Turkish universities should open doors to more foreign scholars and students: President Gül
KAYSERİ – Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Abdullah Gül speaks at the Abdullah Gül University in his hometown of Kayseri on Oct. 25. AA photo
Turkish universities should not hesitate to open their doors to more foreign scholars and students, President Abdullah Gül said during a speech at his eponymous university urging for the encouragement of increasing contact with other academic cultures.
“I will tell the Higher Education Board [YÖK] when I meet them. Don’t hesitate to bring more foreign students and scholars [to Turkey]. Quite on the contrary, let’s encourage it,” Gül said in his address during the start of the academic year at Abdullah Gül University in his hometown of Kayseri on Oct. 25.
“I will consider removing the quotas of foreign students so each university can independently enroll students from other countries as a great contribution to Turkey,” he added.
According to the Turkish higher education system, the numbers of foreign students that can be enrolled for each university and faculty are determined by YÖK. In addition to this, the state institution, based in Ankara, has the final word in approving each foreign student’s application.
Gül said that he wished Turkish universities would become more self-confident and competitive on an international level, pointing to the necessity to closely follow what is happening in the academic circles of other countries.
Necessity of a profound reform
Gül also called for an “urgent and comprehensive” reform of higher education to set a higher academic standard. “While Turkey is making deep reforms in a lot of areas, it should not delay the deep-rooted reform in education, particularly in universities,” he said, emphasizing the goal should be defined as producing graduates that could work anywhere in the world.
“Students have asked me ‘how you would want us to be?’ So I said I would like them to become graduates who are able to work in Kayseri, Turkey or anywhere in the world,” he said.
“As you go to any province in Turkey and visit it with a helicopter, you will see the most beautiful campuses, buildings and gardens of this province belongs to the universities. It wasn’t like this before. So as the state, we give such incentives and support; our expectations from the universities are also grand.”
The Abdullah Gül University was founded in 2010 in Kayseri. It has three faculties and distinguishes itself with its spacious and modern campus.