Directive for Exchange Programs
MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
DIRECTIVE FOR EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
Purpose, Scope, Basis and Definition of Terms
ARTICLE 1 – (1) The aim of this directive is to regulate the principles regarding exchange programs.
ARTICLE 2 – (1) This directive comprises principles on the process concerning student, academic, and administrative staff mobility and the responsibilities and authorities of the related units and persons.
ARTICLE 3 – (1) This directive is based on the article concerning exchange programs in Middle East Technical University’s Rules and Regulations Governing Undergraduate and Graduate studies.
Definition of Terms
ARTICLE 4 – (1) Wherever the following terms appear in this document, they shall be taken to refer to:
a) Exchange program: Students’ taking courses, doing research/internship in a partner university or institution within the scope of international bilateral agreements, Erasmus + and Mevlana or similar programs,
b) Erasmus program: Students’ studying in a university or doing internship, as well as staff mobility for teaching or receiving training, in an institution abroad within the scope of Erasmus+ main program through Erasmus bilateral agreements, ,
c) Mevlana program: Students’ studying and faculty members’ performing teaching mobility at a university abroad through Mevlana bilateral agreements,
ç) President: The president of the Middle East Technical University,
d) University/METU: Middle East Technical University.
Authorized Persons and Units
ARTICLE 5 – (1) University exchange programs coordinator: A faculty member (preferably a vice president, or an assistant to the president) appointed by the president. His/her responsibilities involve the following:
a) Ensuring coordination for every aspect of exchange programs in the entire university,
b) Signing exchange program agreements and the Learning Agreement,
c) Taking and implementing decisions in collaboration with the University Exchange Programs Commission.
(2) University Exchange Programs Commission: Presided by the University exchange programs coordinator, it is comprised of faculty and graduate school exchange programs coordinators and International Cooperations Office coordinator. Its responsibilities are as follows:
a) Making decisions concerning the exchange programs in the university; coordinating and supervising the operations of exchange programs; selecting and placing students,
b) Establishing timelines concerning the process.
(3) Faculty exchange programs coordinator: A faculty member (preferably the associate dean responsible for student affairs) appointed by the dean of the concerned faculty. His/her responsibilities are as follows:
a) Reporting to the departmental exchange programs coordinators on related developments and decisions
b) Ensuring the cooperation among the departmental exchange coordinators and the implementation of decisions taken.
(4) Graduate school exchange programs coordinator: A faculty member (preferably the assistant director to the graduate school responsible for student affairs) appointed by the concerned graduate school director. His/her responsibilities are as follows:
a) Reporting to the graduate school department exchange coordinators on the developments and decisions related to exchange programs
b) Ensuring the cooperation among the graduate school department exchange coordinators and the implementation of decisions taken.
(5) Departmental exchange programs coordinator: A faculty member (preferably the assistant chairperson responsible for student affairs) appointed by the concerned department chair. His/her responsibilities are as follows:
a) Presenting the exchange programs in the concerned department, announcing news about this program, assisting the students who intend to participate in the exchange programs with the university selection process,
b) Assuming responsibility for selecting the applicants, making and implementing the agreements in coordination with the President’s Office, the faculty exchange programs coordinator, International Cooperations Office, and department chair.
c) Assisting the students entitled to benefit from exchange programs with course selection,
ç) Directing the students who have returned upon the completion of exchange programs in recognizing the courses taken in the exchange period towards their programs.
d) Acting as an advisor to the incoming exchange students in course selection.
(6) Graduate school department (GSD) exchange programs coordinator: Is appointed from among faculty members by the concerned GSD chair. In graduate programs, the concerned department exchange coordinator is at the same time the GSD exchange coordinator. Exchange coordinators of interdisciplinary programs are appointed by GSD chairs from among faculty members. The duties of these coordinators are as follows:
a) Presenting the exchange programs to GSD, making announcements about these programs, helping the graduate students who are interested in the exchange programs with university selection,
b) Assuming responsibility for selecting the applicants, making and implementing the agreements in coordination with the President’s Office, the graduate school exchange programs coordinator, International Cooperations Office, and GSD chair,
c) Assisting the students who became entitled to benefit from exchange programs with course selection,
ç) Directing the students who have returned upon the completion of exchange programs in recognizing the courses taken in the exchange period towards their programs,
d) Acting as an advisor to the incoming exchange students in course selection.
