Ambassador of Uzbekistan Meets CoHE President
November 15, 2017 / Ankara
Alisher Agzamhodjaev, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Ankara, met with CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç.
They discussed the relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan in the field of higher education in the meeting that took place at CoHE.
They also agreed to work on promoting the relations in higher education between the two countries in every field.
CoHE President Visits TRNC
November 1, 2017 / Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
CoHE President SARAÇ: "We would like to see this place as an island of higher education. If the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus gets stronger in this field, it will also help make Turkey stronger."
CoHE President SARAÇ: "YODAK will start to evaluate the universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in January. If they ask for CoHE's help about the evaluation, we, as CoHE, will be more than happy to offer our help in every way we can."
CoHE President SARAÇ: "We believe that qualitative growth and quality improvement are as important as quantitative growth in higher education. Therefore, it is CoHE's priority to develop the higher education institutions in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the best way."
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç made a one-day visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to hold high-level talks and meet with the rectors of the universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus that were given quotas by the Council of Higher Education.
Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal, Deputy President of CoHE, and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman, Executive Board Member of CoHE, accompanied CoHE President Saraç in the visit. They first met with Dr. Özdemir Berova, National Education and Culture Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. CoHE President Saraç noted that qualitative growth and quality improvement were as important as quantitative growth in higher education and that YODAK would start to evaluate the universities in the TRNC in January. He stated that CoHE is ready to help YODAK in every way possible if YODAK asks for help about the evaluation of the universities. "We would like to see this place as an island of higher education. If the TRNC gets stronger in this field, it will also help make Turkey stronger. It is CoHE's priority to develop the higher education institutions in the TRNC in the best way," said he.
National Education and Culture Minister Özdemir Berova said that the number of students in the TRNC was over 106,000. He stated that they were in a continuous cooperation with the Council of Higher Education in higher education and that 60,000 students came to the Northern Cyprus from Turkey through CoHE. Berova said that the embargo laid on the TRNC, the greatest obstacle of the TRNC, was able to be lifted through higher education with the support of Turkey and said that the close cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC was strengthened with the protocol.
After the meeting with the National Education Minister of the TRNC, CoHE President paid a visit to TRNC Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün in his office. They discussed the current status of higher education between the two countries.
Following the meeting with Prime Minister Özgürgün, CoHE President Saraç and the accompanying delegation met with TRNC President Mustafa Akıncı in the presidential office. They briefed President Akıncı on the coordinated activities of CoHE and YODAK in higher education.
The CoHE Delegation had a meeting with Prof. Dr. Akile Büke, President of the Higher Education Planning, Evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council (YODAK), and the members of YODAK.
The CoHE delegation met with the rectors of the universities in the TRNC, which were given quotas by CoHE. They discussed the recent developments in the Turkish higher education system and had talks on the topics that would contribute to the development and strengthening of higher education in the TRNC.
The CoHE delegation also stated that CoHE was ready to help in every way possible if YODAK asked for help about the evaluation. It was also noted that the cooperation between CoHE and YODAK was already projected with the current international agreement.
CoHE President Saraç and the accompanying delegation departed for Turkey in the evening.
CoHE President Saraç Signs Memoranda of Understanding with South Sudan and Somalia in Higher Education
October 20, 2017 / Istanbul
Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç, President of the Council of Higher Education, signed memoranda of understanding with the ministers of two African countries in the "Turkey-Africa Conference of Ministers of Education" organized by the Ministry of National Education in Istanbul. These memoranda of understanding aim to improve cooperation in the field of higher education.
CoHE President Saraç and Yien Oral Lam, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of South Sudan, signed the "Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan.
Later, CoHE President Saraç and Abdi Dahir Osman, Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education of the Federal Republic of Somalia, signed the "Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education".
Saraç stated that he was pleased to sign the Memoranda of Understanding with the African countries for the enhancement and development of cooperation in the field of higher education.
"As the new CoHE administration, we launched the "Expansion Program for Africa" in 2015. The aim of this program is to share the opportunities we have in the field of higher education in Turkey with the African countries and train academics, administrative and technical staff in Turkish universities that will take part in the development of the African countries. We signed memoranda of understanding and cooperation agreements with the ministers responsible for higher education of nine African countries including Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Djibouti, Sudan and Rwanda to develop cooperation in higher education and scientific research in the last two years. We have identified our priority fields in our cooperation with some countries and matched the universities that could cooperate in these fields. We are very pleased to see that the initiatives of the new CoHE have already started to yield positive results," said President Saraç.
