Opening Ceremony of 2018-2019 Academic Year Takes Place at Presidential Palace
October 3, 2018 / Presidential Palace-Ankara
The opening ceremony of the 2018-2019 academic year took place under the auspices of CoHE, and with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Palace.
The "CoHE Excellence Awards", the first academia awards in the history of higher education, were given out for the second time at the ceremony which was held at the Beştepe National Congress and Culture Center located at the Presidential Palace.
About 2,000 people including the rectors of all universities, related ministers, directors of related institutions, ambassadors, senior government officials, and some academics and students attended the ceremony.
The ceremony started with the concert of the Presidential Classical Turkish Music Choir. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç made speeches in the opening ceremony.
CoHE President Saraç began his speech by stating that they were honored to hold the opening ceremony in the presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the respectable ministers and top officials and added that he hoped that the opening ceremonies of the next academic years would be also held at the Presidential Palace. He emphasized that it was of high importance for the Turkish government institutions to work in unity under the leadership of the President so that Turkey, the only hope of many nations and countries that have been exploited for ages, could ensure victory in her endeavor against injustice while standing with justice.
He reiterated that they, as the Council of Higher Education, had planned and completed a lot of projects in the last four years by taking into account the priorities of Turkey and the global trends and said, "The presidential system provides an effective, smooth and quick operation ability within our higher education system. With the benefits of the new system, we, as the Council of Higher Education, aim to promote the goal of ‘Powerful Turkey' by turning the new legal arrangements on higher education into an opportunity and building a higher education based on continuous improvement towards perfection."
CoHE President noted that all projects, decisions and plans of CoHE promote the goal of a great and powerful Turkey that is independent in every field. He touched on the significance of the fact that they had successfully accomplished many projects, as they believed that the development of Turkey would only be possible through "high-quality knowledge" and "qualified human resources".
He noted that while other countries had been pursuing structural changes to promote mission differentiation and popularizing the research university model for the last 20 years, Turkey continued to adopt the one-type university model. "As the Council of Higher Education, we have started out the process upon your instruction and leadership and pioneered the legal processes and reshaped Turkish higher education around the "specialization" and "mission differentiation" concepts. We have identified the research universities of our country with a dynamic structure instead of a static one," said CoHE President, addressing the President.
He reiterated that another specialization strategy was the identification of Turkish regional development universities by drawing the newly-established universities to the competitive arena and that five universities were selected to contribute to their regions by intensifying their activities in the fields of agriculture, livestock farming, geothermal, textile, and ceramic the previous year. He talked about the four main projects, namely "Mission Differentiation and Specialization Aimed at Regional Development Project", "100/2000 Doctoral Scholarship Programme", "Establishment of Quality Board" and "Internationalization in Higher Education", in which they had made structural changes in higher education.
He emphasized that the principal focus of education and training is on the student and said that they had initiated scholarship programs such as "CoHE Achievement Scholarships" and "CoHE-TEBIP Honours Classes" that are unique, success-based, and care about their national priorities.
"CoHE has been in a new and innovative path for the last four years. It has carried out many projects. We have introduced many new notions like specialization, priority areas, mission differentiation, target-based internationalisation, vertical growth, independent quality council, research universities, regional development targeted universities to the scientific and educational environment of our country and we have given life to these notions. We are working to change, not to be changed. We are changing the standard university model, the method of student and faculty exchange programs, and we are prioritizing some areas while attributing equal value to all scientific fields. Through an innovative approach, we are changing the scholarship programs conducted in the same manner for decades; we are changing the concept and format of doctoral degree via the doctoral programs at the national level.
Today is a new day. In order not to repeat ourselves, we set new goals and topics. This year's topic will be open access and open innovation studies considering the new transition in universities to keep up with the current digital era, and correspondingly, paying attention to the studies of world universities. We want our students to have a certain digital literacy level. We started to plan using the facilities of digitalization in many fields of higher education and transmitting the power of digitalization to every social layer. We want to achieve technological independence.
We will accelerate the digital transformation studies with a big project this year. I am sure that we will have your strong support to this project as was the case for the previous ones."
