19.03.2021

STATE​MENT

As is known, the Council of Higher Education has taken some decisions toprevent any adverse effects on students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Transfer procedures were made easier especially for Turkish citizens studying abroad so that they would not be affected negatively. These decisions were taken to prevent any adverse effects on students who were made to return home during the pandemic affecting the world, and to allow them to continue and complete their education in Turkey within the framework of the current legislation .

However, the complaints made to the Council and the news articles revealed that these decisions, which were taken with the best of intentions, were trespassed on by some people and circles. Following these complaints, the Council initiated an investigation, and as a result of the examinations made by the Higher Education Audit Board, it was found out that irregular transfers were made and that they were made "especially through some higher education institutions in Ukraine" .

Students, who want to get transferred from overseas universities to programs such as medicine, pharmacy and law in which the success ranking in Higher Education Institutions Exam (YKS) is required for enrollment and transfers from overseas universities, are not required to have that success ranking in case they are enrolled in higher education institutions that are placed in the top 1000 of the World University Rankings.

It became clear that some students chose some of the higher education institutions in Ukraine, which are among the top 1000 in the aforementioned rankings, to be exempted from the requirement of success ranking in transfers, that they enrolled in these higher education institutions through illegal means, and that they got transferred to Turkish higher education institutions without even spending a day in the relevant country after their enrollment.

It has also been reflected in the audit reports that some students enrolled in the programs, which do not have the requirement of success ranking for YKS, at some universities in TRNC before getting transferred to the related programs in Turkey which have the requirement of success ranking. For instance, it was observed that a candidate, who took the 231,000th place in the YKS success ranking, got transferred to the program of Law at a university in TRNC after enrolling in the program of Political Science and Public Administration. Afterwards, the candidate illegally got transferred to the program of Law at a foundation university in Istanbul. Unfortunately, it is possible to give similar examples.

The fact that transfers, which were offered to students with humanitarian motives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, being used as a way of circumvention of the YKS exam to gain an achievement that is against equal opportunity is harming the conscience of the community.

The students who were transferred without completing the required documents were also identified during the examinations. The universities were informed about all these issues. They were asked to act in accordance with the legislation in student transfers and complete the required documents immediately and to cancel the enrollment processes of students, who have made irregular transfers without proper documents or completing the required documents or were legally admitted to universities within the framework of the student admission quota for transfers from overseas universities, in accordance with the legislation provisions.

Such attempts are considered as the exploitation of our humane decisions which were taken to prevent any adverse effects on students studying abroad during the global pandemic. It should be known that the attempts to gain the right to illegally enroll especially in programs such as medicine, law and pharmacy that have the requirement of YKS success ranking by going against equal opportunity and being unjust to hundreds of thousands of young people, who have been preparing for the YKS exam for years and their efforts, will never be accepted and the necessary actions will be taken.

In this context, the Council has initiated action against some universities, and some universities have filed a criminal complaint to the prosecutor's offices against those responsible.

As the Council of Higher Education, we want it to be known that individuals and institutions that violate equity will not be tolerated, that the necessary actions will be taken to prevent this crime committed against our students who have entered the academia and universities fairly, and that the relevant audits and follow-ups will continue without compromise.