(7) International Cooperations Office (ICO) functions under the President’s Office. It performs the following duties:
a) Carrying out administrative procedures for incoming and outgoing exchange students and academic/administrative staff,
b) Promoting the exchange programs in the university; preparing documents to publicize them,
c) Handling correspondence with partner universities, updating agreements, working in communication with the concerned coordinators, Registrar’s Office, and International Student Exchange Society.
(8) The concerned department/GSD chairs inform the concerned deans/graduate school directorates, as well as the ICO, of the appointed coordinators and those whose terms have ended.
Outgoing Exchange Students
ARTICLE 6 – (1) Students applying to exchange programs must fulfill the provisions set below at the time of application:
a) Having attended their undergraduate or graduate program for at least one semester,
b) Having at least a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50/4.00 in undergraduate programs and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00/4.00 in graduate programs at the time of application and in the semester prior to participation in the program.
c) Having fulfilled other application criteria, if any, as required by the program they are registered in.
(2) Exchange program applicants who are double major students, or who are enrolled in two graduate programs may apply for only one of the two programs during an application period.
(3) Evaluation of special cases is at the discretion of faculty/graduate school administrative boards.
(4) Research Assistants must obtain the approval of their department/GSD chair and the concerned dean/graduate school director at the time of application.
(5) Department of Basic English and Academic Deficiency Program students cannot apply to exchange programs.
(6) Doctoral students are not eligible to participate in the exchange programs in the following phases:
a) For doctoral students who have not sat the doctoral qualifying exam, the last semester in which they have to take the exam,
b) The last semester in which they are to attend the thesis proposal defense,
c) In the final semester of the maximum duration of the program.
(6) The thesis and/or academic advisor, and the GSD chairs are authorized to decide whether or not 4th semester students who have not completed their credit/non-credit course loads in graduate programs with a thesis and doctoral programs can apply to exchange programs.
(7) If the courses to be taken within the scope of the program are offered in a language other than English, the student must have adequate proficiency in that language.
(8) Provided that the grants allocated to the university are sufficient, a student in any level of university education (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral) can benefit from the Erasmus program on grant up to 12 months. The mobility performed within the scope of the Erasmus placement (internship) is included in the 12 month period determined for the relevant education level.
ARTICLE 7 – (1) Exchange programs publicity meetings are organized for students by ICO every year.
(2) Announcements about application to exchange programs are made on the ICO website.
(3) The number of university choices the applicants make is limited to the number determined by the University Exchange Programs Commission. While these choices are made, department/GSD exchange programs coordinator and students’ thesis and academic advisors take into consideration such conditions as the syllabus in the concerned university, course outline and content, the medium of instruction, European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits of courses, or the university’s own credit system.
(4) The student must indicate the name of the universities he/she wishes to apply for the exchange program on the application form, and complete the application by the deadline.
(5) In case there are vacant quotas after student placements in the exchange programs conducted by the University Exchange Programs Commission, the Commission may set a new application and evaluation calendar to fill these.
Evaluation and Placement
ARTICLE 8 – (1) Students whose Erasmus or Mevlana applications have been accepted must sit the English Proficiency Examination conducted by the School of Foreign Languages. The exam score is valid for two years. Students can take this exam only once in an academic year.
(2) Applications are evaluated in accordance with the criteria set for the concerned year and announced before the commencement of the application period.
(3) Student selection is made considering the total scores they obtained based on the criteria set and announced earlier, their choices of university, exchange quotas of the concerned universities, the grant amount, if any, allocated for the University, and by also taking into account the opinion of the Department/GSD exchange coordinators within the framework of the principles set by the University Exchange Programs Commission.
(4) Evaluation and placement results are announced on the ICO website.
