Erdoğan hints at overhaul of university entrance exams
ANKARAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hinted at overhauling university entrance exams after the removal of a key exam that has been allowing the placement of nearly 1.3 million secondary school students to various high schools in Turkey.
“[Change in the university entrance exam system] will also happen. The Higher Education Board [YÖK] is working on that subject too,” Erdoğan said when asked by reporters whether the government is also mulling a new system for universities.
The issue came to the agenda after the government announced the removal of the Transition from Basic Education to Secondary Education (TEOG) exam, which came after Erdoğan said in an interview on Sept. 15 that the system should be annulled.
Also commenting on the issue in an interview with the state broadcaster TRT on Sept. 20, Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz said changes to the university entrance system was already included in the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) election manifesto.
“I don’t know when it will happen,” he said, while adding that “the system is too rigid.” “There is an article in our program to hold the university entrance exam more than once in a year,” he added.
Asked how the government is planning to replace the TEOG system, Yılmaz said, “Our friends are working on it. We will convey the alternatives to the cabinet. We will announce the new system afterwards.”
“Our Education Ministry is the expert institution in Turkey on assessment and evaluation. We will convey it to the cabinet in a month and will announce it as soon as it is approved,” he added.
“There are 1.3 million students at middle school level. Some suggest that every school should do their own examinations while others suggest admission should be based on the address of residency. Some schools are long-established, and some suggest cumulative grades to be assessed in admission to such schools,” Yılmaz said.
He announced that the government will recruit 20,000 instructors in 2018.