Dr. Ahmet İhsan Kaya – 2019 – 2020 Academic Year Jean Monnet Scholar

School / Department: University of Groningen, Economic Development and Globalization

Institution and Position: British Embassy Ankara / Economist

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself? How has your career been shaped?

I received my undergraduate degree from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of Economics in 2011. In the same year, I started to work as a European Union Assistant Expert at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. I continued my career with a change and started working at the Ministry of Treasury and Finance in 2013. I completed my graduate studies at the Department of Economics at Hacettepe University in 2015. I was awarded the Jean Monnet Scholarship in 2019 and was accepted to the Economic Development and Globalization master’s programme at the University of Groningen. During my graduate study, I also worked part-time as a researcher in a project on “Structural Transformation in Developing Countries” at Groningen Growth and Development Centre, one of the leading institutes in the field of economic development. After returning to Türkiye, I completed my doctoral studies at the Department of Economics, Hacettepe University in 2021. My thesis on the detection, determinants and effects of excesses in capital movements was selected as the best doctoral thesis by the Turkish Economic Association.

I am currently working as an Economist at the British Embassy. In my current position, I advise the Embassy network on macroeconomic and financial developments in Türkiye and contribute to the development of relations between Türkiye and the United Kingdom. I am also conducting a research programme on Türkiye’s structural transformation in the post-1980 period at the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research. I believe that the education I have received and the communication network I have established, thanks to the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme, have contributed to my achievements in both positions.

2. Could you give some information about the university you studied at with the Jean Monnet Scholarship and the subject of your study?

Based on diverse rankings, the University of Groningen, one of the most established and prestigious universities in the Netherlands and Europe, is among the top 100 universities in the world TheEconomic Development and Globalisation Master’s programme which I pursued focuses on international trade, finance, economic globalisation, and regional and local development. The programme also offers students the opportunity to obtain a dual degree in partnership with different schools in Germany, Sweden, China and Hungary. In my master’s thesis, I researched the effect of the EU integration process on capital inflows to candidate countries and the effect of the global financial crisis and the institutional developments of countries on this relationship. In addition, some of the findings I obtained during the research process were published in the Journal of Applied Economics, one of the leading academic journals in its field.

3. How did the education you completed with the support of Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme affect your thoughts on the European Union?

Within the scope of my responsibilities at the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, I worked on the economic and financial integration of Türkiye in the EU and harmonisation with the EU criteria in the relevant field. With these studies, I was able to improve my knowledge about the Economic and Monetary Union. The training I received through the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme enabled me to enrich this practical experience with theory and personal experiences. Thanks to the subject programme, I had the opportunity to work with professors who also hold various senior positions in EU institutions. I also had the chance to observe the cultures and perspectives of these countries by making friends from different EU member countries. As a result of all these experiences, I think the EU is not only an economic and political union, but also a unique project of cultural integration, peace and prosperity, and that it has made important contributions not only to member countries but also to neighbouring countries.

4. What advice would you like to give to people who want to apply for the Jean Monnet scholarship programme?

The Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme is one of the most important, comprehensive and prestigious scholarships in Türkiye which provides the opportunity to study abroad. In order to get the most out of this programme, I think that candidates should have a clear plan about the field they want to work in, the country they want to go to, how this opportunity will contribute to their career plans and their goals after the study period. In addition, I advise the scholars to focus on improving their social relations and learning the culture of the countries they are studying during the process.