CoHE President Participates in Introductory Meeting of “ASELSAN Academy Postgraduate Training Program”
March 8, 2018 / Ankara
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç attended the meeting organized for the introduction of the "ASELSAN Academy Postgraduate Training Program" which will bring a new dimension to the cooperation between universities and the industry and take the Turkish defense industry to the next level.
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Çelik, Vice President of ASELSAN and President of the Board of ASELSAN Academy, Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, Undersecretary of Defence Industries, Ziya Altunyaldız, President of GNAT Committee on Industry, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, Information and Technology and AKP MP for Kütahya, and rectors from research universities attended the meeting. ASELSAN and the universities selected as research universities, namely Gazi University, Gebze Technical University, Istanbul Technical University and Middle East Technical University, signed the Postgraduate Training Protocol.
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç said that innovations and achievements to be realized in the fields of science and technology would become the key for sustainable and socio-economic development, pointing out how important it is for Turkey to increase the competitiveness in the global economy in order to achieve its goals for 2023.
He noted that universities have to be more dynamic and innovative than ever in the 21st century in order to keep up with the advancing technology and to fulfill the changing needs.
He emphasized that the number of qualified industrial companies increases as Turkey gets better at producing technologies, adding that it also develops the cooperation between universities and the industry.
He stated that they would review the research processes with quality outcomes in research universities and said, "We will further develop the existing policies and strategies. I also would like to say that we have taken steps in the direction of developing special support for our research universities with the help of institutions such as the Ministry of Development, which supports the research infrastructures, and TUBITAK, which funds scientific studies."
He underlined that the ASELSAN Academy would greatly contribute to the integration of universities with the world and said:
"We believe that the ASELSAN Academy will produce positive results in accordance with the university concept of the new generation. This project is a product of a perspective that is more different and visionary than industrial doctorates. This program will play an important role in increasing the competitive power of our country and will pave the way for the technology-driven transformation process in our industry. In this context, ASELSAN Academy, which was introduced today, will also set an example for higher education."
Following the introduction of the program, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Çelik, Vice President of ASELSAN and President of the Board of ASELSAN Academy, Prof. Dr. İbrahim Uslan, Rector of Gazi University, Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgün, Rector of Gebze Technical University, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca, Rector of Istanbul Technical University, and Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan Kök, Rector of Middle East Technical University, signed the "Postgraduate Training Protocol" in the signing ceremony held under the coordination of the Council of Higher Education.
WHAT IS "ASELSAN ACADEMY POSTGRADUATE TRAINING PROGRAM"?
The ASELSAN Academy Postgraduate Training Program was realized in the fall term of 2017. Gazi University, Gebze Technical University, Istanbul Technical University and Middle East Technical University were included in the program, a model carried out with the cooperation of an industrial enterprise and more than one university, under the coordination of the Council of Higher Education. The aim of the program is not only the cooperation between universities and the industry, but also the cooperation between universities. The ASELSAN Academy will contribute to the defense industry of our country with its specialized and innovative structure in technology and engineering and will enable the restructuring of the programs in this field.
ASELSAN has become the external campus of universities within the scope of the protocol signed with CoHE. The "Postgraduate Training Protocol" will allow the ASELSAN employees to have the opportunity to do their graduate studies on the fields/projects they work without leaving the campus of ASELSAN. The ASELSAN employees who will graduate from this program will be eligible to receive a master's or doctoral degree diploma equivalent to the diploma issued on the main campus of the relevant university.
Universities to be Provided an Environment for Industrial and Technological Projects
The aim of the ASELSAN Academy Postgraduate Training Program is to develop and maintain the technology and knowledge of ASELSAN. The Council of Higher Education provides an implementation environment for the technological projects of research universities and academics who are specialized on various fields.
Experienced faculty members will gain experience in the industry by getting directly involved in industrial projects and contribute to the education and technology of our country.
