- “2022-2023 Academic Year Opening Ceremony” Held at Presidential
- YÖK 2022 Excellence Awards Given to Winners
- CoHE President Erol Özvar: “As the Council of Higher Education,
increasing the access of young people who have completed their
secondary education and want to study to higher education is
undoubtedly among our priority missions.”
October 10, 2022 / Ankara
The Council of Higher Education (CoHE) held the “2022-2023 Higher Education
Academic Year Opening Ceremony” at the Presidential Complex with the
presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Speaker of the
Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, Mustafa Şentop, CoHE President Erol
Özvar and state officials attended the opening ceremony. Ministers, CoHE
members, heads of relevant institutions, ambassadors and all university
rectors and students also attended the event.
The music recital of the Turkish Music State Orchestra of Ankara Hacı
Bayram Veli University was followed by a movie screening entitled “Higher
Education” which was about the development of Turkish higher education and
its current situation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and CoHE President Prof. Erol Özvar made
speeches in the opening ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, “YÖK 2020
Excellence Awards”, which are given in four categories by CoHE every year,
were given to the winners.
CoHE President Özvar started his speech by wishing that the 2022-2023
academic year would be auspicious for Türkiye and said “CoHE decided that
Turkish universities offer face-to-face education and put them into
practice in this period when the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic
He pointed out that there had been a significant increase in the number of
higher education institutions in Türkiye under the leadership of President
Erdoğan and that there were no provinces without a university. “The
establishment of a university in every province of our country has expanded
the higher education capacity of Türkiye, and thus, more students from all
over the country now have access to higher education. In the last two
decades, there has been a significant increase in access to higher
education in Türkiye with the increase in higher education opportunities,
the opening of new universities and the arrangements about the quotas. As
the Council of Higher Education, increasing the access of young people who
have completed their secondary education and want to study to higher
education is undoubtedly among our priority missions.” he said.
- Record increase in demand for higher education-
Özvar said that the number of candidates who applied to the university
entrance system of ÖSYM in 2002 was around 1 million 540 thousand and
added, “As of 2022, this figure has reached a record level of 3 million 243
thousand. This increase is a striking example of a huge demand for higher
education, and this demand continues to rise.”
Özvar pointed out that the number of students studying at universities is
increasing day by day with the increase in access to higher education as a
result of the expansion in higher education and said that the higher
education graduation rate of young people between the ages of 25-34 in
Türkiye had doubled from 18% to 40% in the last decade. He underlined that
Türkiye had come so close to OECD averages in access to higher education
under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Besides expanding the volume of higher education in Türkiye and increasing
the access of more students to higher education, there is an opportunity to
increase diversity in higher education. Undoubtedly, the most disadvantaged
groups have benefited the most from this expansion in higher education.
Students who could not find the opportunity to study at our universities
because of staying behind in high competition due to economic or social
reasons can now overcome these disadvantages. When we talk about the
importance of delivering higher education to wider audiences, I would like
to emphasize once again that higher education should not be seen as just a
career door,” he said.
- “Higher education opportunities were provided to more people with the
removal of the minimum passing score.”
He reiterated that they removed the requirement of the minimum passing
score for the 2022 Higher Education Institutions Examination and said,
“After the removal of the requirement of the minimum passing score, the
number of applications increased by 24% compared to the previous year.
While 2 million 608 thousand candidates applied last year, the number of
candidates increased to 3 million 243 thousand this year. More importantly,
while 690 thousand people were placed in universities last year, excluding
open education, this figure reached 850 thousand this year. In other words,
higher education opportunities were provided to approximately 160 thousand
more people compared to last year.”
- Programs were opened for national human resource needs-
Özvar stated that new business fields and occupational groups were emerging
in today's rapidly changing world of science and technology and said, "As
the Council of Higher Education, we have opened new programs and
departments that will improve the human capital of our country for resource
needs by carefully following these new business fields and occupations on a
global scale, starting from the 2022-2023 academic year. For the first time
this year, our students will begin their education in departments such as
“Cyber Security”, “CNC Programming and Operatorship” and “Offshore
Drilling Technology”. He stated that international students continued to
prefer Turkish universities despite the conditions of the pandemic, adding
that the number of international students in Türkiye had exceeded 288
thousand as of today, with an increase of over 10% compared to the past few
-100 Excellence Projects to be Supported in the 100th Anniversary of
CoHE President Özvar said that they had developed projects that would
increase the competition in the Turkish higher education system and produce
better answers to the demands of different stakeholders.