Turkey and Azerbaijan Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Higher Education
October 31, 2017 / Azerbaijan
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç accompanied President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his official visit to Azerbaijan for the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line.
CoHE President Saraç participated in the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council Meeting held in the chairmanship of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and with the participation of the top government officials of both countries.
Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç, President of the Council of Higher Education, and Mikayil Jabbarov, Education Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of higher education between the two countries.
The memorandum of understanding aims to create an institutional framework for both countries to establish cooperation in higher education and improve academic and scientific cooperation between the higher education institutions of both countries.
In addition to the admission to higher education programs, mutual recognition of diplomas and regulation of equivalence, it also includes the increase of the mutual participation of students and academic staff in exchange programs between higher education institutions of both countries.
Ambassador of Afghanistan Visits CoHE
October 26, 2017/Ankara
Before his term of office would be over, Dr. Amanullah Jayhoon, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Ankara, met with CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç for the last time.
CoHE President Saraç thanked Ambassador Jayhoon for his contribution in the field of higher education between the two brother countries during his term of office, presenting him with a gift.
CoHE Scholarship Holders Meet CoHE Executive Board Members in Ankara
October 22-23, 2017 / Ankara
Some international undergraduate and doctoral students who are receiving education at various Turkish universities gathered in Ankara in order to take part in a one-day cultural tour organized by the Council of Higher Education.
They came to Ankara on October 22, 2017. The next morning, they went to the Parliament to have a parliamentary tour which included the visit of the Parliament, the campus and the General Assembly Hall. After the lunch hosted by Keçiören Municipality at Esztergom Castle, students visited Hacı Bayram Mosque and its surroundings and had the chance to see the historical district of Hamamönü. They were welcomed at the African Cultural House and then went to the Council of Higher Education.
Students from Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Macedonia and Pakistan met with CoHE Deputy President Prof. Dr. M. i. Safa Kapıcıoğlu, CoHE Executive Board Members Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman, Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeliha Koçak Tufan, CoHE Secretary General Süleyman Necati Akçeşme, deputy secretary generals, the staff of the Department of International Relations and the head and staff of the Department of Academic Exchange and Support Program at CoHE Conference Hall. CoHE Deputy President Prof. Dr. M. İ. Safa Kapıcıoğlu made the opening speech. After the speech by CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er and a brief presentation on Turkish higher education system, students introduced themselves. They expressed their appreciation for the program and talked about the challenges. During the dinner given at CoHE, they had the opportunity to talk about their problems with the members and employees of CoHE. All of the students were very satisfied with this meeting and the employees of CoHE sent them off to the cities where their universities are located.
CoHE President Attends Turkey-Africa Conference of Ministers of Education
October 19, 2017 / Istanbul
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç attended the opening ceremony of the "Turkey-Africa Conference of Ministers of Education" held by the Ministry of National Education in Istanbul on October 19-21, 2017.
The opening ceremony of the conference was held at Istanbul Ciragan Palace and National Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz, heads from the relevant institutions and ministers of African countries also participated in the event.
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç made a speech in the opening of the conference which was organized to improve relations between Turkey and African countries in education, strengthen the existing cooperation and share information about the Turkish education system.
He began his speech by saying that the Turkish higher education system had made great progress in recent years and noted that there were a total of 179 universities, 112 state universities and 67 foundation universities, and five foundation vocational schools. He emphasized that the total number of enrolled students in the Turkish higher education system is 7,2 million, including students in open education and distance learning programs.
He noted that Turkey had become the second country after Russia in terms of the highest number of students in the European Higher Education Area. He said that the number of faculty members is about 152,000, of which half of them are faculty members with doctoral degrees.
He underlined that the Turkish higher education system has become prominent in the region not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of qualified education and stated that it had made a significant leap in internationalization in recent years.
President Saraç noted that CoHE had attached great importance to internationalization in the last two years. He said that he met with the ministers of 22 countries that were responsible for higher education and signed various cooperation agreements after negotiating the possibilities of possible cooperation in the fields of higher education and scientific research. "We developed a new format in the Mevlana Exchange Program, a program created and carried out by the Council of Higher Education, and supported the project-focused collaboration of Turkish universities with international universities. We decided to support 23 international projects from 19 Turkish universities financially last year. We will continue to support them this year as well," he said.
