Social Network Analysis of the Farabi Exchange Program: Student Mobility

Zeynep UGURLU *

  • Sinop University, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences.


Problem Statement: Exchange programs offer communication channels created through student and instructor exchanges; a flow of information takes place through these channels. The Farabi Exchange Program (FEP) is a student and instructor exchange program between institutions of higher education. Through the use of social network analysis and techniques unique to it, an analysis of this structure will uncover how much universities and teacher training institutions as actors are affected by these student exchange programs and how much of their capacity they actually use. A literature review shows that exchange programs have been the focus of several studies, but there is almost no research using social network analysis on exchange program and teacher training programs. In the evaluation of student exchange programs, the social network approach brings a new point of view in the evaluation of complex and multiple relationships.

Purpose of the study: The main purpose of this study is the mutual assessment of teacher training programs in universities which accept and send students through the exchange framework of the FEP.

Methods: The study has been carried out a social network analysis approach. Social network analysis defined as the method of digital and/or graphic mapping of the type, direction and density of relationships between groups of actors. In this study, data was acquired from the lists of students who participated in the FEP at 18 universities, which have been selected through the cluster sampling method for the 2013–2014 educational year. It has been analyzed with the UCINET 6.0 software program.

Findings and Results: According to the findings of the study, 822 connections in the whole network and 451 connections in the teacher training network have been identified in the FEP. It has been determined that 47% of maximum connection possible in the density analysis were made for the whole network (D= 0, 472), while 15% of maximum connections possible in the density analysis were made for the teacher training network (D= 0, 155).

Conclusions and Recommendations: Results confirmed that, the networks between education faculties are relatively weaker. The high number of disconnected and isolated actors points to the necessity of strengthening connections between institutions which train teachers and education faculties.

Keywords: Higher Education, Universities, Teacher Training Network, Exchange Programs.