CoHE President Saraç Attends "Workshop on Regional Development and Universities"

February 1, 2018 / Necmettin Erbakan University-Konya


CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç and Development Minister Lütfi Elvan attended the ‘Workshop on Regional Development and Universities' held at Necmettin Erbakan University in order to discuss the contributions that the universities of the Regional University Association of the Konya Plain Project (UNIKOP) will make for the development of the region.


Before the workshop, CoHE President Saraç paid a visit to Konya Governor Yusuf Canpolat. Then, he had a meeting with the rectors of the UNIKOP universities. UNIKOP is consisted of Ahi Evran University, Aksaray University, Bozok University, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University, Kapadokya University, Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey University, Kırıkkale University, Konya Food and Agriculture University, KTO Karatay University, Necmettin Erbakan University, Niğde Ömer Halisdemir University ve Selçuk University.


Regional projects that have been carried out by CoHE and the Ministry of Development were discussed in the workshop. İhsan Bostancı, President of KOP Regional Development Administration, Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Şeker, Rector of Necmettin Erbakan University and Term President of UNIKOP, rectors and coordinators of the 12 UNIKOP universities, and regional development agencies also took part in the event.


In his opening speech, CoHE President Saraç said that Turkey's goal to become one of the 10 biggest economies in the world by 2023 could only be achieved with knowledge and qualified human resource, adding that it could be possible by having a competitive higher education system on a global scale.


"With the global developments in the field of higher education, topics such as the increase in the number and diversity of higher education institutions especially since the early 2000s, new technologies used in learning methods and various learning methods, national and international collaborations, student mobility, employability of graduates and university rankings now require higher education institutions to be more transparent, accountable and to take more responsibility at all levels," he said.


CoHE President pointed out that increasing the rate of access to higher education and schooling in Turkey was the most important issue that had to be dealt with before 2000. He stated that significant developments took place about that issue in terms of quantity between 2003 and 2014 and that they had witnessed a leap that could be named as horizontal expansion.


He noted that the next stage of this growth process, which has taken place in the Turkish higher education system in the last 10 years, is expansion in terms of quality and said:


"Globalization is one of the most important concepts that define the first quarter of the 21st century in terms of international political economy. As countries that are considered as rapidly-evolving and emerging powers countries like Turkey try to fulfill the requirements of globalized international studies, they aim to improve regional ties-one of the important steps in globalization- and regional development and ensure integration in this field.


The influence of universities on sustainable development is spreading not only in their region, but also in their neighboring regions. It appears that universities tend to become global and regional by keeping up with global developments and focusing on regional issues as they establish ties with the regions. Increasing the influence of universities on regional economy and social structure is defined as the "3rd role". This concept is, indeed, a significant view that has emerged in the last decade. The main objective is to research, implement and share the information, experience and expertise that are based on mutual advantage. In other words, universities are expected to become the key actors in regional development.


In this context, we have gathered here today with 11 universities from eight provinces, KOP Regional Development Administration and local development agencies. As the Council of Higher Education, we would like to express our determination to be more planned and comprehensive to carry out projects on sustainable regional development through shared wisdom, interaction and cooperation with the 10,578 faculty members and academic staff of these 11 universities and to undertake studies for analysis and syntheses for the future.


Mr. President gave instructions for the establishment of a new state university in Konya that will operate in the technical field last week. We started to work on it."


Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)


After the opening speeches, the General Secretariat of UNIKOP, KOP Regional Development Administration and development agencies made presentations and the coordinators of UNIKOP universities made their suggestions on the topic.


CoHE President Saraç read out the declaration entitled ‘Conclusions and Suggestions' in the last part of the workshop called "Final Declaration of General Evaluation".


Click here for the Final Declaration of the Workshop on Regional Development and Universities.