(5) The academic status of a student who has obtained the right to participate in the exchange programs is reevaluated prior to the semester he/she leaves. On grounds of failure to fulfill the minimum application requirements, the student’s condition is reevaluated by the University Exchange Programs Commission, and the right to exchange programs may be cancelled.
Courses to be taken, Academic Approval Form and Learning Agreement
ARTICLE 9 – (1) The course schedule in the host institution for students placed in the exchange programs is determined by the Department/GSD exchange programs Coordinator, the students’ thesis and/or academic advisors and the Department/GSD chairs.
(2) The course schedule determined is specified on the Learning Agreement, if any, and it is signed by the student, department/GSD exchange programs coordinator, and University exchange programs coordinator.
(3) The courses to be taken abroad within the framework of the exchange programs and their equivalents at METU are specified on the Academic Approval Form. Signed by the student, department/GSD chair and faculty/graduate school exchange programs coordinator, this form is submitted to ICO by the student.
(4) Erasmus participants must take courses adding up to 30 ECTS per semester. For justified reasons, the course load may be minimum 20 ECTS.
(5) Before the student completes the first semester at the host university, he/she is obligated to notify the Department/Graduate School Department Exchange programs coordinator of all the changes made to his/her course program, and have these changes approved through the Learning Agreement, if any, and the Academic Approval Form.
Application to the University Abroad and the Admission Process
ARTICLE 10 – (1) Correspondence with the university abroad is carried out by ICO. It is the student’s responsibility to prepare the documents requested by the partner university. However, ICO provides guidance to students in preparing the documents.
(2) The application documents are sent by the student, in cooperation with ICO, to the related office in the host university before the application deadline.
(3) It is the students’ responsibility to arrange travel and visa procedures.
The Status of Students at METU
ARTICLE 11 – (1) Students apply to Department/GSD chairs to be granted leave of absence within the framework of the related regulation for the mobility period abroad.
(2) The period of stay at the university abroad within the framework of exchange programs is included in the maximum duration of study, but it is not deducted from the student’s maximum leave of absence duration.
(3) The cases of research assistants who wish to participate in this program are evaluated within the scope of the relevant rules and regulations.
(4) Students residing at the dormitories must apply to the Directorate of Dormitories to reserve their right to dormitories.
(5) The continuation, temporary withdrawal, or permanent withdrawal of a scholarship during the mobility period is at the discretion of the concerned person/unit awarding the scholarship.
Erasmus and Mevlana Program Grant Agreements and the Payment of Grants
ARTICLE 12 – (1) A grant agreement is signed between METU and the student before the student’s departure. With this agreement, the student’s participation in the exchange program is confirmed. ICO notifies the Registrar’s Office of the names of students who have signed the grant agreement.
(2) Grants are paid as determined and announced for that year.
(3) Upon completion of the exchange period, the returned students are, in accordance with the grant agreement, obligated to submit to the ICO the grade transcript of the university abroad, the signed Learning Agreement and the Academic Approval Form, which also contains the course changes made there, , the Certificate of Attendance Form, and the Final Report Form, which is accessible on the ICO website.
Procedures for Recognizing Courses into the Program
ARTICLE 13 – (1) The documents which are taken as the basis in the procedure for recognizing courses into a program are the Learning Agreement, if any, the Academic Approval Form, and transcript from the university abroad. The concerned academic units may request additional documents if deemed necessary.
(2) For the procedures of recognizing courses into a program, students apply to the concerned department/GSD chairs with the original copy of the grade transcript obtained from the university abroad.
(3) Courses are counted towards a program by the decision of the faculty/graduate school administrative board through the recommendation of the concerned department/GSD coordinator, thesis and/or academic advisor, department/GS chair, and. All courses specified on the transcript are evaluated by the concerned boards, by taking into consideration the Academic Approval Form.
(4) The concerned administrative board is authorized to make decisions concerning the courses not specified on the Learning Agreement, if any and Academic Approval Form,.
(5) The courses counted within the framework of exchange programs are not added to student’s semester and cumulative GPA.