ASELSAN employees to write a thesis on their ongoing projects in ASELSAN
Assigning the employees with academic qualifications to defense projects will accelerate the process of nationalizing and successfully completing important technologies in the field of defense industry. The employees will have postgraduate training on defense industry in accordance with the mission and vision of ASELSAN.
232 employees started to receive education-168 people are studying for a Master's degree and 64 people are studying for a Ph.D. degree- in the 2017-2018 academic year at ASELSAN Academy. There are 135 students in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 47 students in Computer Engineering, 45 students in Mechanical Engineering and 5 students in Material Engineering.
It is aimed that this figure will be 750 next year and the ratio of the employees with doctoral degrees at ASELSAN will be 10% in four years.
ASELSAN Academy Offers the Following Opportunities:
- External campus of universities approved by the Council of Higher Education,
- A brand-new dimension for the cooperation between universities and the industry university,
- The staff could write theses out of their projects,
- Doctoral theses from the original projects of ASELSAN,
- Master's and Ph.D. degree diplomas issued on the main campuses of universities,
- Common pool of courses,
- Open innovation environment,
- Allowing the research universities included in the program within the scope of theses to benefit from the laboratories of ASELSAN,
- Increasing the military-civil competiveness by ensuring the development of important technologies in our country,
- Creating national advanced/important technologies in the field of defense.
Message for International Women’s Day from CoHE President Saraç (08.03.2018)
Turkey has been working to realize the 2030 sustainable development goals. Turkish universities are at the center of these efforts. The young generation in Turkish universities will contribute to a powerful Turkey in the future by receiving education with values such as human development, information society, the rule of law and high technology. As the academic community, we take the necessary actions to trainstrong and wise Turkish women with high human values and place great importance on this issue.
As of 2018, 45.8% of 7,712,311 students who continue their university studies are composed of female students. We intensively cooperate with relevant ministries and public institutions to increase the contribution of our university graduates to the development of the country. Turkish universities are also being attentive to the issue and discuss it as a priority agenda item within the framework of the responsibilities stated in the related national and international legal arrangements in order to support the employment of women and their position in higher education.
41,4% of the doctoral students in Turkish universities are female students. 44% of 154,950 academic staff, which is equal to 68,653, are women. 31% of 23,870 professors, which is equal to 7,411, are women. We are proud of these figures. It is one of our main goals to take actions towards increasing the involvement of women in science, technology and the economic development of the country in the future.
I wanted to present my thoughts on this topic once again on the International Women's day.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the International Women's Day of all of our valuable female academics, dear students and all female staff working on the administrative level.
Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta SARAÇ
President of the Council of Higher Education
CoHE President Saraç Introduces CoHE Research Scholarship for Doctoral Studies Abroad (YOK-YUDAB)
March 7, 2018 / Ankara
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç introduced the CoHE Research Scholarship Program for Doctoral Studies Abroad (YOK-YUDAB), which was initiated by the Council of Higher Education for the first time in the history of higher education, in a press conference held at CoHE.
In addition to CoHE Deputy Presidents Prof. Dr. M. İ. Safa Kapıcıoğlu and Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er, Executive Board members of CoHE and press members from the leading media outlets attended the meeting.
As you will recall, the Council of Higher Education previously introduced new programs such as the 100/2000 CoHE Doctoral Scholarship Program and the honors classes of the CoHE Fundamental Sciences Programs (YOK-TEBIP) which are aimed at research assistants doing their doctoral studies in state universities.
The new YOK-YUDAB program will offer research assistants writing doctoral theses the opportunity to further their studies abroad in the priority fields determined by CoHE.
CoHE President Saraç briefed the press members on the new program and noted that they had launched many new projects aimed at research assistants doing their doctoral studies in state universities as part of Turkey's goal to become one of the 10 biggest economies in the world by 2023.
He emphasized that their primary goal was to increase the number of people with doctoral degrees in Turkey and said, "We determined the priority fields in Turkey and allocated additional permanent posts for research assistants in these fields in universities."
