Home Eğitim Comment from Dean Engin on YÖK’s decision on education abroad: It is...

Comment from Dean Engin on YÖK’s decision on education abroad: It is correct in terms of regulations, but in terms of history…

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VOLKAN KARSAN – FINANSGUNDEM.COM / WINNING CONVERSATIONS

It has become very important for some Turkish youth to continue their education abroad. In some areas, this has even reached high school age. However, some academics whose opinions we have previously consulted say that it may be more beneficial to go abroad for a master’s or doctorate degree after receiving a good university education in our country. But there are those who claim that the opportunity to live there instead of studying is also very effective in increasing the desire to study abroad.

Finally, YÖK’s new overseas education regulations turned all calculations upside down and the plans of many students and even their parents were affected. The subject was discussed by Galatasaray University Faculty of Law Dean Prof. Dr. We discussed it with Murat Engin…

“I HAVE WORKED AT GALATASARAY UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF LAW SINCE 1998”

– Dear teacher, Mr. Engin, can you tell us about your career, both as a lawyer and as an education administrator, until you reached this stage?

– I graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1985 and Ankara University Faculty of Law in 1989. I worked as a research assistant at the same faculty until 1998. I completed my doctorate in 1998. I have been working as a lecturer in Labor and Social Security law at Galatasaray University Faculty of Law since 1998. I have been the dean of the Faculty of Law for the last two years.

“I THINK IT’S OK FOR HIGHLY QUALIFIED, SUCCESSFUL YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE FIELDS OF BASIC SCIENCES TO GO ABROAD, IT IS BENEFICIAL.”

– In recent years, young people’s interest in studying abroad has increased. Looking at our university system in general, how do you explain the reasons for this interest?

– There are many reasons. Firstly, although there are many universities in Turkey, it is becoming increasingly difficult to enter qualified universities due to competition. Due to the general decrease in quality in universities and the difficulty of finding a satisfactory job in the country after graduation, it is difficult to benefit from working and living opportunities in different countries after studying abroad and to obtain a good university degree abroad. We can count it as the hope of benefiting from the prestige it will provide domestically.

Let’s also talk about the issue of brain drain abroad. In Turkey, we have not yet achieved sufficient development, especially in the field of basic sciences. In this regard, if a young person is talented in basic sciences, in some fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology engineering, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and has a promising future, he should go to the place where he can be trained best in this field, and aim for the best science institutions and laboratories in the world. A person is primarily responsible to himself and should do what is best for him. I think there is no harm in young people who are very qualified and successful in basic science fields going abroad for this purpose. I don’t think it’s a negative brain drain for a young person who doesn’t have enough development opportunities in Turkey to get this opportunity abroad. What is important and what needs to be done for our country here is that the state is in constant contact with our talents, prepares the necessary environment for the return of talented Turkish young people working abroad with their knowledge, makes investments, and in short, develops a consistent and assertive science policy. In short, what is important for our country is to plan the opportunities to benefit from these talents.

This may not necessarily mean returning to the country. It should also be planned that, in cooperation with our citizens working in one of the most important science centers abroad, young people will be sent to these centers on scholarships and do doctoral and post-doctoral studies. How our country can benefit from such a pool of talent and knowledge located abroad should be planned and implemented.

Going back to those who are excluded from the qualified brain drain and the controversial YÖK decision, what will be the situation of the students who will be affected by this regulation change?

“THE DIPLOMAS OF PEOPLE WHO GRADUATE FROM ONE OF THE TOP 400 UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD RANKING WILL BE DIRECTLY RECOGNIZED BY YÖK”

– The text of the regulation published in the official gazette is before me and the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law are specifically listed here.

– According to the regulation, the diplomas of people who graduate from one of the top 400 universities in the world will be directly recognized by YÖK without going through the equivalence process in Turkey.

Those who graduate from a university ranked among the top 400 to 1000 will complete the equivalence procedures in Turkey, as has been the case until now.

In order for the diplomas of those who will go to universities below the top 1000 to be recognized in the future, it is a prerequisite to take the YKS exam the year before the registration and get the score related to the relevant field of education in Turkey. For example, students who enroll in a foreign law faculty other than the top 1000 will be able to take the YKS exam of the year they enroll and receive the minimum score required to enroll in a law faculty, and will be able to complete the equivalence procedures in Turkey after completing their education abroad.

A person is primarily responsible to himself and should do what is best for him. I think there is no harm in young people who are very qualified and successful in basic science fields going abroad for this purpose. I don’t think it’s a negative brain drain for a young person who doesn’t have enough development opportunities in Turkey to get this opportunity abroad.

“IF YOU ASK ME WHETHER I FIND THE PURPOSE OF THIS REGULATION AMENDMENT APPROPRIATE, I FIND THIS DECISION POSITIVE”

– Dear teacher, as you know, this change was published less than 90 days before the YKS exam and after the application deadline. Is there a loss of rights for the first thousand children who will not be able to go to university and have never applied to YKS with the idea of ​​studying abroad?

