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President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke at the academic year opening ceremony of Dokuz Eylül University in İzmir today (October 19).
In his speech, where he addressed the problems in university education, President Erdoğan evaluated the problems as follows:
"Our higher education institutions that we have today are the successors of the oldest educational institutions of the world. The Harran School in the province of Şanlıurfa is considered to be one of the oldest universities in the world. Our cities in the Aegean region, which have a thousand-year history, are also centers of culture and knowledge.
"How come are the universities in Turkey not among the best 500 universities of the world? It means that we have lost something, it means that there is a problem somewhere.
Universities in Turkey on the lower ranks among the best 1000 universities
Only 13 universities in Turkey could qualify to be listed among the best 1000 universities of the world in the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) for the years 2018 and 2019. According to the official records, there are currently 206 universities in Turkey.
The 13 universities are as follows:
Hacettepe University (525), İstanbul University (560), Middle East Technical University (METU) (596), Ege University (616), Ankara University (625), İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) (648), Gazi University (679), Boğaziçi University (740), Bilkent University (789), Erciyes University (874), Çukurova University (932), Dokuz Eylül University (938), Atatürk University (979).
"We cannot achieve the desired results yet"
"In this process, we have made the biggest investment in education; but, I cannot, unfortunately, say that we could achieve the desired results.
Academics discharged by the Statutory Decrees of the AKP
Since September 1, 2016, the number of academics, who have been discharged as per a total of 12 Statutory Decrees issued within the scope of State of Emergency, has increased to 6 thousand 817.
There will be changes in the educational system
"We still have problems in terms of the content and system (in education). God willing, in the new school year, our primary goal will be to increase the level of education, both in terms of system and content, in such a way to contribute to Turkey to reach its goals.
"We will change our perspective and practices in all areas starting from the family and reaching to the university and working life in accordance with the needs of our country."
"We have 8 million university students"
"As you know, I was in Germany a short time ago. During our meeting with the Chancellor (Angela Merkel), I asked her about the number of university students in Germany. And, of course, her answer was interesting.
"She mentioned having around 3 million students at academic institutions. There are currently 8 million students in our universities. It means that we are actually good. In other words, we can have some problems in terms of quality; but, our way is still open." (HK/SD)
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