HEC Team Visits Turkey To Learn Best Practices In Higher Education

HEC team visits Turkey to Learn Best Practices in Higher Education

ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 10th Nov, 2016 ) : A 21-member team of Higher Education Commission (HEC) attended a week-long professional development programme at Turkey to understand how different Government policies have helped the country strengthen governance and quality assurance mechanism of its higher education system. Another aim of the visit was to create a befitting environment for innovation and commercialization of research being carried out by faculty members and students.

The programme was organized in collaboration with Turkey's Council of Higher Education at Tusside Institute of Management Sciences, a constituent institute of Scientific and Technological Research Council (Tubitak), said a press release on Thursday. The programme provided a comprehensive overview of Turkey's higher education ecosystem, which has developed rapidly during the last 15 years due to Government's focused policies and well-coordinated efforts of all the stakeholders.

It is pertinent to mention that Turkey has become world's 16th largest economy and aims to be among top 10 by 2023, the year when country will complete its first century as a Republic. And for achieving this milestone, along with Government and industry Turkey's higher education sector is playing a significant role. During various sessions, seasoned resource persons elaborated how Turkey has responded to emerging global trends and opportunities in higher education, functioning of the Council of Higher Education, role of different other agencies including ministries and R&D organizations in fostering universities, development of a well throughout quality assurance and accreditation mechanism, and how universities support innovation and commercialization of research.

HEC officers, who represented all key divisions of the Commission, were informed about strategies to convert from teacher- centred system of education to learner-centred system. It was explained how Turkey has benefitted after becoming part of Europe's Bologna Process that provides a comprehensive Framework for Qualifications. Further, the universities are being encouraged and supported to become mission oriented and focus on specific areas of their specialization.

The team visited different higher learning institutions to gain firsthand experience of how universities in Turkey have become an important pillar of country's socio-economic development. They visited Sabanci University, which started functioning in 1999 and has become one of the leading universities in Turkey and has also made its mark in various international rankings. The delegates were given a comprehensive presentation on University's governance structure, quality assurance mechanisms and innovation and entrepreneurial system.

Similarly they went to Yildiz Technical University, whose key feature is its Technology Park established in 2013 at its new campus. Yildiz Technopark hosts over 220 technology firms mostly related to Machinery and Manufacturing, ICT, Electronics, Software Development as well as 100 incubator companies and more than 5000 qualified R&D employees. For the purpose of transferring the knowledge generated in university to industry, Yildiz Technology Transfer Office offers training and consulting services to academics, students, industrialists and entrepreneurs for developing R&D projects, protecting intellectual property rights, incorporation and commercialization of business ideas.

"Overall, the programme provided us a big opportunity to seek guidance from rapid development of Turkey's higher education system and see areas where we can collaborate for mutual benefit. We appreciate the Council of Higher Education and Tusside Institute of Management Sciences Turkey for providing a comprehensive overview of how they are aligning their higher education system to country's socio-economic needs. Though HEC has been working almost on the same lines, it will definitely help us to further streamline our processes," said Dr Mazhar Saeed, Director General Planning of HEC who lead the delegation.