New YÖK chief vows to catch up with world
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The new head of the Higher Education Board Gökhan Çetinsaya (L) shakes hands with outgoing Chairman Yusuf Ziya Özcan at a handover ceremony in Ankara. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe new head of the Higher Education Board (YÖK) Gökhan Çetinsaya has said his priority will be to carry out reforms to ensure education and academic research at Turkish universities catch up with the highest international standards.
“In the new term, I am determined to work to create a new higher education system that will bring Turkish universities to international levels in education and research so we can compete and interact with the world’s leading universities,” Çetinsaya said as he formally took over his post yesterday.
Çetinsaya, who previously served as the rector of Istanbul’s Şehir University, declined to take questions, saying he would hold a press conference soon.
Outgoing Chairman Yusuf Ziya Özcan said he had “no regrets” regarding his four-year term at YÖK. “Many serious problems hampering higher education in Turkey have been resolved. In this sense, I’m leaving Mr. Çetinsaya a largely problem-free YÖK,” he said.
Özcan confirmed he had been offered to serve as an adviser at President Abdullah Gül’s office but refused to give details on grounds the issue had not been yet finalized. Under Özcan, YÖK has granted de facto freedom to the Islamic headscarf on campuses and abolished exam rules that made it harder for religious school graduates to enter faculties other than divinity.