FEAS participated in the 3rd International Congress on Trends in Higher Education, Istanbul

June 3rd, 2013

The Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Prof. Dr. Güngör Turan and the Dean of Faculty of Economy of Tirana University, Prof. Dr. Sulo Haderi participated in the 3rd International Congress on Trends in Higher Education, held by İstanbul's Fatih University, between May 30 - June 1, 2013, Istanbul, Turkey, that brought together 80 university rectors from 25 countries to discuss the past, present and future of education in terms of innovation.

The president of Turkey's Higher Education Board (YÖK), Professor Gökhan Çetinsaya, said in his opening speech that universities have two main functions. One is to provide education to all and to contribute to research and development. Underlining the service of universities to society, Professor Çetinsaya said that “universities should be able to create solutions for the social, economic and environmental problems of societies.”

Harvard University Professor Nelson Yuan-sheng delivered a speech on new perspectives in education and stated that education is undergoing an important change. Emphasizing that the state should have a minimal role in higher education, the professor said that “the state should allocate finances for universities and encourage private investment with as little intervention as possible.”

Stating that although Harvard University was hard-hit by the loss of an endowment of nearly $16 billion in 2008, it was able to recover by becoming an entrepreneurial university. Yuan-sheng also said that the whole idea of ranking of universities is “absurd” because a university is an educational institution and not a kind of business.

Zambian Minister of Education John Fury presented his point of view by comparing the latest trends in development in the context of education in Turkey with that of Africa. He pointed out the socio-economic challenges that Africans in particular face in terms of higher education.

Professor David Evans, vice president of Buena Vista University, discussed the problems faced by small colleges as they do not benefit from the economy at large.

Özyeğin University Rector Erhan Erkurt delved into why not just universities but even the industrial sector in Turkey lacks innovation. He said that since Turkish culture is behind the trends in education and business, it is not on track for innovation and entrepreneurship. According to him, the leadership of Turkish organizations and government never encourage entrepreneurship or the flourishing of ideas in business.

Professor Abang Abdullah Ali, president of the Malaysian Society for Engineering and Technology, talked about global interest in higher education and the need to enhance the quality of teaching received by university students and the training received by graduates.