He reiterated that they had infinite belief that their academic community would contribute enormously to their national development and support their technological independence move under the leadership and support of the President and said, "Once again, I would like to emphasize in the presence of Your Highness that, being fully aware of their national history, protecting our nation's values, getting strength from their faith, and being open to the world, our higher education institutions will work harder today than yesterday to educate patriotic youth walking under the light of science, and will show the maximum effort to reach the 2023 targets you have set."
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)
President Erdoğan began his speech by wishing the best for all academics and students in the new academic year and added that their goal was to establish and install a system whereby the students would be able to get into a university without receiving private support from any organization or person other than the lessons at their schools.
President Erdoğan noted that the Turkish higher education system is at a very high level. "We have even crossed the borders of our country. There are 7 million 611 thousand students in Turkey. I asked about the number of enrolled students in Germany last week. ‘Three million,' they said. They have more inhabitants than us. We need to have more than two universities among the top 500 universities in the world. I want our lecturers to work more towards this goal. I hope we will have more universities in that ranking," he said.
President Erdoğan stated that the cram school system was completely abolished in Turkey and added: "Our citizens do not have to sell their cattle and bracelets to send their children to cram schools anymore. We will never allow parallel education systems."
"We will increase the amount of student loans next year"
President Erdoğan said that there are almost 640 thousand beds in the dormitories, which were established to solve housing problems, and said, "Our students always ask for a scholarship. Why don't you want to get student loans? It is also advantageous for you. These loans are given on condition that they pay them back after finding a job. I have some good news for students. We will increase the amount of student loans next year. We increased the amount of scholarship to 500 TL for bachelor's degree, 1000 TL for master's degree and 1500 for doctoral degree."
Highlighting Turkey's desire to launch a massive technology initiative through the Digital Transformation Office and with the support of the universities and private sector, President Erdoğan added that they also would establish career centers in all universities. "These centers, which will guide university students in their careers starting from their first year of study at university, will work in cooperation with the real sector," he said.
He emphasized that they also planned to carry out, through the Human resources Office, works that closely concern the future of university students. He underlined that moving into the talent management system will be the first step they will take in this scope.
He stated that they will ensure the most talented university graduates to be employed in the public or private sector by providing them with exclusive career opportunities and said, "We want to establish a centralized standard for foreign language education. To that end, the language proficiency exams of universities could be carried out through ÖSYM."
CoHE President Saraç and some students from Ankara University, Ankara University of Music And Fine Arts University, Atılım University, Ege University, Fırat University, Sabahattin Zaim Siirt University and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University presented a bouquet of flowers to President Erdoğan on behalf of all students.
Following the presentation of the flowers, the award ceremony of the "CoHE Excellence Awards", which the Council of Higher Education realized for the first time in the 2017-2018 academic year in order to encourage the studies, projects, theses and activities related to community service of universities that are carried out through scientific studies, was held for the second time.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç presented the awards. They were given in two categories: Individual Awards and Institutional Awards. The Individual Awards were givenin social and human sciences, science and engineering andhealth sciences. The Institutional Awards were given incommunity service, regional development,university-private sector and international cooperation.
Following the award ceremony, CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç presented a calligraphy work of a Quranic verse, which shows the importance that Islam places on science, and the book "The History of Osmanoğulları" by Âşık Paşazâde to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The book is the first book on Ottoman history by a known author and was prepared by CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç.
Palestine’s Academic Staff to be Trained in Turkey
September 14, 2018
- The Council of Higher Education decided to provide scholarships for Palestinian students for undergraduate and doctoral studies in Turkey in order to meet the need for academic staff in their country.
- The fields of study in which the students will have their undergraduate and doctoral studies were determined according to the needs of Palestine and in coordination with Palestine.
- Palestinian students who will benefit from the scholarships will perform compulsory service at Al-Aqsa University, Palestine Technical University and Al-Quds University.
- CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er: "In addition to Palestine, we also provide scholarships for students from Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Macedonia, Pakistan-Kashmir, Rwanda, Sudan and Ukraine within the scope of YÖK Scholarships."
The Council of Higher Education decided to provide scholarships for Palestinian students for undergraduate and doctoral studies in Turkey in order to meet the need for academic staff in their country.
The memorandum of understanding signed for cooperation between the CoHE and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Palestine paved the way for Palestinian students to benefit from YÖK Scholarships.