“We will support 100 Excellence Projects in 2023, which happens to be the
100th anniversary of the Republic. All academic units such as higher
education institutions, faculties, institutes, research centers or
departments can apply to these projects. Thus, there will be a
multi-faceted competition at various levels between higher education
institutions with different institutional capacities and infrastructures.
With these projects, we aim to respond quickly and effectively to different
stakeholder expectations and to support the units that carry out activities
that will increase Türkiye's competitiveness in the international arena.”
-Climate and Environment
-Friendly Campus Project-
He said that the Climate and Environment-Friendly Campus Project was
launched that year and said, “As part of the project, the Council of Higher
Education, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Ministry of
Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change have recently signed the
“Collaboration Protocol in the Field of Creating a Sustainable and Green
Campus”. The project aims to create campuses that cover design,
construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, demolition and waste
disposal that are sustainable, energy efficient, compatible with nature and
cause minimal damage to the environment throughout their life cycle in ten
universities selected from different regions in the first stage.
-Vocational Schools for Cyber Security will be opened-
Özvar pointed out that another important protocol signed was the project
for the opening of vocational schools for cyber security and said, “The
creation of employment-oriented policies and the training of people with
the qualifications required by the sectors and with high knowledge, skills
and application competence are among our most important priorities. For
this purpose, a protocol was signed with the Digital Transformation Office
of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye to establish vocational
schools for cyber security, which aim to provide a competent and qualified
workforce in cyber security.”
-YÖK Academic Mobility Project-
Özvar pointed out that they had declared an academic mobilization with the
YÖK Academic Mobility Project, which had been completed recently and would
begin to be implemented starting from the Spring Term of the 2022-2023
Academic Year. He stated that they started this project with the aim of
supporting the programs that had difficulties in recruiting academic staff
at universities established after 2006, increasing the mobility of academic
staff among Turkish universities, and bringing students together with the
faculty members of different universities.
-Mukhtar Academy Project-
Özvar stated that CoHE and the Ministry of Interior prepared the Mukhtar
Academy Project within the scope of the mission of Turkish universities to
serve the society and the public and that the project would allow 50,342
mukhtars, who are the cornerstone of the local government structure, to be
trained to provide more effective, efficient and qualified service and to
continue their work with a human-oriented and correct communication-based
understanding. Özvar underlined that these training courses would take
place in university campuses located in every corner of Türkiye.
He pointed out that they had expanded the opportunities offered to the
students with the protocols signed within the scope of university-industry
“For instance, for the first time in this academic year, we have decided to
provide undergraduate scholarships to those who will choose artificial
intelligence engineering in addition to basic sciences. With many
collaborations we have made with the sectors that lead the way for the
development of Türkiye, we have pioneered in offering opportunities that
will provide great advantages to students who choose oil, natural gas,
offshore services, geomatics engineering, mining, textile and leather
engineering. We also opened new associate degree programs within the scope
of the protocol signed between the Council of Higher Education and Turkish
Petroleum OTC this year and provided scholarships to students enrolled in
these programs. In addition, we have started to give scholarships to
students who are placed in programs such as Geology, Geophysics and
Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at the undergraduate level with a
high success order. The departments of "Offshore Drilling Technologies" and
"Offshore Bottom Applications Technology", which were opened this year,
accepted students with a TYT score range of 452-432. In the first year of
the protocol, we were very pleased that outstanding young people were
directed to these programs.”
-Academic Foreign Language Support Project-
He reiterated that CoHE attached great importance to the development of the
academic human resources to increase the international visibility of
Turkish universities. Özvar stated that they had recently started the
Academic Foreign Language Support Project in order to carry Turkish
universities to higher levels in the international arena with the research
and outputs produced by the academic staff.
