CoHE’s Framework Regulation on Applied Training in Higher Education Published

June 17, 2021

The Regulation will contribute to the employability of university graduates

When the national and international data are examined, it is observed that there is a relation between education level and employment. However, according to the data of OECD for 2019, the employment rate of university graduates aged 25 to 64 was 73,6% percent for Turkey while this rate was 85,6% for the OECD average. We published this regulation to increase this rate. Increasing this rate is one of our main goals and we believe that it will contribute significantly to steady economic growth.

The Council of Higher Education prepared the “Framework Regulation on Applied Training in Higher Education​” to enable university students to develop professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors, to get to know the sector, to adapt to business life, to gain professional experience, and to be trained in a real production and service environment. The regulation also aims to increase the employment rates of graduates, to contribute to the effective and efficient use of Turkey’s resources, to train manpower with the required qualifications, to strengthen the education-industry cooperation, to realize the goals included in the top policy document, to fulfill the duties given by the laws and to solve the problems arising from the legislative gap.

The regulation was prepared with a participatory approach

The regulation was prepared with the contribution of many of our stakeholders, especially Turkish universities. The opinions of Turkish universities, relevant public institutions, ministries in particular, and private sector representatives such as TESK, TOBB, TÜSIAD, and MÜSIAD were collected. Subsequently, CoHE made it open for the opinions and proposals of the public and finalized the document according to these opinions and proposals.

There is an important emphasis on increasing applied training in top policy documents

It is known that applied training will make significant contributions to the development of professional skills of future professionals. The importance of applied training is emphasized in many top policy documents, especially in the Eleventh Development Plan, and aims, goals, strategies and indicators have been published to increase the intensity of applied training in higher education.

We aim to increase the share of high-tech manufacturing products based on advanced skills in exports by increasing the quality of applied training

Many studies reveal that there is a positive relation between the share of high-tech manufacturing products in exports and the economic growth rates of countries, and that this situation has a positive effect on other sectors. According to the World Bank data, while this rate was 3.04% for Turkey in 2019, the average for OECD countries was 17.99%. In addition, Turkey is ranked 90th among 122 countries in the world with this rate. For a country with a large economy like Turkey, it is essential to increase this rate. Therefore, we are also aware that Turkish universities have a great responsibility at this point. Qualified workforce, which is the fundamental need in the production of high-tech products, is required to have good knowledge of the current practices, blend the current theoretical knowledge with the application skills and have a command of theoretical knowledge in the field. Turkish universities are trying their best to fulfill their duties.

We want to strengthen university-industry cooperation by increasing the number of applied training courses

Education-industry cooperation is an extremely important topic for training higher education graduates competent in their fields. Students trained through education-industry cooperation can make a high-level contribution to their professional fields by synthesizing theoretical and applied knowledge and take an active role in making the production and organization processes in the relevant sectors effective and efficient. In addition, it is considered that these collaborations would help the knowledge and human resources at universities and the experience and infrastructure of the industry come together. It is also evaluated that this interaction could have a multiplier effect on production.

Universities will regulate their legislations as earliest as possible

The regulation determines the general procedures and principles regarding the applied training courses provided in formal vocational training programs at associate and undergraduate level in the fields of engineering, health, educational sciences, science, arts, sports and social sciences in higher education institutions. Higher education institutions will prepare their legislations as earliest as possible according to the Framework Regulation and make the necessary arrangements in their other legislations.

The regulation will make a significant contribution to many topics, especially quality.

It is considered that the regulation will make valuable contributions to increase the quality of workforce that will contribute to Turkey’s capacity to compete at the international level, to increase employment rates, to ensure the ability to produce value-added products, to strengthen university-industry cooperation, and to train higher education students in real business environments.

We put an end to the confusion of concepts about applied training courses

Before the regulation was published, applied training in higher education institutions was conceptualized in different definitions. Another point was the lack of clear boundaries between definitions. It was observed that this situation affected the society's conceptualization of applied training. The regulation defined the types of applied training and determined their boundaries. We believe that these concepts will be adopted by the public in a short time. Types of applied training determined by the regulation; 1- Vocational training in business, 2- Internship and 3- Applied course.

Fees and insurance premiums to be paid under the Framework Regulation on Applied Training in Higher Education

Conceptual problems have arisen about the insurance of students against occupational accidents and diseases, and payment of wages within the scope of the applied training courses. Lawsuits were frequently filed against higher education institutions and sector representatives. From now on, students will be paid the fees they deserve and be insured against occupational accidents and diseases. Sector representatives will also know under which applied training courses they are required to make payments.

Ambiguity about the wages to be paid to academic staff for applied training will be eliminated

Due to the legislative gap, there were problems with the workload fees to be paid to academic staff for applied training. There were negative evaluations for many universities due to this situation in the reports of the Turkish Court of Accounts. In order to avoid these problems, higher education institutions even took negative decisions, such as removing applied training courses in some programs from their course schedules. This problem was solved with the regulation. With the determination of the workloads to be imposed on academic staff in applied training, the application differences between higher education institutions were eliminated.

We believe that the reforms brought by the Framework Regulation on Applied Training in Higher Education such as the remedial rights brought to students, the environments that will enable them to grow up in a more competitive environment and the increase of their employability will make positive contributions to the system. The support given by Turkish universities and all sectors of our economy to the implementation of this regulation will support the development of our country.

The personnel at Turkish universities will be given courses on the implementation of the framework regulation and informed of necessary information. In addition, the vocational training programs to be included within the scope of Law No. 3308 and this regulation will be determined as earliest as possible and shared with the public.