He noted that the Council of Higher Education had recently organized a meeting on the theme of "Forming a Higher Education Area among the Islamic Countries" and that many rectors from 11 African countries attended the meeting. He underlined that they released the Ankara Declaration at the end of the meeting and said:
"The relations between Turkey and African countries have developed in every field over the last fifteen years. After the declaration of the year 2005 as the "Year of Africa" by the Turkish government, the "Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit" was organized in 2008. Our relations have evolved into a process that can be named as "Turkey-Africa Partnership" with the introduction of the "Africa Strategy Document" which was adopted in 2010.
As the new CoHE administration, we launched the "Expansion Program for Africa" in 2015. The aim of this program is to share the opportunities we have in the field of higher education in Turkey with the African countries and train academics, administrative and technical staff in Turkish universities that will take part in the development of the African countries. We signed memorandums of understandings and cooperation agreements with the ministers responsible for higher education of nine African countries including Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Djibouti, Sudan and Rwanda to develop cooperation in higher education and scientific research in the last two years. We have identified our priority fields in our cooperation with some countries and matched the universities that could cooperate in these fields. We are very pleased to see that the initiatives of the new CoHE have already started to yield positive results."
CoHE President also noted that the number of African students who receive education in the Turkish higher education system had also increased significantly and said, "While the number of students of the ten African countries that had the highest number of students in the Turkish higher education system was 5,600 in the 2014-2015 academic year, this figure has increased by 62%, reaching 9,054 in the 2016-2017 academic year."
CoHE President Saraç expressed the importance of the special effort by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who paid 39 visits to 23 African countries as the Prime Minister and President, for the cooperation and friendly relations to reach its current level with the African countries in the last 15 years and said, "As of today, we are represented by 39 embassies and 4 consulates in Africa. There were 10 diplomatic missions of the African countries in Ankara and 12 Turkish diplomatic missions in the continent in 2009. The number of diplomatic missions of the African countries in Ankara has increased from 10 to 32 over the past eight years."
CoHE President Saraç concluded his speech by emphasizing that the conference, which was organized to improve the relations between Turkey and African countries, strengthen the existing cooperation and share information about the Turkish education system, would contribute greatly to further develop the relations.
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)
After the opening speeches, CoHE Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er made a presentation on the Turkish higher education system.
Workshop on Equivalence Takes Place at CoHE
October 18, 2017 / Ankara
The members of the Equivalence Commission and academics who took part in the Advisory Commissions for Scientific Fields attended the "Workshop on Equivalence" organized by the Council of Higher Education in order to share the improvements made in recognition and equivalence process.
The workshop was held with the participation of CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç. In addition to CoHE Deputy President Prof. Dr. M. İ. Safa Kapıcıoğlu and CoHE Executive Board Members Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeliha Koçak Tufan, Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman and Prof. Dr. Ömer Açıkgöz, employees of the Department of Recognition and Equivalence Services of the Council of Higher Education also attended the workshop.
The process for recognition and equivalence, the Treaty of Lisbon and the related legal actions were discussed in the meeting. After the opening speech by Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç, CoHE Deputy President Prof. Dr. M. İ. Safa Kapıcıoğlu also made a speech.
CoHE Executive Board Member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeliha Koçak Tufan talked about the challenges, recent improvements and ongoing process. She pointed out that CoHE offered students the option of taking objective structured clinical examinations or other equivalent examinations as well as written placement tests for the field of medicine and introduced specialization examinations which consist of oral and implementation sections for other fields of study. She added that these examinations would evaluate the achievements and competence of individuals in their respected fields of study, which require implementation, in a more precise way. She said that CoHE would publish the guide for specialization examinations in the near future. She also said that they evaluated the questions about written placement tests that were in line with the complaints received from the applicants and that the findings would be taken into consideration in the upcoming examinations.
Advisory Commissions for Scientific Fields
CoHE Executive Board Member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeliha Koçak Tufan stated that CoHE established Advisory Commissions for Scientific Fields for fields of study that require practice in particular and that the process for equivalence was carried out in line with the international criteria and practices implemented in Turkey and in accordance with the guidelines. She also noted that the latest version of the guidelines would be shared with the related institutions by taking into consideration the recent studies, suggestions received from the related institutions and organizations and applicants, and international standards and norms.
