major and minor programs, and the level of interdisciplinary activity taking place within those programs.
  4. Resuming faculty-wide social gatherings, which had been suspended during the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as organizing further events. In addition, the faculty should plan informal academic events that bring together faculty members from different departments and enable members of other departments to become familiar with their work, enhancing both collaboration and interaction within the faculty. Such measures will improve both the sense of unity and the level of collaboration within the faculty.  
  5. Obtaining selective and prestigious international accreditations for all the faculty's programs, which will allow the rigorous evaluation and improvement of the programs.
  6. Working on improving the promotion of the faculty in countries other than North Cyprus and Turkey. The effective use of social media, informed by current data regarding student applications and acceptance rates should play a vital role in this matter.
  7. Upgrading policies to monitor, evaluate, and improve the satisfaction of the students and graduates of the Faculty, and taking steps to increase the participation of student representatives in the faculty's decision-making processes. Taking steps to make the student evaluations more informative and constructive, improving the transparency of the impact of student feedback.
  8. Developing new strategies, in addition to those currently being implemented, for the recruitment of international students and faculty members in order to achieve greater diversity.
  9. Providing support, guidance and up to date information to the faculty's researchers on research project funding through the faculty's Research |Project Advisory Committee. Supporting the university's efforts to expand the number of funding schemes for which EMU faculty members are eligible (especially TÜBİTAK).
  10. Promoting a higher research output through improved research facilities, hiring policies, and the development of systems to monitor and encourage the research activities of all faculty members.

     

    II – Responding to Challenges
  11. Maintaining the competitive position of the faculty by emphasizing the ranking it has achieved and the prestigious accreditations it has obtained.
  12. Developing new academic programs and/or improving existing ones, in accordance with the latest career trends and demands of the job market.