- Scholarships will be offered for the benefit of the country, not for the benefit of individuals
The Council of Higher Education decided to provide scholarships for 20 undergraduate and 18 doctoral students from Palestine for the first time within the scope of "YÖK Scholarships", which is offered to international students. The fields of study in which the students will have their undergraduate and doctoral studies were determined in coordination with Palestine according to the needs of Palestine. These scholarships were offered for the benefit of the country, not for the benefit of individuals
- They will work in their country after graduation
As required by the rules of YÖK Scholarships, students will return to their country after graduation and perform compulsory service for twice the amount of their period of study in Turkey.
Out of the Palestinian students who will receive the doctoral scholarship, nine of them will perform compulsory service at Al-Aqsa University. Six of them will perform their compulsory service at Palestine Technical University and three of them will perform their compulsory service at Al-Quds University. Students will submit a letter of undertaking to the authorities of both countries.
- Students will receive scholarships for 12 months a year throughout their period of study
CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er said, "Students will receive the YÖK Scholarships for 12 months a year throughout their period of study. The Council of Higher Education will cover the expenses of housing of students in KYK dormitories, their health insurance, tuition fees and stipends. In addition to Palestine, we also give scholarships to students from Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Macedonia, Pakistan-Kashmir, Rwanda, Sudan and Ukraine within the scope of YÖK Scholarships."
- The Council of Higher Education will provide academic support to Palestine
Following the developments in Jerusalem, the Council of Higher Education announced that they would support the access of Palestinian youth to higher education and the academic studies of the universities in Palestine in a press conference held on May 17 and launched an initiative about the issue.
In this context, the Council of Higher Education and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Palestine signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on 6 June.
Workshop on Graduate Education in Educational Sciences and Teacher Training Held
September 22, 2018 / Ankara
CoHE organized the "Workshop on Graduate Education in Educational Sciences and Teacher Training" which was hosted by the Faculty of Education Hacettepe University on September 22-23.
Prof. Dr. Haluk Özen, Rector of Hacettepe University, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman, CoHE Executive Board member, and Prof. Dr. Mustafa Safran, Deputy Minister of National Education, made a speech at the opening of the workshop.
189 faculty members from 41 faculties of education sciences, 29 directors of educational sciences institutes and experts from the Ministry of National Education participated in the workshop.
Hacettepe University Rector Prof. Dr. Haluk Özen expressed satisfaction that they were hosting the meeting on two important topics, education and teacher training.
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Safran, Deputy Minister of National Education, said that the Minister of National Education and faculties of education would carry out the studies on the professional development of teachers.
Safran noted that they cared about the support of the faculties of education on the topic and said, "We will structure teacher trainings with the Ministry of National Education, CoHE and the faculties of education. We will hold a meeting with CoHE soon. We will inform CoHE officials of the projects of the Ministry of National Education. We will carry out the studies on teacher training in accordance with this protocol."
"Everyone should shoulder responsibility"
CoHE Executive Board member Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman firstly talked about the arrangements of CoHE in the field of teacher training and the reasons for organizing the workshop.
Şişman shared the actual data on the faculties, programs, undergraduate and graduate students, academic staff, meetings and congresses, journals, articles, papers, dissertations, the number of books in the fields of educational sciences and teacher training. He described the expansion and growth in higher education as horizontal expansion and underlined that they were aiming for vertical expansion, which is the expansion of higher education in terms of quality.
"President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphasized the improvement of teacher training and the quality of teachers in the speech he made at the opening ceremony of the 2017-2018 academic year. We must discuss this topic and make an effective action plan," said Mehmet Şişman.
Şişman mentioned the workshops and panels conducted by CoHE and expressed his discomfort in not receiving any exciting ideas and projects on the topic from education scientists.
He noted that there had been a positive atmosphere with high expectations after Ziya Selçuk assumed the position of National Education Minister with his staff, and said that everyone should work through and shoulder responsibility in order to sustain the positive atmosphere and work for the benefit of the education system.
He also talked about the works the New CoHE had done about the faculties of education and teacher training and said, "We restructured the departments and updated the undergraduate teaching programs. We determined minimum scores for teaching programs. We have gradually started to close down the evening programs. We have changed the score types of some programs and started to reduce the number of quotas."