Two sessions entitled "Recognition and Equivalence Process" and "Treaty of Lisbon and Legal Actions" were hold after the opening speeches.
The presentations entitled "Recognition Process", "Equivalence Process" and "Level and Competence Determination System" were made in the first session of the workshop. In the second session, the presentations entitled "Treaty of Lisbon", "Exemplary Equivalence Files" and "Process for Equivalence Guidelines" were made.
Following the sessions, group studies were conducted in order to evaluate the guidelines by the Advisory Commissions for Scientific Fields that consist of competent scientists from various universities in Turkey.
After the completion of the studies for the guidelines, a question and answer session was held at the end of the workshop. CoHE members and the members of the Advisory Commissions for Scientific Fields exchanged views in this session.
CoHE President Saraç Meets ÖSYM President Özer
October 17, 2017 / CoHE
CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç received ÖSYM President Prof. Dr. Mahmut Özer in his office.
ÖSYM President Özer visited the Council of Higher Education and expressed his thanks to CoHE President Saraç for his appointment. He also stated that he was aware of the responsibility of being appointed as the president of a very important institution in Turkey which ensures that millions of candidates take the university entrance exam safely.
CoHE President Saraç congratulated Özer for his appointment and wished him good luck in his new post.
Candidates to be Made More Comfortable During Exam
They discussed the details about the implementation of the newly-announced Higher Education Institutions Exam (YKS) and the topics regarding the improvement of the comfort of candidates.
President Saraç asked for improvements to be made for students which will not pose any problems for the examination security.
İspanya Büyükelçisi YÖK Başkanı'nı Ziyaret Etti
5 Şubat 2015/Ankara
İspanya Büyükelçisi, Rafael Mendivil Peydro, 05 Şubat 2015 tarihinde Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanı, Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç'ı ziyaret etti.
Görüşmede, yükseköğretim alanında Türkiye ile İspanya arasındaki işbirliğinin geliştirilmesi konuları ele alındı.
Ayrıca, Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanlığı (YÖK) ile İspanya'nın ilgili Bakanlığı arasında yükseköğretim alanında işbirliği anlaşmaları (Memorandum of Understanding) yapılması da gündeme getirildi.
Portekiz Büyükelçisi'nden YÖK Başkanı'na Ziyaret
5 Şubat 2015/Ankara
Portekiz Büyükelçisi, Jorge Cabral, 05 Şubat 2015 tarihinde Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanı, Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç'a ziyarette bulundu.
Cabral'ın yeni görevinden dolayı Saraç'ı tebrik ettiği toplantıda, yükseköğretim alanında Türkiye ile Portekiz arasındaki işbirliği çalışmalarının geliştirilmesi konuları görüşüldü.
Ayrıca, Portekiz'in ilgili Bakanlığı ile Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanlığı (YÖK) arasında yükseköğretim alanında işbirliği anlaşmaları (Memorandum of Understanding) yapılması da gündemde yerini aldı.
YÖK Başkanı Saraç, Fas Büyükelçisi'ni Kabul Etti
27 Ocak 2015/Ankara
YÖK Başkanı Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç, 27 Ocak 2015 tarihinde Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanlığında Fas Büyükelçisi Lofti AOUAD ile bir görüşme gerçekleştirdi.
Görüşmede Türkiye ile Fas arasındaki Yükseköğretim alanında yapılması hedeflenen muhtemel işbirliği konuları ele alındı.
Ayrıca Fas Büyükelçisi Lofti AOUAD, gerçekleştirdiği ziyaretinde YÖK Başkanı Yekta Saraç'ı yeni görevinden dolayı tebrik etti.
YÖK ile YÖDAK Arasında İşbirliği Protokolü
20 Ocak 2015/Ankara
Yükseköğretim Kurulu, Kıbrıs'taki üniversitelerin bilimsel ve akademik altyapısına destek vermek amacıyla YÖDAK (Yükseköğretim Planlama, Denetleme, Akreditasyon ve Koordinasyon Kurulu) ile işbirliği protokolü imzaladı.
Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanı Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç ve YÖDAK Başkanı Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Gökcekuş'un imzaladığı işbirliği protokolü ile Kıbrıs'taki üniversitelerin ulusal anlamda güçlendirilmesi, ihtiyaç duyulan bazı alanlarda öğretim üyesi konusunda destek verilmesi ve eğitim-öğretimin niteliğini yükseltecek faaliyetler konusunda taraflar arasında güç birliği yapılması konularında anlaşmaya varıldı.
YÖK Başkanı Saraç, Kıbrıs Milli Eğitim Bakanı ile Görüştü
YÖK Başkanı Yekta Saraç, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti Milli Eğitim Bakanı Özdemir Berova ile görüştü.
İzmir üniversiteleri ile KKTC kontenjanlarının belirlenmesi konusunda bir dizi görüşme yapan Berova, Ankara'ya gelerek YÖK Başkanı Saraç ile bu görüşmeleri değerlendirdi.
YÖK Başkanı Saraç ile Kıbrıs Milli Eğitim Bakanı Berova Türkiye üniversitelerinde KKTC kontenjanlarının artırımı, lisansüstü ve doktora programlarında işbirliği ve KKTC öğrencilerinin yaşadığı sorunlar hakkında görüştü.
KKTC Milli Eğitim Bakanı Özdemir Berova, ziyarette YÖK Başkanı Yekta Saraç'ı yeni görevinden dolayı tebrik ederken Saraç'a hediye takdiminde bulundu.
YÖK Başkanı Saraç, Afganistan Büyükelçisini Kabul Etti
YÖK Başkanı Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç, Afganistan Büyükelçisi Dr. Amanullah JAYHOON'u kabul etti.
Afganistan Büyükelçisi Amanullah JAYHOON'u, ziyarette YÖK Başkanı Yekta Saraç'ı yeni görevinden dolayı tebrik etti.
Ayrıca Afganistan bursu ile Türkiye'de eğitim gören öğrencilerle ilgili konularda görüş alış verişinde bulunuldu.
Opening Ceremony of 2017-2018 Academic Year Takes Place at Presidential Complex
September 26, 2017 / Presidential Complex-Ankara
The opening ceremony of the 2017-2018 academic year took place under the auspices of CoHE, with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex.
The "CoHE Excellence Awards", the first academia awards in the history of higher education, were given out at the ceremony which was held at the Beştepe National Congress and Culture Center located at the Presidential Complex.
President Erdoğan announced the names of the research universities that were selected under the "Mission Differentiation and Specialization Aimed at Regional Development Project". About 2,000 people including the rectors of all universities, related ministers, directors of related institutions, ambassadors, senior government officials, and some academics and students attended the ceremony.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç made speeches in the opening ceremony.
CoHE President Saraç began his speech by stating that they were honored to hold the opening ceremony in the presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the respectable ministers and top officials and added that he hoped that the opening ceremonies of the next academic years would be held at the Presidential Complex.
President Saraç noted that they tried their best to repair the damages caused by the terrorist organization, which had infiltrated into Turkish universities, after the treacherous coup attempt that took place on July 15, 2016. He said that they restored the peace and security in universities.
He mentioned the activities of CoHE such as the Mission Differentiation and Specialization Aimed at Regional Development Project, 100/2000 CoHE Doctoral Scholarship Project, CoHE supports aimed at the fields of engineering and fundamental sciences, special student status for the wives and children of martyrs, establishment of Quality Board that has gained administrative and financial autonomy, YOKDIL exams, major changes in ALES and easy access for disabled students and said:
"The activities for "Forming the Higher Education Area of the Islamic World" and "CoHE Excellence Awards" were high on the agenda and most of them were finalized. I would like to specifically point out that the occupation rate for the fields of fundamental sciences, which we sincerely believe are of utmost importance for the future of Turkey, has reached 100% this year. We will also establish honors classes for fundamental sciences. We consider it as a new and exciting project for fundamental sciences.
As for international relations, we made visits and received guests in order to have academic, strategic and employment-oriented cooperation and explain the 15 July coup attempt to the international academic community. We have shaped our international relations not with a simple understanding for benefits but with humanitarian and conscientious policies.
We also took another important step. A major reform, which would provide solutions for many chronic problems of higher education, was carried out silently after the Grand National Assembly of Turkey adopted the proposals of CoHE for the radical construction of higher education policies in June 2017. I would like to express my gratitude, in your presence, to the Minister of National Education, the Minister of Development, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Finance, all the other members of our governments, the Prime Minister in particular, for adopting our proposals and supporting us."