He noted that some projects that were extremely important for higher education had been recently initiated and said:
"The CoHE 100/2000 Doctoral Scholarship Program offers scholarships to 2,000 doctoral students for 100 thematic fields in Turkish state universities in order to train people with doctoral degrees for the priority fields determined by the Council of Higher Education according to the qualified workforce needed for the development of our country. The program is a continuous program which is carried out on a yearly basis. The 100 essential fields in the program are constantly revised according to the developments and trends in science and technology and the needs of our country.
On the other hand, we have also established the honors classes of the CoHE Fundamental Sciences Programs (YOK-TEBIP) in the fields of fundamental sciences, namely physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, for the first time in the history of higher education.
CoHE allows the students in honors classes to receive education with a special curriculum in the Faculty of Science of Istanbul University."
CoHE to Offer Research Scholarship for Doctoral Studies Abroad for the First Time
CoHE President Saraç noted that the "New CoHE" would send doctoral students, who were assigned to the "assistant researcher" positions in universities and were writing their theses, abroad to do research on their theses in priority fields determined by CoHE for a minimum of six months and a maximum of a year under the "YOK-YUDAB" program. He said that Turkish citizens who are working as a research assistant in a state university in accordance with Law No. 2547 and writing their thesis after taking doctoral courses in priority fields determined by the Council of Higher Education and passing the doctoral qualification exam successfully could apply provided that they have the following qualifications:
- "Applicants shall certify that they could do their research with their knowledge of the foreign language by getting at least 65 points from YOKDIL, YDS, E-YDS, UDS, KPDS or an international foreign language exam accepted as an equivalent foreign language exam by OSYM in the last five years.
- Male candidates must have completed their military service (They must have finished their military service, postponed their military duty or been in a situation to postpone their military duty.)
- Applicants must have started their doctoral studies in the last three years as of the date of application.
- Applicants must be accepted for a minimum of six months and a maximum of a year by a university which was ranked in the first 500 universities in the world university or field of study rankings carried out by the Times Higher Education, Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) and QS in the last three years."
CoHE President noted that applicants could apply to the Council of Higher Education directly and that CoHE is planning to offer this program to 400 research assistants every year. "Selected research assistants will get a scholarship worth between 2,500 TL and 3,500 TL, an amount that will be determined according to the country by the Council of Higher Education, and the Council of Higher Education will cover the round-trip tickets," he said.
Click here for more information on the program.
After the speech, CoHE President Saraç answered the questions of the press members.
CoHE Calls Universities for Development
March 2, 2018
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç stated that they decided to continue the Mission Differentiation and Specialization of Universities Aimed at Regional Development Project with new pilot universities and that they initiated the application process for universities in 38 provinces starting from March 2, 2018.
He noted that one of the most important agenda items of the new CoHE was to ensure that universities contributed more to the regions they are located in.
He said that universities played a key role in the development of their own regions, emphasizing the importance of the role of the universities in the development of the human resources and the socio-economic and cultural development of their regions.
He underscored that universities should fulfil their duties in the best way by establishing a good cooperation and synergy with the stakeholders in their regions and said, "One of the topics we attach importance to as the new CoHE is to ensure that Turkish universities are able to differentiate and specialize in specific fields by adapting their potentials and capacities according to the needs of their regions."
He reiterated that they had concluded the evaluation process for the determination of the names of the five pilot universities which were selected for the Mission Differentiation and Specialization of Universities Aimed at Regional Development Project, a project which CoHE had been carrying out in coordination with the Ministry of Development and with the contribution of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the names of these pilot universities at the opening ceremony for the 2016-2017 academic year on October 18, 2016.
He noted that Bingöl University, Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Düzce University, Kırşehir Ahi Evran Unversity and Uşak University were chosen as the pilot universities for the fields of agriculture and basin-based development, husbandry, health and environment, agriculture and geothermal energy and textile, leathermaking and ceramics respectively, and that they had launched the support and monitoring process for these universities.
