Islamabad - A 21-member team of Higher Education Commission (HEC) attended a week-long professional development programme in Turkey to learn quality assurance mechanism in higher education system. 

The programme was organised 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).

The Pakistani team assessed how different government policies have helped the country in strengthening governance and creating a befitting environment for innovation and commercialisation of research being carried out by faculty members and students.

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.

Turkey has become world’s 16th largest economy and aims to be among top 10 by 2023, the year when the country will complete its first century as a republic. And for achieving this milestone, along with the 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 organisations in fostering universities, development of a well throughout quality assurance and accreditation mechanism, and how universities support innovation and commercialisation of research.

HEC officers representing all key divisions of the Commission were informed about strategies to convert from teacher-centered system of education to learner-centered 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 specialisation.

Director General Planning of HEC Dr Mazhar Saeed said: “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”.

The delegation appreciated 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.