YÖK looks for university rectors through job ads after cancellation of elections

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Academics from the İstanbul-based Boğaziçi University, gathered in the university campus on Nov.1 to call on the government to annul a government decree that cancelled elections held at universities to elect rectors.

Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) is looking for university rectors through job advertisements taken out in national newspapers after the Turkish government last month abolished intra-university elections.

YÖK has placed ads for the posts of 19 university rectors. The candidates are required to have served as a professor at least for three years, be age 67 or younger and comply with Civil Servants Act No, 657.

The appointment of the rectors will be made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government issued two decrees late in October, which among other things canceled the intra-university elections that used to be held to elect university rectors. University rectors will now be appointed directly by the president.

According to the former system in Turkey, universities held elections within their institutions, but the ultimate decision lay with the president. Erdoğan insisted that the abolition of the election system would be beneficial for the country.

The move attracted widespread criticism in that it will eliminate universities’ autonomy.

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