The Turkish Education Association (known for its Turkish acronym TED), which is an umbrella for 21 schools across Turkey with total current enrollment at about 16,000 students, has established a university foundation. According to the news article from the Turkish newspaper Milliyet,the foundation aims to create a university which will begin admitting students for the 2008-2009 academic year.
I have written before about the problem of an excessive focus on a single national university qualifying examination that creates a teach-to-the-test mentality that pervades high school education here, and how the Turkish Education Association has campaigned for reform. I believe one of the roots to this problem is too few places at universities for new students, which results in many otherwise intelligent and creative young people being stifled and redirected from their preferred career choices because of that single exam. Increasing the number of private universities is a step in the right direction.
Spokespersons for TED say that the establishment of a foundation university according to TED's principles will bring more diversity. We can also hope that it will provide educational opportunities more suited to graduates of Turkey's IB programs (two TED schools currently offer IB) who have already begun to learn a different approach to life long learning. In the long run this could give all of us a chance to benefit.
Click here for the original Turkish news article from Milliyet.