The New Call Announced Today
He stated that they decided to expand the project and said:
"As a result of the discussions we had with our project partner, the Ministry of Development, we have reached a consensus on the expansion of the project with the addition of the new pilot universities. Therefore, we will announce a new call today. We will receive the declarations of intention from the related universities located in 38 provinces and determine the new pilot universities after evaluating their potentials, capacities, the fields of specialization focused on regional development for their regions, their capacities in those regions and future visions."
He emphasized that the Turkish state had been recently creating and implementing important policies and that this process was in accordance with the policies of the state such as the establishment of regional development administrations and regional agencies and the preparation of regional development plans. He added that they established a good cooperation and synergy with all stakeholders, notably the Ministry of Development.
"Mr. President has been watching and supporting this process and our other projects with a special interest since the beginning," he said.
Source: Anadolu Agency
Workshop Entitled “From Higher Education to Industry: Qualified Workforce” Takes Place at CoHE
March 1, 2018 / Ankara
The Council of Higher Education organized a workshop entitled "From Higher Education to Industry: Qualified Workforce" in order to discuss the current status of vocational schools with the participation of CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç.
OSYM President Prof. Dr. Mahmut Özer, who has worked at Tokat Vocational School of Gaziosmanpaşa University for a period of time, attended the meeting. In addition to CoHE Deputy Presidents Prof. Dr. M. İ. Safa Kapıcıoğlu and Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er, CoHE Executive Board members Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeliha Koçak Tufan, CoHE officials, CoHE Quality Council President Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Elmas, CoHE Audit Board President Prof. Dr. Gülfettin Çelik, members of the Audit Board, coordinators of vocational schools, vice rectors that are responsible for vocational schools, directors of vocational schools, representatives from the related public institutions, representatives from the chambers of commerce (TUSIAD, MUSIAD, TOBB), directors of vocational high schools, students of vocational schools and members of the working groups of vocational schools also attended the workshop.
The workshop aimed at developing the policies related to vocational schools. Topics such as the new trends in vocational training in the world, organized industrial zones (OIZ) and vocational schools, professional competence and expectations of the sector from vocational training were also discussed in the workshop.
The opinions of the students of vocational schools were taken for the first time. The results of the survey, which was carried out on 13,675 people, including academics, administrative staff and representatives from the sector, in order to determine the current status of vocational schools, were announced in the workshop.
CoHE President Saraç made the opening speech. In his speech, he noted that the 4-year undergraduate programs alone would not be sufficient to meet the human resources needed by the industry and the private sector for the economic development and international competitiveness of Turkey and underscored that they realized the importance of the graduates of vocational at that point.
CoHE President Saraç emphasized that some countries had recently started to develop special policies for vocational training after realizing the contribution of qualified vocational training to wealth and development. He pointed out that it was projected the wave of technological employment would be initiated in the world with the digital economy that would be created by the revolution of "Industry 4.0" and said that it was necessary to conduct strategical studies aimed at determining the jobs of the future in vocational training and training students to make them skillful in that field.
He said that, in line with these developments in the world, the main theme of studies related to vocational training was to determine the skills of each profession according to levels, to define the competencies and to develop lifelong learning in response to these new technological developments and added:
"Vocational training was considered important in the 10th Development Plan covering the years 2014-2018. The number of students that were receiving vocational training in 868 vocational schools was 2 million 566 thousand in 2017. This figure corresponds to approximately 30% of the number of students in higher education.
In 2017, the total number of teaching staff in Turkish vocational schools was around 19,000, of which 3,700 were faculty members. As a result, it was observed that there were 58 students per teaching staff in vocational schools. We think this number is quite high for vocational training that is based on skill training. As the new CoHE, we aim to increase the number of faculty members in the programs of vocational schools starting this year.
