University-industry collaboration becomes prominent in the training program provided both in engineering faculty and vocational school. This collaboration affects both industry representatives and the graduates positively. The factories are also the laboratories and ateliers of the university. At this point this is a win-win situation for both sides.
Like many universities, Gaziantep University (GU) has been contributing to meet qualified workforce requirement of milling industry with engineering faculty. However the training in this school is related with various sectors and areas; also the trained students cannot meet the requirement for technicians since they graduate as engineers. All of these caused a special vocational school for milling to be established. Therefore the leading institutions such as Turkish Flour Industrialists’ Federation, Pasta Industrialists Association of Turkey and Association of Bulgur Producers came together along with Gaziantep University (GU) in 2012 and they signed a protocol to establish a milling program in the university. As a result of this protocol, a program named “Flour and Flour Products Technology Program” was established in GU Naci Topçuoğlu Vocational School. The university supports the sector with trained workforce.
INTERN ENGINEERING TRAINING MODEL
Gaziantep University Engineering Faculty provides training in food engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical-electronic engineering and industrial engineering. Expert lecturers with ph. degree provide training in bachelor, master’s degree and ph. degree level. The studies are also in master and doctoral degree especially in milling area. The leading figures in the industry visit as guest lecturers. The graduates work as engineers, production managers, directors, or in quality and process management areas. The language of the training is English. The target of the training which needs a good command of English is to train engineer and well-informed employees. Therefore, the graduates may have a chance to be hired in various regions of the world. The Dean of the faculty, Mustafa Bayram says that food engineering department has the largest share in contributing to the human sources in the industry.
GU Engineering Faculty has been pioneering a new model which will strengthen the practical education as well as standard education. The Dean Bayram tells about the model as follows: “We have started ‘Intern Engineering Education Model’ which has been the first example of its kind in engineering faculties in Turkey since 2012. Intern engineers work in the industry for a semester before they receive their diplomas by completing all the classes. They practice in the industry. Our success and pleasure level is above 90 percent regarding this. We have managed to realize a big change. 85 percent of our graduates receive offers for employment right after inter engineering period. In this aspect, part of our intern engineers in food engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering and industrial engineering department at engineering faculty are transferred to the milling industry. We have made a big contribution to solve qualified human source problem of the sector.”
Completing intern engineering, the graduates can be hired easily for production, design, quality, management and R&D units in the industry. The classes have also both theoretical and practical applications as well as a studying period in the industry as part of the intern engineering program. After a subject is discussed theoretically, it is applied in the laboratory and the students do internship in the industry in summer.
ALL EQUIPMENTS THAT A GOOD EMPLOYEE NEEDS
“Flour and Flour Products Program” which was started in Naci Topçuoğlu Vocational School in order to train technicians is on its fourth year. Currently, the department has a quota for 30 seats per annum. 60-70 percent of these 30 seats are the student coming through the university entrance exam. The subjects taught in the department are peculiar to this school and this department. Not only flour milling, but also bulgur, rice, pulses and semolina milling was also added to the curriculum while determining the classes at first. In addition, subjects such as laboratory, quality, machinery maintenance, food safety, storing is also included in the content of classes. In short, the school aims to provide the student with all the equipment that a good employee working in this industry requires. All the subjects and the content of classes are capable of meeting this requirement.
The teaching staff consists of experts. The classes are given by experts/academics and the guest lecturers who gained experience in the industry support the classes.
PRACTICAL EDUCATION AND UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION
The training within vocational school also includes both theoretical and practical applications as in training of the faculty. As part of “Flour and Flour Products Program”, the students spend a semester in the industry. The location of this vocational school’s program is already included in the industrial zone. In this aspect, Gaziantep University manages to combine education and industry with a different application.
Two-year education department started to produce graduates. The graduates can be hired in R&D units in various institutions as well as production lines and quality units of factories. The graduates have no difficulty to find a proper job and the companies offer for employment while the course period is still on.
University-industry collaboration becomes prominent in the training provided both in engineering faculty and vocational school. This collaboration affects both industry representatives and the graduates positively; because the industry is the university’s pillar of support in this training. The factories are also the laboratories and ateliers of the university. The factories are open to all students in practical applications, apprenticeship and interns. At this point this is a win-win situation for both sides.