Meeting with Deans of Faculties of Theology at CoHE
August 02, 2017 / Council of Higher Education
A meeting was held with the participation of the deans of the faculties of Theology in Turkey under the chairmanship of CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç at the Council of Higher Education.
In addition to the steps taken to increase the quality of education in the faculties of theology, the amendments related to the regulation that allow the students of the faculties of theology to take pedagogical formation courses during undergraduate education starting from the 2017-2018 academic year were thoroughly discussed in the meeting. Expectations and suggestions about undergraduate programs of theology were also shared with the participants.
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç gave a speech at the opening of the meeting. He mentioned the history of religious higher education and said:
"Since the introduction of Islam in Anatolia, religious higher education has been going through a development process that has been carried out throughout the Period of Beyliks, the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. Even though it has been interrupted a few times, a new step was taken in religious higher education with the opening of the Faculty of Theology at Ankara University in 1949. After the 1950s, there was a rapid increase in the number of religious education institutions with the opening of the Imam Hatip schools and Higher Institutes for Islamic studies according to social needs and demands."
He shared information about the undergraduate programs of the Faculty of Theology and gave the following statistics:
"There are 92 faculties including the Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Islamic Sciences and International Faculty of Islamic and Religious Studies in Turkey. There are 2,003 faculty members and 1,614 academic staff in these faculties. If we were to look at the number of students, we see that 92,744 students are receiving education in the 2016-2017 academic year. It is quite pleasing to see these statistics."
President Saraç noted that there was an accumulation of knowledge in the field of theology in Turkey and said:
"I have to say that scientific activity and teaching in the field of theology in Turkey has come a long way and gathered an accumulation of knowledge. Even though it has not completely solved its problems, it is important to note that it has started to discuss these problems. In this respect, it would be no exaggeration to say that the teaching of theology in Turkey is better than some other Muslim countries."
President Saraç emphasized that quality is the first priority of the new COHE and noted that theology is a field of science in the current university system. He stated that those who are employed in the field of theology should also have high-level teaching skills and gave the following information about the purpose of the meeting:
"We will discuss the topics such as the reason for the integration of pedagogical formation courses into the curriculum of theology, the principles of the changes to be made in the curriculum according to the Bologna process, the content of pedagogical formation courses and the principles to be considered pedagogically, the importance of cooperation with the Faculties of Education if there is any, the amendment to be made in English, Arabic and international programs in addition to theology programs and the things to be done for current students. We will also try to determine common principles for the implementation."
President Saraç answered the questions of the deans who attended the meeting. Participants said they were pleased with the decision of CoHE regarding the acceptance of students to the faculties of theology according to the results of LYS scores starting from this year.
After the question and answer session, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman, executive member of CoHE, made a presentation on the topics discussed in the meeting.
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)