– It is an issue that needs to be examined in terms of administrative law. I’m not an administrative lawyer, so I don’t want to say anything definitive. If such a decision is taken after the YKS application deadlines have passed or before sufficient time has been left for preparation for the exam, there may be a disability in the administrative process. The regulation change is published in the Official Gazette on March 15, 2024, that is, while there is a short time left to take the university exam. There will definitely be people who will be negatively affected by this. For those who have not prepared for the university exam, who say “I will study abroad anyway” and who are not among the top thousand at the university they were accepted to abroad, you should discuss the possibility of receiving a result from the administrative judiciary with an expert on the subject.

On the other hand, if you are asking me whether I find the purpose of this regulation change appropriate, I find this decision positive.

We are experiencing these problems because there is no serious planning in Turkey’s future education and socioeconomic structuring. In every field, we can look at the following: What is the number of graduates from a department in Turkey and what is the number of people the country can employ from this department?

Since these plans are not available, we are experiencing serious quality problems.

For example, a profession such as law is not the subject of any general education. It is, or rather should be, high-quality elite vocational education. However, in Turkey, law is treated like an embroidery course. There are 90 law schools in Turkey, including those in Cyprus. More than I know how many are waiting in line to open. The total number of students currently studying in law faculties is around ninety thousand. On top of these, there is also the issue of those studying abroad and their equivalence. In this sense, I find the decision positive. If you are going to study law abroad, study at a proper law school. There is no point in this student going abroad if he/she will return with a diploma from an unknown place.

“IF YOU ARE GOING TO STUDY LAW ABROAD, STUDY AT A PROPER LAW SCHOOL”

– Sir, in this context, as you briefly mentioned above, what kind of perspective should young people who want to study abroad exhibit in order to be beneficial for themselves and their country?

First of all, it is important to study what kind of university in which country. This qualified person is also sought after in certain fields. Every country has its own team of people who are specialized in certain fields.

Speaking of medicine, there is a shortage of doctors all over the world, including Türkiye. Therefore, doctors find jobs easily in Europe and America. Going to study medicine abroad may be considered normal.

But there is this: It is necessary to thoroughly research the conditions for graduating from which medical school in which order…

For those who study law abroad, if they want to work in Turkey, the equivalence processes are difficult and troublesome. After receiving a diploma abroad, one needs to take difference courses at a law school for at least two to two and a half years in order to be recognized here.

For example, a profession such as law is not a general education subject. There is also the issue of studying abroad and equivalence. In this sense, I find the decision positive. If you are going to study law abroad, study at a proper law school.

He made it easy there too, saying, “If you are studying at a faculty that is among the top 400 abroad, I will directly recognize your diploma without wasting time on equivalence here.” There is no point in sending this student abroad, even if he does not come back with a diploma from the number one thousandth school in the world rankings.

There are 90 law schools in Turkey, including those in Cyprus. More than I know how many are waiting in line to open. The total number of students currently studying in law faculties is around ninety thousand. On top of these, there is also the issue of those studying abroad and their equivalence. In this sense, I find the decision positive. If you are going to study law abroad, study at a proper law school. There is no point in this student going abroad if he/she will return with a diploma from an unknown place.

“THE UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE NOT IN THE TOP 1000 WILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE YKS AND MEET THE SUCCESS REQUIREMENTS FOR THOSE WHO WILL STUDY IN MEDICINE, DENTISTRY, PHARMACY AND LAW DEPARTMENTS.”

– As far as I understand from what we have talked about so far, this change does not take into account branches such as high technology and engineering other than medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law… In this context, since it is a limited regulation, is there little point in causing great outrage among the masses?

– I don’t think so. The areas he listed are the areas where an incalculable number of faculties have been opened in Turkey and which YÖK has tried to limit by applying minimum base points in recent years. This is the purpose of the requirement for those who will study in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law departments of universities that are not in the top 1000 to take the YKS exam and meet the minimum base score. For other departments, there is no obligation to take YKS. As before, applications for equivalence in other fields will be examined individually and decisions will be made.

“STUDYING ABROAD IS NOT A MEANINGFUL PURPOSE IN ITSELF, WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS MAKING A CONSCIOUS DECISION BY RESEARCHING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE COUNTRY AND IN OTHER COUNTRIES.”

– Sir, in this context, as you briefly mentioned above, what kind of perspective should young people who want to study abroad exhibit in order to be beneficial for themselves and their country?

– The majority of those who study in various fields abroad return to the country and look for a job, and like those who study domestically, they still experience unemployment problems in many fields. In this respect, simply studying abroad is not a meaningful goal in itself.

The important thing is to make a conscious decision by researching employment opportunities within the country and in other countries. Every country has its own qualified labor shortage. For example, in Turkey, the supply of computer engineers is high and the demand is low, while in different countries the supply of computer engineers is low and the demand is high. Talent migration around the world is shaped by this supply and demand.

Young people need to understand well that education abroad is a sector pumped up by companies working in this field for profit motives, to evaluate themselves, their abilities and goals realistically without being delusional, and to make healthy decisions without getting carried away by trying to weigh what employment opportunities may be at home and abroad.

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