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University students reacted to Erdoğan’s new faculty decision: The effort to divide the Bosphorus

With the decision published in the Official Gazette with the signature of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday, the Vocational School of Applied Sciences at Boğaziçi University was closed. The Faculty of Management was established in place of the closed college.

Making a statement on his social media account after the decision, Boğaziçi University rector Naci İnci said that this transformation has been on the agenda for 20 years. İnci said, “Bogazici University School of Applied Sciences, which includes three departments that are recognized as leaders in their fields in Turkey, will now provide education in the status of a faculty. Students who choose Boğaziçi University International Trade, Management Information Systems and Tourism Management departments will then graduate with a “Faculty of Management Sciences” diploma. I am happy to have contributed to the realization of this transformation, which has been on the agenda for 20 years, and I wish success in advance to the Boğaziçi students who will graduate from the Faculty of Management.”

“NO REQUIRED QUALITIES”

Ünal Zenginobuz, Head of the Department of Economics at Boğaziçi University, stated that the decision was the result of İnci administration’s efforts to establish its own power within the university and said, “This is a place where vocational school started. There is already a faculty of economics and administrative sciences. There is also a faculty of management sciences. This is definitely not the university’s request. With this decision, a quiet university picture emerged. In terms of the university, there are various obstacles for that unit to become a faculty. The decision is entirely to divide the university, to create a duality between the faculties and to try to establish the administrative power that they could not establish.” Stating that the vocational school is a problematic place due to its establishment, Zenginobuz added: “In 2019, a very detailed discussion was held in a commission in which I was an active participant. Being a faculty was rejected by the decision that came out from there. They were not qualified to become faculties on their own. While there is a faculty of economics and administrative sciences with the highest score in Turkey, the decision to add a faculty of management sciences next to it is not in good faith.”

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“DOUBLE WILL CREATE”

Zenginobuz said that the decision in question would create a dichotomy with the faculty of economics and administrative sciences within the university. Zenginobuz said, “This is actually a process that started with the conversion of a two-year vocational school into a four-year vocational school of applied sciences in the early 1990s. The fact that they said ‘There can be no vocational school in Boğaziçi University’ and turned it into four years is a move that will exacerbate the problem. Boğaziçi is a research-oriented university. For 20 years, there have been various attempts within the university to make this school of applied sciences a faculty. But this initiative is very problematic,” he said.

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