CoHE President Saraç Introduces Online Application System for Equivalence and Recognition
February 6, 2018 / Ankara
The Council of Higher Education has previously launched the "Inquiry for Application of Equivalence" system, allowing students who graduated from universities abroad to check the progress related to the procedures for the equivalence and recognition of their diplomas. It has also launched a brand-new system that simplifies the procedures for applicants, shortens the application process and reduce the application costs.
In this context, the "Online Application System", which was launched in order for applicants to apply for equivalence and recognition of their diplomas obtained abroad through the e-State portal, was introduced in the press conference held at the Council of Higher Education.
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç chaired the press conference and Prof. Dr. M. İ. Safa Kapıcıoğlu, Deputy President of CoHE, Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz, Executive Board member of CoHE, CoHE officials and press members from the leading media outlets attended the meeting.
CoHE President Saraç delivered a speech at the opening of the press conference. He noted that that they had restructured the recognition and equivalence services in order to reduce the costs applicants pay for the recognition and equivalence of the diplomas they have obtained abroad, shorten the application process and expedite reverse brain drain.
He reiterated that the procedures for the recognition and equivalence of Associate's degree, Bachelor's degree and Master's degree diplomas obtained abroad were previously carried out by the "Equivalence Unit" and said, "Due to the expansion of the fields of activity of the unit and the increasing demand for equivalence, we have reorganized this unit as a department at the end of 2017. We transferred the duties related to the European Network of Information Centers (ENIC-NARIC) to this department."
CoHE President stated that there was only a document for equivalence and that the Council of Higher Education introduced a document for recognition for higher education for the first time in 2016. He noted that the Council of Higher Education released a more extensive and simpler regulation called the ‘Regulation on Recognition and Equivalence of Foreign Higher Education Diplomas' in December 2017 in place of the legislation that was not sufficient enough for equivalence for 2014 and prior years, after taking into consideration the global developments and changes.
President Saraç said that the Council of Higher Education implemented some new rules in 2017 in order to make the procedures for equivalence easy for those who are from countries such as Syria, Libya, Yemen and Crimea where there is a war, occupation or annexation and that the Council of Higher Education facilitated the procedures for these applicants in case they could not submit the necessary documents to the Council of Higher Education or their diplomas were not verified. He emphasized that this implementation set an example for many countries in Europe.
He noted that the Department of Recognition and Equivalence Services had been in contact with the countries in the project by taking part in the projects that are financed and coordinated by the ENIC/NARIC located in the UK, Nuffic (Education Internationalization Center) located in the Netherlands and the European Commission and said:
"As the Council of Higher Education, we have been striving to prevent the applicants to be affected negatively during the evaluation period of the increasing number of recognition and equivalence applications which were nearly 14,000 in 2017. Therefore, we have carried out projects to find ways to shorten the evaluation of the equivalence process and to conduct academic evaluation without compromising on quality in a short period of time.
Accordingly, the website of the Department of Recognition and Equivalence Services was renewed according to the global developments and changes. The tests for the e-State system and online equivalence application services on the official website of the Council of Higher Education were completed successfully in January 2018.
Starting today, equivalence applications will be made online via the e-State system. A separate application portal was created for foreign nationals that do not have an e-state password. They will apply online through this portal. Applications received after February 16 will not be accepted. Only the equivalence applications of those who came from countries where there is a war, occupation or annexation will be accepted by hand at our institution."
CoHE President Saraç said that the two main factors which make the process for diploma equivalence longer are the process for the determination of academic proficiency level and the process for the confirmation of the university where the diploma was issued at. He added that they made important improvements to get rid of technical and administrative issues.
He noted that the Council of Higher Education granted equivalence to an average percentage of 72% of the diplomas over the past three years, adding that they granted equivalence to some areas of profession including 1005 equivalence approvals for medicine, 820 equivalence approvals for engineering, 241 equivalence approvals for law and 209 equivalence approvals for architecture.
He stated that 31.4% of the equivalence approval was granted to those graduating from the universities in Europe and the States and the remaining was granted to those graduating from the other universities around the world in 2017 and concluded his speech by saying, "We can say that there is currently a reverse brain drain towards Turkey. 2215 foreign nationals applied for equivalence in 2017 and 1491 of them were granted equivalence."
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)
After CoHE President Saraç's speech, CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz briefed on the system and made a demonstration of the system.
Click here for the fact sheet on the application online system. (In Turkish)
Click here for the steps of the application online system. (In Turkish)