Higher Education Qualifications Framework
In 2006, Council of Higher Education (CoHE), which is the responsible body for higher education in Turkey, has taken decision to set up NQF in line with QF-EHEA. In order to set the agenda and organize the process, a national committee was set up by the CoHE on April 28, 2006.
The Committee initially consisted of a core group of four members: one member from the CoHE, one Rector, the President of the National Commission for Academis Assessment and Quality Improvement in Higher Education (YODEK) and the Chairman of the Executive Board of a non-governmental organization, Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV). At that stage of development, it was agreed that the definitions on qualifications and competences, which are set up at the Overarching Qualifications Framework for EHEA based on Dublin descriptors, would be applied in Turkey. Accordingly, the Committee drafted the level descriptors compatible with those of the EHEA first, second and third cycles as well as the short cycle. In April 2007, first cycle of consultation process has started. First draft version of level descriptors was sent to all universities and other related stakeholders (national student union, the National Ministry of Education, NGOs business world including employers and trade associations) and relevant feedbacks were included in the descriptors. The subject was also on the agenda of the National Team of Bologna Promoters and it was open to discussion in a series of meetings with participants from teaching staff of universities, students and other stakeholders.
In July 2008, the number of the members of the initial Committee was increased to nine involving more representatives of the CoHE and also an advisory working group on NQF comprising of 13 members from academic staff of universities has been established. Based on the discussions and feedbacks from the stakeholders and new developments in the fields, both groups decided to redefine the degree structure of higher education based on learning outcomes and make qualifications and awards provided in each level more transparent and conceivable within the contexts of both overarching EQFs (EQF-LLL and QF-EHEA)
Since qualifications within the Turkish Higher Education System includes all vocational qualifications at the level of short cycle which is strongly linked to vocational education at secondary education and some high-level vocational qualifications at first, second and third cycles, it was decided to adopt EQF level descriptors as a referencing process and currently all levels and profiles within each layer of higher education are being reviewed within the context of the EQF-LLL. It was also agreed within the Commission and Working Group that this would facilitate life long learning at every level from primary to higher education including vocational education and lead to have a one single NQF in the future. This work will be finalised by the end of November 2008.
The committee and the working group are now planning to start the second stage of consultation process with stakeholders mentioned above plus more from government and different sectors of business and trade unions.
Consultation process is planned to be completed before 2009 and approval by CoHE in March 2009, followed by administrative setting up procedures for implementation thereafter.