TOBB Turkey Higher Education Council Meeting Takes Place at CoHE

September 30, 2021 / Ankara ​

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Turkey Higher Education Council Meeting was held with the participation of CoHE President Prof. Erol Özvar at CoHE.

TOBB President, Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, CoHE Executive Board members, TOBB Board members, President of TOBB Turkey Higher Education Council, Bekir Okan, and the administrators of foundation universities attended the meeting.

They discussed the various aspects of higher education and the current situation of foundation universities with the administrators of foundation higher education institutions that are the members of the Council.

In his opening speech, CoHE President Erol Özvar stated that the fact that universities are the essential components of economic and social development was better understood and talked about how universities would contribute to economic and social developments.

He said that making the employment capacity of the human capital and young population of the country more qualified and showing ways, methods and capacities to outclass the global economic competition were the duties of universities in economic growth and development.

Özvar said that universities should increase their scientific knowledge and expand R&D and innovation activities to carry out these duties and noted that universities needed to ensure quality assurance in education to do their part. He also pointed out the importance of improving scientific production at universities, employment and promotion of academic staff, prioritizing the investments that will improve university-industry cooperation and giving affirmative action to universities prioritizing such investments.

- "We do not discriminate between state and foundation universities”

Özvar emphasized that they did not discriminate between state and foundation universities when realizing these processes and said, “We do not discriminate between state and foundation universities in terms of education, university-industry cooperation, R&D and innovation. We do not think that it is right to distribute workloads.”

He said that there were around 700 thousand students at foundation universities as of the 2020-2021 academic year and that they believed this figure could increase with the new admissions in the new academic year. “We want to hear that foundation universities have important duties not only in training students at undergraduate and associate degree level but also in increasing the scientific capacity of Turkey.”

Özvar said that they would discuss the expectations, issues and current conditions of foundation higher education institutions and added, “Around 90 percent of academic staff have been vaccinated. The vaccination rate of students has reached 70 percent.”

They continued the meeting as a closed-door meeting. The representatives of foundation universities conveyed their opinions and wishes on the higher education system to CoHE President Özvar.