Vaughn College on Wednesday (Aug. 3) announced a partnership with the University of the Turkish Aeronautical Association (UTAA) designed to enhance teaching and research programs at both schools.

Vaughn and UTAA will share faculty and student opportunities and collaborate in research efforts for at least three years. In signing the memorandum of understanding, Vaughn President Dr. John Fitzpatrick referenced the founder of the Turkish republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who noted “the future is in the skies.”

“UTAA wants to become a force in international aviation, and we are happy to have you as part of the Vaughn family,” Fitzpatrick said.

UTAA is the higher-education arm of the Ankara-based nonprofit Turkish Aeronautical Association. The larger nonprofit advises on five airports and two maintenance plants in Turkey and attempts to raise awareness of aviation activities in the country and beyond. It serves as the national governing body of air sports in Turkey and educates potential pilots in nearby countries, including Syria.

Officials said its university, while larger than Vaughn College, will benefit from Vaughn’s expertise in aircraft operations, maintenance and more.

“We believe Vaughn College is the best aeronautical college in the world,” TAA chairman Osman Yildirim said. “This college is a model of what our university wants to be.”

Under the memorandum, finalized after several months of negotiations, Vaughn and UTAA students will have the opportunity to attend each other’s campuses for one semester or more. The memorandum also offers both schools the opportunity to share faculty; UTAA comprises four campuses in Turkey — in Ankara, Istanbul, Eskisehir and Izmir.

“This is a nice opportunity for students in Turkey who want to work in aviation to upgrade their knowledge and abilities,” UTAA faculty member Dr. Semih Sahinel said. “We think it’s an ideal relationship.”


Vaughn College President Dr. John Fitzpatrick, left, and Osman Yildirim prepare to sign Wednesday’s affiliation agreement.