The Role of the Private Universities in Turkish Higher Education System in 2000s.

Issue 4

“The Role of the Private Universities in Turkish Higher Education System in 2000s. ”

İrfan Erdoğan
Page 155 – 171


At the base of Turkish higher education system lies the establishment of the army-founded schools in 1770s. In 1863 the first university called Darülfunun was founded. Since then the higher education system in Turkey has been reformed for several times. In nearly all of the refrom attempts the basic aim has been to meet the needs of the country and increasing demand for higher education. Recently, a rapid increase in the number of private universities throughout the country is clearly visible. Today, the number of the private universities accounts for 23 of 76 universities. The enrollment in these private universities accounts for 6.2 per cent of all students in higher education. The number of faculties in these universities accounts for 6.6 per cent of all faculties in all universities. Most of the private universities are located in İstanbul, Ankara and Izmir and the instruction in these universities are implemented in a foreign language. Expansion of the private universities can contribute to increase the schooling rate, which is 18 percent now at the higher education level. The point is that there has always been an effort to change universities in Turkey to respond to the needs of the society whereas universities generally have been institutions that change society. A suggestion for the private universities is that they should look for strategies that make them unique- not same or similar. Some of them may concentrate on graduate education while some them on research, or social sciences etc.