(6) For undergraduate students, the sum of courses or equivalent credits which will be counted towards a program at METU cannot exceed the limits defined by the article concerning semester course loads in the concerned regulation.
(7) For graduate and PhD on Bachelor’s degree program students, maximum two courses counted within the framework of exchange programs may be undergraduate level courses (provided that no undergraduate courses have been taken during their registered periods at METU).
(8) The sum of course credits taken in exchange period to be counted cannot exceed one third (1/3) of the total amount of course credits of the program they are registered in.
(9) The principles concerning the procedures for recognizing courses that are in the curriculum are indicated below:
a) For courses indicated on the transcript of the university abroad, students are held exempt from equivalent courses at METU provided that the grade letters earned from these courses are equal to or higher than CC in undergraduate programs and BB in graduate programs at METU, and that they are approved by the concerned administrative board upon recommendation of the concerned academic unit.
b) Credits of courses students are exempted from are counted toward the course load that they must undertake in their programs.
c) Courses taken at the university abroad and their ECTS credits are specified in the details sections of the METU transcript.
(10) The principles regarding course recognizing procedures for courses that are not in the curriculum are as follows:
a) Courses on the transcript of the university abroad are indicated in the student’s transcript in the explanations section as NI status with their ECTS credits or credits in accordance with the credit system employed at the University, provided that the grade letters earned from these courses are equal to or higher than CC in undergraduate programs and BB in graduate programs of METU, and that they are approved by the concerned administrative board upon recommendation of the concerned academic unit.
(11) After the course recognizing procedures are reflected on the student’s transcript by the Registrar’s Office, a copy of the transcript is sent to the concerned department/GSD chair and the ICO.
Tuition Fees and Other Costs
ARTICLE 14 – (1) Those students who are obligated to pay a tuition fee and participate in an exchange program are to do so to their own university during their study education abroad; they do not pay a tuition fee at the university abroad.
(2) Accommodation, transportation, health insurance, and other private expenses are the the responsibility of students.
Incoming Exchange Students to METU
Application to METU
ARTICLE 15 – (1) The students who would like to come to METU as an exchange student are to fill in the application form accessible on the ICO website and send it to METU ICO before the application deadline.
Course Selection and Learning Agreement
ARTICLE 16 – (1) The incoming student indicates which courses he/she will take on the application form by referring to METU website.
(2) In case the courses are not offered, the courses indicated on the application form may be subject to change.
(3) The departments/GSD exchange program coordinators assist the incoming exchange students with course selection and approve their registration forms.
(4) Those who will come as Erasmus and Mevlana exchange students are to send the Learning Agreement to the ICO.
(5) The article concerning withdrawal from courses in the Academic Rules and Regulations Governing Undergraduate Studies at METU, which provides that course withdrawal may be processed for only one course in a semester, is not applied to incoming exchange students.
Sending the Letter of Acceptance
ARTICLE 17 – (1) After the application document and Learning Agreement are received, the application is evaluated taking into consideration the exchange balance (the outgoing-incoming student ratio) between the two universities, and the academic standing of the applicant.
(2) The ICO sends letters of acceptance to the students whose applications have been accepted.
Informing the incoming students
ARTICLE 18 – (1) The students are sent a letter of acceptance along with information notes. Such details as the visa procedures, academic calendar, and orientation program are included in the information notes.
(2) The ICO advises incoming exchange students regarding administrative procedures at METU.
(3) Incoming students within the framework of the Mevlana program hand in the required documents to the ICO in order to receive their grants.
The Orientation Program for Incoming Students
ARTICLE 19 – (1) An orientation program is organized for incoming exchange students by the ICO at the beginning of each semester.
(2) As part of this program, seminars are held, and various social and cultural activities, university introduction meetings, and trips are conducted.
(3) Department/GSD exchange program coordinators act as advisors for incoming exchange students in their adaptation to the department/program.
Exchange students who have completed their study period at METU
ARTICLE 20 – (1) Exchange program students who have completed their exchange period at METU are to return their METU student ID cards and Registration Withdrawal forms to the ICO before returning to their county.