-Big Data Project-
He noted that the Council of Higher Education started the Big Data Project
in the Turkish Higher Education System that year with the aim of giving
significant acceleration to higher education at national and international
level. He said that eight pilot universities started to work under the
project to store, process, evaluate and analyze high volume and variety of
data and to obtain the necessary information from the collected data.
-Big Data Certification Program-
He said that they would launch the "Big Data Certificate Program" to
provide higher education students with digital competencies in fields such
as data science, big data, data analysis, impact analysis and network
technologies needed by the labor market through certificate programs. CoHE
President Özvar stated that the national and international recognition of
the certificates obtained by students at the end of the program would make
it possible for the qualifications they had acquired in the program to be
credited and the portability of these credits within the higher education
system. Özvar once again thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on behalf
of all universities for the generous support he had provided to education
and higher education and wished success to the students in the new term.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech after the speech of CoHE
President Erol Özvar. He stated that the State had mobilized all its
resources to facilitate the access of young people to higher education.
Erdoğan reiterated that there were problems in the past about how to get
teachers to the Southeast and Eastern Anatolia. He said that the number of
airports increased from 26 to 59 and that they could go to Muş, Kars and
Ağrı by plane.
He pointed out that the existing higher education dormitories met the
demands and said, “Currently, we have dormitories with a capacity of 850
thousand students and they can easily meet the needs. Our modern
dormitories, as well as our universities, have better buildings. We have
well-equipped universities which we can show as an example to the world. We
have secondary schools. We have come this far. With the steps we took, we
changed the bad scene that did not suit Türkiye and Turkish universities."
President Erdoğan noted that the number of professors at universities,
which was 9 thousand in 2002, increased to 31 thousand, and that the number
of associate professors, which was 5 thousand, rose to 18 thousand. He
stated that the total number of academic staff increased from 70 thousand
to 184 thousand.
He stated that Türkiye's higher education graduates aged 25-34 increased by
348 percent in the last two decades according to the report published by
the OECD the previous week and said, “While the schooling rate was around
13 percent, it has reached 45 percent today. As a result of this, we are
proud and pleased that the number of our university graduates has reached
13 million 266 thousand in 2022.”
President Erdoğan underlined that the youth who would be trained in
vocational schools would be the personnel, not intermediate staff, in cyber
security. He pointed out that another important innovation was about women
and said, “With the new project that we are about to complete, we are
opening a new door in higher education for our women over the age of 35.
Accordingly, we will define additional quotas in associate and
undergraduate programs for them.”
After the speech of President Erdoğan, CoHE President Prof. Erol Özvar
presented the gift.
Later, President Erdoğan and CoHE President Özvar presented the "YÖK 2022
Excellence Awards" to the winners.
Dr. Aslı Ulubaş Hamurcu and her thesis advisor Prof. Fatih Terzi received
the “Doctoral Thesis of the Year Award” in the category of “Fine Arts and
Architecture”. Dr. Osman Gazi Güçlütürk and his thesis advisor Assoc. Prof.
Fülürya Yusufoğlu Bilgin received an award in the category of “Social and
Human Sciences”. Dr. Berdan Ulaş and his thesis advisors Prof. Hilal Demir
Kıvrak and Prof. İrfan Ar received an award in the category of “Science and
Engineering”. Dr. Nazife Ülker Ertuğrul ve her thesis advisor Prof. Sinan
Canpolat received an award in the category of “Health and Sports Sciences”.
Atatürk University was awarded with the "Digital Transformation and Big
Data Studies Award". Dicle University was awarded with the "Social
Responsibility Award". Erciyes University was awarded with the
"International Cooperation Award". Özyeğin University was awarded with the
"University-Business Cooperation Award". Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy
University was awarded with the "Contribution to Local Development Award".
Under the “Special Field Awards”, Prof. Mustafa Başaran and Assoc. Prof.
Sedat Nizamoğlu were given awards in the categories of “National Innovation
Award” and “Science Diplomacy Award”, respectively.
Prof. Raşit Küçük was given the "Special Award" in the category of "Service
to Science and Students".