39% of the students who graduated from higher education institutions in 2017 graduated from the programs of vocational schools in Turkey. This ratio is quite above the OECD average of 17%."
He said that their priority aim would be quantity and quality in vocational training according to the statistical data and talked about the studies such as the cancellation of open admission which was carried out from vocational high schools to vocational schools, expanding the vertical transfer to 4-year undergraduate programs and prolonging the periods of state subsidy for students who are still doing internship and supplementary training. He emphasized that they established the Advisory Board for Higher Education Programs and that the board would make the quota planning more rational and participatory with the opinions of public and private sector stakeholders.
He noted that the Council of Higher Education carried out a survey in January 2018 in order to determine the current status and the fields of the main issues of vocational schools and to come up with suggestions for improving vocational schools and said, "We did a field study that consisted of academic and administrative staff of vocational schools and representatives from the sector as we believe that the opinions of these people are extremely important. 13,500 employees from vocational schools and 167 representatives from the sector participated in the survey. After analyzing the survey data, we have obtained some findings on the current status and the fields of the main issues of vocational schools and suggestions for improving vocational schools. Therefore, the studies to be carried out by the Council of Higher Education to improve vocational schools and the policies to be determined for this cause will be prepared according to the findings."
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)
Following the opening speech, Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz, CoHE Executive Board Member and Coordinator of the Commission on Vocational Schools, announced the results of the survey in which 13,675 people, including academics, administrative staff and representatives from the sector, participated to determine the current status of vocational schools.
Click here for the survey results. (In Turkish)
Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz moderated the first session entitled "The Relation between Vocational Training and the Sector: Opportunities and Obstacles".
In this session, Mehmet Ordukaya, Head of Testing and Certification Department of the Vocational Qualifications Authority, made a presentation entitled "National Qualifications System for a Qualified Workforce". A. Saygın Baban, General Director of TOBB Vocational Qualifications and Certifications Centers, made a presentation entitled "TOBB's Studies on Vocational Training and Expectations of the Private Sector of the Vocational Training System". Prof. Dr. Bilge Demir, faculty member at Karabük University and member of CoHE's Work Group on Vocational Schools, made a presentation entitled "The Relation between Vocational Schools and the Sector". Soner Erkek, Head of OIZ Implementation Department of the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, made a presentation entitled "Vocational Training and Organized Industrial Zones". Asst. Prof. Dr. Aslı Günay from the Council of Higher Education made a presentation entitled "Studies on Vocational Schools Established in Organized Industrial Zones".
The first session was concluded with a question and answer session. CoHE Executive Board Member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeliha Koçak Tufan moderated the second session entitled "Are Vocational Schools Ready for Industry 4.0?"
In this session, Prof. Dr. Orhan Aydın, member of CoHE Audit Board, made a presentation entitled "Vocational Training: New Trends". Prof. Dr. Serdar Yücesu, faculty member at Gazi University and member of CoHE's Work Group on Vocational Schools, made a presentation entitled "Are Students Ready for Qualified Workforce?" Prof. Dr. Adem Çiçek, faculty member at Yıldırım Beyazıt University and member of CoHE's Work Group on Vocational Schools, made a presentation entitled "Is Academic Staff Ready for the Qualified Workforce?" Prof. Dr. Bilgehan Gülcan, faculty member at Gazi University and member of CoHE's Work Group on Vocational Schools, made a presentation entitled "Do Vocational School Graduates Meet the Need of the Qualified Workforce in the Industry?" Prof. Dr. Mehmet Sarıbıyık, faculty member at Sakarya University and Coordinator of CoHE's Work Group on Vocational Schools, made a presentation entitled "Is the Infrastructure of Vocational Schools Sufficient for Training Qualified Graduates?"
Following the sessions, they had a question and answer session and made an overall assessment of the workshop.
After the overall assessment, Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz made a closing speech and shared the final declaration of the workshop with the participants.