CoHE President Özvar Attends Western Black Sea Universities Association Meeting

October 18, 2021 / Bolu

Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University hosted the meeting of the Western Black Sea Universities Association with the participation of CoHE President Prof. Erol Özvar.

CoHE President Erol Özvar headed the meeting. The rectors of Bartın University, Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University, Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University, Bursa Technical University, Çankırı Karatekin University, Düzce University, Gebze Technical University, Karabük University, Kastamonu University, Kocaeli University, Sakarya University, Sakarya University of Applied Sciences and Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University participated in the meeting.

In his opening speech, CoHE President Özvar said that they gathered at Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University for the term meeting of the association, which allows the knowledge of the universities that are located in the region stretching from the Central Black Sea Region to the Eastern Marmara Region to be evaluated.

"I would like to share my thoughts on the idea of a "good university" as the main agenda of our meeting today, which I think also constitutes the founding purpose of this union,” he said and added, “I would like to start by saying that I see the Western Black Sea Universities Association as a precious union that 14 Turkish universities have established and developed over the last 15 years.”

Özvar emphasized that he believed the association was the outcome of the pursuit in line with the ideal of the ways to create a good university and said, “Doing quality scientific research with added value and training individuals with critical and analytical thinking are the two main pillars of this ideal. Generations consisting of individuals who can do research, have developed the ability of systematic thinking, are equipped with disciplinary knowledge and are aware of the importance of interdisciplinary is of great importance for the future of our people/nation and values/civilization.”

He stated that a good university should adopt an integrated approach that includes the markets into the equation without being carried away with the duality of education and research. “In this approach, concurrence is essential rather than priority. In other words, there is a method in which these three elements are carried out together. A university can neither give up on education nor research,” he said.

“I would like to emphasize once again that scientific productivity is of great importance within the scope of our 2023 goals. In today's world, where scientific research and technology are in competition, the only way to survive is to work and produce more. If scientific productivity develops in a region and environment, our most important task is to build or develop this region or environment in which scientists will work peacefully and happily, and will be encouraged to produce. Achieving this task depends on our management, that is, all of us, adopting a management philosophy based on academic performance. All scientific production of academic staff should be watched closely; internal management policies should be created for universities and appointment, promotion, project support and incentive mechanisms should be carried out according to this productivity. University administrations should encourage especially young scientists to make quality productions. So to speak, perhaps the most legitimate justification for positive discrimination should be this productivity."

Özvar pointed out that another area that a good university embodies is the level of internationalization and said, "In recent years, the Council of Higher Education has adopted internationalization as a strategic goal and has encouraged our universities to a great extent. In addition, our universities should also make it their motto to be attractive for international students.”

He noted that there were 255 students studying as YÖK scholarship holders at undergraduate and graduate level in Turkey and that approximately one third of these students were studying at the member universities of the association.”

He said that he believed each Turkish higher education institution had the capacity and potential of a “good university” and could build a worldwide success story and added, “We will discuss the general situation of the higher education institutions in Turkey together with the member universities of the association. We will try to produce some new perspectives for the future.”

The meeting was held at the Senate Meeting Hall of the Rector’s Office at Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University. The participants discussed the current situation of Turkish higher education and the expectations for the future.