Coefficients in Turkish university exam lifted

Coefficients in Turkish university exam lifted

ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Coefficients in Turkish university exam lifted

The YÖK fixes an equal coefficient for the grade point average of all students in university entrance exams. Hürriyet photo

Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) has ended the controversial application of different coefficients for students at university entrance exams in a move that puts graduates of imam-hatip religious vocational high schools on equal par with others.

The YÖK has fixed an equal coefficient of 0.12 for the grade point average of all students, regardless of what faculty they apply for, effectively neutralizing its impact.

The coefficient rule, designed to confine graduates of imam-hatip schools to divinity faculties, was introduced in the late 1990s after an army-led campaign forced Turkey’s first Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign. Under the former practice, YÖK awarded imam-hatip graduates lesser coefficients for their scores when they chose to apply to departments other than divinity, practically blocking their way to faculties that could propel them to prominent public posts. The practice was valid for graduates of all vocational schools who sought to enter universities outside their field.

Before yesterday’s decision, YÖK had already minimized the impact of the coefficients, keeping the punitive one at 0.12, only slightly lower than the normal coefficient of 0.15.

YÖK officials reportedly rushed the decision in order to have it included in the 2012 handbook for next year’s university exam, which has to be finalized by Dec. 15.

At the same meeting, the board approved the Rize University’s decision to change its name to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University in honor of Turkey’s prime minister, who hails from the region.