Turkey to boost vocational schools to ease dense universities, minister says

World Faizah Kamal 24-Jan-2020
Turkey education
ID 146707225 © Aleksandar Mijatovic | Dreamstime.com

Turkey’s education minister Professor Ziya Selçuk has said that the country needs to decrease the number of students at universities by strengthening vocational schools, which would also help to supply the small and medium-sized enterprises with qualified manpower. He underlined that education should prepare individuals for life overall and not university entrance tests.

“Our main project is to ease the accumulation at the universities by making our vocational schools more attractive. In countries where the number of university students is too excessive, that means there is a problem there. Not everybody has to go to university,” Selçuk told the news agency Hürriyet Daily News on a visit to the Demirören Media Centre on January 23 in Ankara.

Turkey’s number of university students exceeded 7.5 million as of 2019, with more than 2 million high school graduates passing university entrance exams annually. A very high proportion of university graduates fail to find a job, adding new figures to the country’s already troubled unemployment figures.

Strengthening and updating the curricula and equipment of the vocational schools would be a good way of offering an alternative to the students, Selçuk said, informing about the positive results of the implementation of this new understanding in the pilot scheme.

“We have turned the hotels, factories and plants into vocational schools as the equipment pool at schools has long been ago outdated. The idea was ‘if you cannot provide new equipment, then relocate the education where you can find the necessary tools’,” he stressed. Initial results of this new system are encouraging as both the students and the businesses express satisfaction, he added.