First Higher Education Consultation Meeting to Be Held in Turkey

July 2, 2021 / Ankara

The Council of Higher Education (CoHE) started working on organizing the “ 1st Higher Education Consultation Meeting” in which various subjects and issues related to higher education will be discussed and the agreed proposals will be submitted to CoHE. A correspondence with the signature of CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç including preliminary information about the meeting and proposal requests was sent to all related stakeholders.

- The agenda of the meeting will be determined with the stakeholders

In the correspondence addressed to the senior managers of the relevant public institutions and organizations, and various professional organizations, it was stated that one of the issues that CoHE had been working on for a long time was the organization of a "Higher Education Consultation Meeting" for the first time in our country with the participation of the stakeholders, and that the agenda of the "1st Higher Education Consultation Meeting" which would be held with broad participation in November would be shaped according to the proposals coming from these institutions and organizations.

- Setting the agenda in order of priority

It was noted that it was preferred for the consultation meeting to be a ground where broad agreements, which could be implemented in a short time and would trigger perceptible improvements in the system, could sprout, rather than a ground for design, draft, intellectual approaches and visions, and ideologically-based sterile discussions for higher education. It was especially emphasized that a limited number of topics should be discussed in detail after they were chosen from the priority issues and challenges for our country and that results should be produced even though there were so many topics that could be discussed in higher education.

- Possible topics and subtopics of discussions

It was stated that stakeholders could suggest subtopics such as organization and management of higher education, access to higher education and disadvantaged groups, quality and accreditation in higher education, flexibility and diversity, accountability and transparency, scientific freedom and administrative autonomy, education/learning environments and methods, distance education and digital transformation, open science and open access, merit and competence in academia, academic leadership, internationalization, education, research, science and professional ethics under the main topics such as current discussions on higher education, human resources, institutional structure, processes, culture and climate.

- The agenda of the consultation meeting will be determined after the suggestions of the stakeholders are collected and posted

After the suggestions are classified and evaluated, they will be posted on CoHE’s website and the agenda will be finalized in line with the suggestions and feedback.

- The consultation meeting is a manifestation of the New CoHE's principle of “participation in higher education”

It was stated in the correspondence that the New CoHE was aware of its duties and responsibilities on higher education granted by laws and emphasized that it was acting in a plan and philosophical perspective with the understanding of "constant development”. It was also noted that CoHE was trying to lead the development of the system academically and administratively.

Considering that the New CoHE adopted the idea that educational institutions belong to the society and exist to serve the society, concepts such as delegation of authority in higher education, sharing of power, and co-management were emphasized, and it was also reiterated that legislation arrangements and processes related to delegation of authority were continued.

- The consultation meeting will be the first initiative seeking participation in the broadest framework in Turkish higher education

Finally, the Council underlined that the 1st Higher Education Consultation Meeting, which is desired to be a process that seeks the better with a broad consensus in higher education, would also be the first initiative seeking participation in the widest framework in the history of Turkish higher education. It was stated that the contributions of the stakeholders were extremely important for the success of the meeting and that all stakeholders were encouraged to contribute to the process.

The institutions and organizations whose participation and contributions are requested: Universities, relevant ministries, relevant commission members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, representatives of political parties, TÜBA, TÜBITAK, Higher Education Quality Board, ÖSYM, Turkish National Agency, YTB, Atatürk Supreme Council for Culture, Language and History, trade unions, chambers of industry and commerce, professional chambers, non-governmental organizations and students selected according to the objective criteria to be determined by the Council of Higher Education by taking into account the field differences and university diversity.

- The meeting will be held in November

CoHE asked the institutions to submit their opinions by July 27, 2021. The preparations for the meeting will begin with the gathering of opinions from the stakeholders. These opinions will be classified and posted. The agenda of the meeting will be determined as a result of the opinions of all relevant parties. After the agenda items are discussed in different sessions, the proposals regarding the issues will be submitted to the General Assembly of CoHE for evaluation and implementation.