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Master's Degree

Turkey: Information, not polarization

On a trip to Turkey, German Minister of State Monika Grütters and DW Director-General Peter Limbourg visited the IMS Master's program, a joint project by Istanbul University, DW Akademie and a German university partner.

Istanbul IMS-Masterstudiengang Universität Besuch Monika Grütters und Peter Limbourg

German delegates meet with students of the International Media Studies Master's program in Istanbul

The focus of the visit to Turkey by Germany's Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, was on strengthening the German-Turkish exchange on cultural and media policy issues. A key aim was to learn more about the unique German-Turkish Master's program, International Media Studies (IMS). Together with DW Director-General Peter Limbourg, Grütters discussed with third semester IMS students Turkey's media environment, training opportunities and parameters for journalists. They also looked at perspectives for Turkey's media market.

A degree program to bring cultures together

Istanbul IMS-Masterstudiengang Universität Besuch Monika Grütters und Peter Limbourg

"Deepening the German-Turkish friendship" – Minister of State Grütters with Dr Sezer (right) and Dr Kandemir

The IMS is a recent addition to Turkey's higher education programs. The Minister of State was impressed by both the project itself and the commitment by the Turkish and German partners, as well by the students' open-mindedness. "This journalism program is an important aspect of bilateral cooperation – not just for bringing civic and intellectual environments together, but for deepening the friendship between Turkey and Germany," said Grütters. Director-General Peter Limbourg got a first-hand look at the program and said he was also impressed by the groundbreaking project. "Turkey has a polarized media market, and that's why journalism training is essential for changing structures and ways of thinking," he said. "This way, people can be informed instead of polarized." Limbourg also pointed to the financial support from Germany's Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), saying the program would not otherwise have been possible.

First German-Turkish Master's program

Istanbul University's cooperation partners including Dr Hatice Tören, Director of the Institute of Social Sciences, Dr Ceyhan Kandemir, Head of the IMS program, and Dr Nülifer Sezer, Dean of the Faculty of Communication, reported positively on working with their German colleagues. "This is the only dual degree program at Istanbul University, and this alone makes it special," said Dr Sezer. "We very much appreciate the fact that Deutsche Welle has been working so closely with us and sharing its media expertise," she said.

The joint project between DW Akademie, the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and Istanbul University was launched in October 2014. It is based on DW Akademie's Masters program which got underway 2009 in Bonn, and which offers a unique combination of media and development cooperation, journalism, communications and media management. The Turkish equivalent is aimed primarily at Turkish and German students who are interested in Turkey, and who already have a bachelor's degree. Participants also require initial experience working in the media field or communications. Unlike the bilingual (German/English) IMS program in Bonn, the IMS in Istanbul is conducted entirely in English. After the IMS was successfully launched in 2014, Istanbul University welcomed its second set of IMS students in October 2015.

More than just theory

Istanbul IMS-Masterstudiengang Universität Besuch Monika Grütters und Peter Limbourg

Discussing with IMS students perspectives for Turkey’s media market

New student Murat Dogusoy enthusiastically told the German delegates that she was attracted to the program by its diverse range of study options and unique combination of practical components and seminars. "And no other university in Turkey works together with a broadcasting company," added third semester student Pinar Celik. Both students said this had been decisive in applying for the German-Turkish IMS program.

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