Yesterday was the anniversary of the foundation of Council of Higher Education (YÖK). There had been a considerable amount of news coverage about YÖK in those years. Exactly 37 years have passed since the debates related to YÖK have first begun.
The number of universities had been 19 before the foundation of YÖK. Today, there are more than 200 universitie. s in Turkey. The founding president of the Council namely YÖK had been Professor İhsan Doğramacı. Doğramacı’s term had been followed by the terms of professors Mehmet Sağlam, Kemal Gürüz, Erdoğan Teziç, Yusuf Ziya Özcan, Gökhan Çetinsaya and Yekta Saraç.
In today’s Turkey, for YÖK, a new institutional identity has been emerging. A number of documents have been drafted in order to establish a brand new and functional Council.
On the other hand, it is known that,the number of privately-run universities has risen to a considerable degree. According to our constitution, this kind of universities is evaluated as non-profit making institutions but they act as a holding in practical terms. The commercial sides of these universities can be seen as a real threat for the education system in Turkey.
To make a long story short, it can be stated that, there is still a long and winding way to go for both developing and democratizing the structure of universities in both financial and educational terms. All the students should have equal standards according to almost all of us but of course this seems really utopic.
Lastly, the quality of education in universities must be rewarded by both state and non-state actors. This is I think one of the most feasible solutions. Of course Turkey must work hard to have the standards that Western countries have in terms of higher education.
I am an Independent Researcher and hold a PhD in Political Science
About: Begum Burak
I hold a Ph.D. degree in Political Science & Int'l Relations (2015). I major in Turkish Politics with a special focus on the post-1950 era. The main areas of my interest also include secularism, civil-military relations, and discourse studies. For 6 years, I have been a freelance blogger, freelance translator and ELT (English Language Teacher). I am also one of the founding members of Ilkmade (Ilkmade is an online platform that moves away from content that degrades the mind to thoughtful, robust discussions that elevate it).