(2) The deposit they have been charged for the dormitories is refunded.
(3) The METU email accounts of students who have completed these procedures are deactivated, and their official transcripts are sent to the International Cooperations Office in their own universities by the ICO.
Student placement (Internship) Mobility
ARTICLE 21 – (1) Students who will apply for the Erasmus student internship mobility program must meet the following criteria:
a) Having a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.50 for undergraduate students, 3.00 for graduate students,
b) Determining and contacting the work placement enterprise/institution themselves,
c) Having received a letter of acceptance from the enterprise/institution by the application deadline
ç) Provided that the grants allocated to the university are sufficient, a student, in any level of university education (bachelor, master, doctorate), can benefit from the Erasmus work placement mobility on grant up to 12 months. However, the sum of mobility periods for study and placement cannot exceed 12 months for the concerned educational level.
(2) Fourth year students are eligible to apply for placement mobility while they have the student status, yet the placement activity must be completed within 12 months after the graduation date.
(3) Students must obtain the approval of the concerned department/GSD for the internship subject area, duration, and other related details.
(4) Applications are made within the framework of the principles established by the University Exchange Programs Commission, according to the criteria set for the concerned year and announced before the commencement of the application period.
(5) A grant agreement is signed between METU and the student before departure. With this agreement, the student’s participation in the Erasmus placement mobility is confirmed.
(6) Grants are paid as determined and issued for that year.
(7) Upon completion of internship, the returned students must apply to department/GSD chairs with the necessary documents, which are the Academic Approval Form for placement (internship), certificate of attendance, placement report, and Verification of Stay Form. The concerned academic units may request additional documents if they consider it necessary.
(8) The placement is counted toward the program by the decision of the faculty/graduate school administrative board by consideration of the academic approval form through recommendation of the concerned department/GSD coordinator and department/GS chair, and for placement (internship).
Teaching Mobility and Staff Training Mobility
ARTICLE 22 – (1) Staff mobility entails two types of mobility: teaching and staff training mobility.
(2) The following criteria are to be met for eligibility to benefit from teaching mobility within the scope of the Erasmus or Mevlana programs:
a) The applicant must be a full-time faculty member at METU.
b) There must be an inter-institution agreement between the host higher education institution abroad and METU.
c) The call for proposals sent to the departments by the ICO must have been responded to.
ç) ‘A teaching program’, which has been approved by METU and the host university must exist.
d) The applicant must meet the minimum teaching hour requirement established for the concerned year by the National Agency or HEC (Higher Education Council) in the university abroad.
(3) The following criteria must be met for eligibility to benefit from staff training mobility within the scope of Erasmus program:
a) The applicant must be a full-time faculty member or administrative staff working at METU,
b) The call for proposals sent to the departments and the related administrative units by the ICO the previous year must have been responded to,
c) The Work Plan Form must be approved by both METU and the host institution,
ç) The minimum mobility duration requirement set for the concerned year must be met.
(4) Staff training mobility can be performed in a higher education institution or an enterprise abroad.
(5) Applications are made within the framework of the principles established by the University Exchange Programs Commission, in accordance with the criteria set for the concerned year and announced before the commencement of the application period.
(6) The admitted staff must obtain the permission of the unit head for the period of stay abroad.
(7) A grant agreement between METU and the concerned staff memberis signed before departure. With this agreement, the concerned staff’s participation in Erasmus staff mobility program is confirmed.
(8) Grants are paid as determined and issued for that year.
(9) Upon completion of the mobility period, the staff must submit the Staff Mobility Activity Report Form, travel documents, and Certificate of Attendance Form to the ICO.
Miscellaneous and Final Issues
Northern Cyprus Campus
ARTICLE 23 - (1) The procedures and principles concerning the implementation of exchange programs conducted in METU Northern Cyprus Campus are determined by the Senate.
ARTICLE 24 – (1) This directive takes effect on 17 June 2014, the date it was approved by the University Senate, and includes students who are to participate in exchange programs in the 2014-15 Academic year.
ARTICLE 25 – (1) This directive is implemented by the President of METU.