The new term kicked off with an Academic Year Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, complete with wreath laying and academic regalia, and so I felt it a good week to write about where I am working and what I am doing here at Anadolu University.   I am teaching in the Güzel Sanatlar Fakültesi, which translates to the Faculty of Fine Arts.  The title Faculty, common in Europe, is used instead of college and subtly makes note of the importance of professors, which are called staff. The Faculty was established in 1983 and started accepting full time students in the 1985-1986 academic year to the Departments of Graphics and Ceramics. The Faculty has 9 departments: Animation, Ceramics, Graphics, Interior Design, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Glass and Primary Education.  I will spend more time on the Ceramics/Glass department in a future post.

Their website states, “Anadolu University has 16 Faculties (3 of which offer distance education), 4 applied schools, 4 vocational schools, 9 graduate schools, 25 research centers, and 15 research, development and application units. The successful launch of the distance education system ranks at the top of innovative initiatives of Anadolu University. Today the total number of students in three faculties offering distance education is over one million (this does not include the students on the main and branch campuses). “

What this means is they successfully have what is called formal education with resident students on a vibrant campus, while running a worldwide on-line program.  One of the VP’s of Cambridge University spoke at the opening ceremony on their collaboration with Anadolu University.  They also had students from about 6 campuses worldwide on a live feed commenting during the event.  Many students spoke to this being their only opportunity to receive a democratic college education.

I have here some pictures of the ceremony and of the Faculty of Fine Arts building, which is about 3 – 4 buildings connected and a bit of a maze.  Overal, It was an interesting and informative week for me on campus.

Campus AtaturkOpening ceremoniesArt BuildingFirst class demo