HIGHER EDUCATION BOARD : University Denied Request to Withdraw from Kurdish Program

BIANET 12.10.2012 – The Higher Education Board (YÖK) slashed the number of students allowed to enroll in Mardin Artuklu University’s new Kurdish teaching program from 500 down to 250. The university decided to withdraw from the program, but the YÖK declined their request. The Higher Education Board (YÖK) denied a request by Mardin Artuklu University to cancel its new graduate Kurdish teaching program, after YÖK slashed the number of students allowed to enroll in the program from 500 down to 250.

The 250 students who will not be able to attend the university’s program had already passed the relevant examinations, while YÖK also imposed similar cuts in the number of students authorized to enter Dicle University’s Kurdish program in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Mardin Artuklu University consequently decided to withdraw from the program in protest of YÖK’s decision, but YÖK has now denied that request as well. The university has no other option but to comply with YÖK’s request, said Mardin Artuklu University’s Vice Rector Kadir Yıldırım, who is also the head of the university’s Kurdish program.

The university thus announced they would start their Kurdish classes on Oct. 13 and 14. Many aspiring students had left their homes and jobs to attend the program, but now the university will refund their tuitions instead.

The university’s website also announced they were planning to register the 250 students who were left out of this year’s program for the next education term in February.

YÖK had conjured yet another obstacle when it declared that it was not going to permit some 234 candidate students in the original 500 to receive training for pedagogical formation that is required for teaching jobs. Vice Rector Yıldırım said there were about 100 such students among the 250 who are now allowed to study in the program and that the university would like to provide them with the prerequisite pedagogical training. “We have education sciences departments and instructors under the Department of Literature. We want to give [pedagogical] formation classes through this department, just like in other universities,” Yıldırım said. YÖK is yet to make a decision over this issue, but the university has already announced on its website that it would allow all students to partake in its pedagogical formation program, provided that YÖK approves the decision.