CoHE President Saraç noted that the topic of "research universities", which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan laid emphasis on in the opening ceremony of the academic year the previous year, was the most important topic among their goals for the 2017-2018 academic year and said, "Research universities are our main goals that will help us take the achievements earned in the history of the Republic of Turkey further while the academia integrates the young generations into the system for the development of Turkey."
CoHE President stated that a research university is an institution that has determined a mission and strategic roadmap and can carry out its work discipline in accordance with that plan. He underlined that it would not only aim for excellence in research but also aim for the best result in the production, transfer and sharing of education and knowledge.
CoHE President Saraç said that he sincerely believed that Turkish higher education system which had improved greatly in recent years would take the long-awaited leap with this project and said:
"I would like to say that we also took very important steps towards the internationalization of Turkish higher education. The number of international memorandums of understanding the new CoHE has signed at ministerial level in the last three years is almost twice the number of memorandums of understandings signed in 32 years. CoHE started to grant scholarships to international students through a new concept that was implemented for the first time in Turkey. We, as CoHE, are now carrying out international research projects. We select target countries and make agreements for various purposes. All these efforts will provide important contributions to the visibility and power of Turkey in the international arena.
We know that Turkish universities are among the most important institutions that will give us, the state and nation, strength. We sincerely agree with your statement. A university that is detached from the public, cities, and the values and problems of the people cannot be beneficial to neither its own students nor to the country. We wanted to reward the efforts that will contribute to the strong future of the state and the country as we believe that successful people will do their best if their efforts are appreciated. These awards simply indicate that we value every individual of Turkish academia who works for our country which we deeply love."
CoHE President said that they, as the academic community, were committed to supporting the considerable efforts that Turkey has taken towards its development to overcome the challenges of the rapidly changing world. He concluded his speech by saying that they took strength from the guidance and support of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in all their projects and goals.
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)
President Erdoğan began his speech by saying that he hoped the event, which was hold for the first time the previous year, would be held every year and wished the best for all academics and students in the new academic year.
He reinforced that the mission differentiation and specialization is one of the ways to enhance the quality of the higher education system, noting that he announced the names of five pilot universities chosen for regional development within the scope of the project that had been carried out under the coordination of CoHE.
President Erdoğan noted that research universities that would represent Turkey in the highest level in the international arena had to be selected and supported privately. He added that Turkey had to gain a stronger position in the international arena.
He said that they also needed to establish a quality board for higher education, another topic that he emphasized in the previous event. He continued:
"I am pleased to say that we have reached an important milestone in all these topics. We determined some research universities within the scope of the mission differentiation and specialization project. Now, I would like to announce the names of these universities in alphabetical order: Ankara University, Boğaziçi University, Erciyes University Gazi University, Gebze Technical University, Hacettepe University, Istanbul University, Istanbul Technical University, Izmir Institute of Technology and Middle East Technical University. The universities that are in the reserve list are as follows: Çukurova University, Ege University, Selçuk University, Uludağ University and Yıldız Technical University. I want to remind the research universities that they were given the important task of achieving our goals in the field of higher education."
President Erdoğan stated that he had been closely following the innovative works of CoHE that would take universities to a level where they could compete with other universities in the world and said:
"I believe that the problems related to the planning of higher education programs, quotas and vocational schools will be solved as the Council of Higher Education will be in charge of the coordination. Important steps are also taken for the cooperation between universities and the private sector which has not reached the desired level. We paved the way for the establishment of vocational schools in organized industrial zones in order to promote training at workplaces in the field of science and engineering. In fact, we brought up these topics to the agenda 15-20 years ago. However, it took a long time for them to be implemented. Many arrangements in developed countries such as technology transfer offices, sabbatical leaves and the employment of postdoctoral researchers have started to be implemented in Turkey. I would like to thank the Council of Higher Education and all related ministries that has contributed to the process. We are ready to take steps to solve the other issues of Turkish universities. In return, we have a request from the universities. We want them to speed up the production of science and contribute to the development of Turkey more. When CoHE informs the government and the public about the developments by presenting the scientific performances of Turkish universities objectively, the projects will be carried out smoothly."