He stated that teacher training needs to be considered under two headings, namely pre-service and in-service training and added: "Out of one million teachers working at MEB, 1.43% of them graduated from graduate schools. %2.24 of them are associate degree graduates, 87.36% of them are bachelor's degree graduates, 9.29% of them are master's degree graduates and 0.14% of them are doctoral graduates."
The detailed report will be shared with the public
Following the opening speeches, sessions under seven main themes and 34 headings were held.
The two-day workshop included the following topics: "Standards for graduate programs in the fields of teacher training", "Graduate programs based on distance education", "Postgraduate education-training processes", "Interinstitutional cooperation and mobility in graduate education", "Topics of research, thesis and projects and their writing process", "Accreditation in graduate programs" and "Employment of graduates of teacher training programs".
The reports prepared by 34 working groups on the issues and opportunities of graduate education in the fields of educational sciences and teacher training were discussed in the closing session of the workshop.
The report of the workshop will shared with the public in the upcoming days.
Source: Anadolu Agency
Introductory Meeting for Eğitim-Bir-Sen’s “A Look at Higher Education 2018 Monıtoring and Evaluation Report”
September 12, 2018 / Ankara
CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Mehmet ŞİŞMAN:
- "As the new CoHE, we have carried out and developed many projects that could be considered as a first for our country. However, I couldn't see these projects in the report."
- "While we were doing the right things for our country, we received populist criticisms, but we did not see some of our other stakeholders, including the union, next to us as we took a stance on quality."
- "As the new CoHE, we realized the CoHE 100/2000 Project, taking into account the need for highly qualified manpower in the priority fields of Turkey. We did not see any statements regarding this project in the report."
- "We prepared reports on many subjects, published books, booklets, periodicals and shared them with the public. However, we did not see any of them in the references listed in the report."
- "As the new CoHE, we provided scholarships to every successful student, regardless of their level of study or nationality."
- "We are above the EU average in terms of female academics and students in higher education. In today's world where the ratio of female academics has decreased, 44% of academic staff in our country is comprised of women. The same ratio applies to students."
- "In addition to graduate programs aimed at training teaching staff in Turkey, we continue to send students to study especially in the fields of study that are strategically important for the country within the scope of the YLYS, in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education. We have to give credit to the Ministry of National Education in this regard. There is an exceptionally good coordination between the Council of Higher Education and the Ministry of National Education."
- "As a result of the improvements made on the programs of vocational schools in the quota planning for 2018, we prepared a rational plan in order to improve the quality of manpower needed by the industry, and the placement results of the 2016 ÖSYS have confirmed that we were spot-on with the planning."
- "We classify universities according to their achievements, reward the successful faculty members with the academic incentive system and reward students according to their achievements."
- "Turkey is increasingly becoming a center of attraction in higher education in the region."
- "A workshop on 29 disciplines in the fields of educational sciences and teacher training will be held under the coordination of the Council of Higher Education next week. The various aspects of postgraduate education in these fields and the preliminary reports will be discussed in the workshop."
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman. (In Turkish)
Placement Results Announced For Bachelor’s Degree Completion In Health Sciences And Theology
September 12, 2018
The application and selection procedures regarding bachelor's degree completion in health sciences and theology, which were initiated on August 9, 2018, were completed on August 17, 2018.
The Council of Higher Education carried out the placement procedures for both programs in line with the grade point averages of applicants which they earned in associate degree programs and their university of choice.
Applicants who graduated from the associate degree programs in theology were given the right to complete their bachelor's degree in theology for the first time this year. In this context, those who graduated from the associate degree programs in theology before May 18, 2018, including the employees of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, applied for bachelor's degree completion. The total number of quotas determined for the Bachelor's Degree Completion Program in Theology is 9,574 and all of these quotas were used.
Those who graduated from the associate degree programs in health sciences before November 19, 2014, applied to the bachelor's degree completion program, which has been carried out since 2015. The total number of quotas determined for the 2018 Bachelor's degree completion program is 46,372 and 23,516 of these quotas were used.
The enrollment process will begin on September 13, 2018, and will be carried out by the relevant universities by end of business on September 20, 2018.
The placement results were announced in the "Announcements" section at http://www.yok.gov.tr.