President Erdoğan emphasized that it was especially necessary to conduct activities aimed at enhancing the quality of teachers and stated that they must set out an action plan after discussing it with the Ministry of National Education. "We are looking for new ways when we cannot get the results we want in education and training. Even though we have changed the examination system so many times, we are yet to please teachers, students and their parents. We cannot think of solving these problems like a mathematical operation. It is sociological. It is clearly seen that we could not get the results we wanted about the curriculum and textbooks despite the last changes. We have to solve this issue one way or another," he said.
President Erdoğan pointed out that one of the issues that needed to be emphasized was the quality of teachers and noted that CoHE's project that provides high quality education for the most successful students in fundamental sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology was a step taken for this purpose.
President Erdoğan also stated that it would be beneficial to come up with new approaches that would facilitate the workload of students related to the Higher Education Examination (YGS) and thanked CoHE President for the goods news he has given in his speech.
CoHE President Saraç and some students from Istanbul University, Ardahan University, Konya University, Necmettin Erbakan University, Hacettepe University and Bilkent University presented a bouquet of flowers to President Erdoğan on behalf of all the students.
Following the ceremony, President Erdoğan presented certificates to the rectors of the research universities that were announced within the scope of the "Mission Differentiation and Specialization Aimed at Regional Development Project". The Council of Higher Education launched the project after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave instructions about it in the opening ceremony of the 2016-2017 academic year.
Ankara University, Boğaziçi University, Erciyes University, Gazi University, Gebze Technical University, Hacettepe University, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul University, Izmir Institute of Technology and Middle East Technical University were chosen as research universities and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented certificates to the rectors of these universities.
The award ceremony of the CoHE Excellence Awards, which the Council of Higher Education realized in order to encourage the studies, projects, theses and activities related to community service which are carried out through scientific studies by universities, was held for the first time.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented the awards. They were given in two categories: Individual Awards and Institutional Awards. The Individual Awards were given in Social and Human Sciences, Science and Engineering and Health Sciences. The Institutional Awards were given in Community Service, Regional Development, University-Private Sector and International Cooperation.
Ambassador of Italy Visits CoHE
September 21, 2017 / Ankara
Luigi Mattiolo, Ambassador of Italy to Ankara, met with CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç.
They discussed the relations between Turkey and Italy in the field of higher education in the meeting that took place at CoHE.
They also agreed to work on promoting the relations in higher education between the two countries in every field.
Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Meets CoHE President
September 7, 2017 / Ankara
Walid Bin Abdul Karim El Khereiji, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Ankara, met with CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç.
They discussed the topics related to the cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the field of higher education.
They also exchanged ideas on the steps to be taken in order to develop the cooperation between the two countries in higher education.
Ambassador of Rwanda Meets CoHE President
August 2, 2017 / Ankara
Williams Nkurunziza, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to Ankara, met with CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç.
They discussed the cooperation between Turkey and Rwanda in the field of higher education in the meeting that took place at CoHE.
Ankara Statement for the Forum Entitled “Forming the Higher Education Area of the Islamic World” Announced
July 27, 2017 / Ankara
The panel entitled "Evaluation of the Panel Sessions and Future Prospects" was held on the second day of the "Vice Chancellors' Forum" which was organized by the Council of Higher Education with the participation of the university rectors of the Islamic countries with the aim of developing cooperation between higher education systems and universities in the Islamic world.
The evaluation of the panel sessions entitled "Quality Framework and Quality Assurance", "Credit Transfer System and Mobility", "QA Agencies and Recognition and Equivalency" and "Joint/Dual/Double Degree Programs" were discussed in the panel.
After the panel session, CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç read out the joint statement which contained a summary of the topics discussed in the meeting.
Click here to view the Ankara Statement for the forum entitled "Forming the Higher Education Area of the Islamic World". (In Turkish)
Following the announcement, Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç answered the questions of the journalists.
CoHE President Saraç stated that they decided to form a working group after the statement of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about assistant professorship and have started to work on the matter.
CoHE President Saraç noted that CoHE will pay the utmost attention to ensure that the current assistant professors will not be affected negatively by this change and said, "I would like to say here that a concrete proposal will be made in a short span of time. We will initially pay attention in order not to affect the current assistant professors negatively and to make a brand-new change in the higher education system. The words of the President on this matter in terms of making a brand-new change guided us."