07 Jun 2021

CoHE Research-Oriented Specialization Program Sector Matching Meeting was Held at ITU

Istanbul Technical University hosted the “Research-Oriented Specialization Program Sector Matching Meeting” coordinated by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE). The meeting held at Süleyman Demirel Cultural Center in ITU Ayazağa Campus was attended by CoHE President Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç, President of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal and rectors of research and candidate research universities.

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

“With the matched areas, the added value of our work will increase further”

ITU Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu made the opening speech of the meeting and said that they are at a very important turning point for research universities and with the sector matchings, collaborations and business models to be created under the leadership of CoHE, the flow of information from research universities will be much faster and the added value of the studies carried out will be much higher. Stating that ITU always attaches importance to R&D, innovation and collaborations, Koyuncu said, "Thanks to the 'collaboration culture' we have acquired, we have achieved many successes at the national and international level, together with our stakeholders, under the leadership of our Council of Higher Education. I believe that the new approach to be brought forth with this meeting will add a new dimension to these achievements and take them to a much higher level.”

 “Research University concept is an important criterion taken into account in development plans

Regarding the Research-Oriented Specialization Project, Council of Higher Education (CoHE) President Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç said, “CoHE will encourage our research and candidate research universities to establish institutes, joint research centers, centers and departments related to the determined specialization areas. This report will be taken into account in the universities’ growth route and staff demands. Universities in the same specialization area will be encouraged to work together.”

Stating that one of the main projects that they have implemented and attach the most importance to as the new CoHE is the specialization of universities, Saraç underlined that they have come a long way on this path. He pointed out that one pillar of this issue is the determination of specialized universities and the other is the determination of specialization areas.

Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç continued as follows: “Two points come to the fore in specialization. First, these areas of specialization should be established by taking into account the goals of our country in line with the development plans and the priorities of our scientific life. Another important point is the competencies of our universities in these priority areas. As CoHE, we believe that method is as important as goals in every business. For this reason, we have determined merit and competence as the guiding principle and the most important factor in all of our determination and support activities. We followed the same method in our meeting today, in matching the priority sectors in the development plan with research universities.”

Emphasizing the goal "Research universities will be matched with priority sectors taking into account their competencies, and business models will be implemented based on projects created to achieve the specified targets and these collaborations will be supported" included in the Eleventh Development Plan, Saraç said that those sectors are chemistry, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electronics, machinery-electrical equipment, automotive, rail system vehicles and food supply safety, and they also determined sub-areas.

 Competencies and capacities of universities matched with sectors were revealed

Prof. Dr. Saraç stated that the universities to be matched with these sectors at the next stage should be determined on area-sector basis and said, “For this, as a result of the specialization and mission differentiation project, which is one of the main projects of the new CoHE, a study had to be carried out on the 'research universities' in the Turkish higher education system and the competencies and capacities of our universities had to be determined. In this regard, the 'Results of Field-Based Competence Analysis of Research Universities’ prepared by TÜBİTAK was taken into consideration. Of course, it was important to take the opinions and preferences of our universities while making area matchings, and we also took their preferences. After receiving their preferences from our universities, separate meetings were held with each of our rectors.”

 “Matched areas and universities”

Areas and universities matched with all the sectors in the Eleventh Development Plan are listed as follows:

Chemistry: ITU, İzmir Institute of Technology, Ege, Ankara, Selçuk, METU, Gazi and Gebze Technical.

Pharmaceuticals: Ankara, Hacettepe, Ege, Erciyes, İstanbul and İstanbul Cerrahpaşa.

Medical devices: Boğaziçi, Hacettepe, Gazi, İstanbul, İstanbul Cerrahpaşa.

Electronics: Boğaziçi, METU, Yıldız Technical, Gebze Technical and İzmir Institute of Technology.

Automotive and rail systems: Yıldız Technical, Gebze Technical, ITU, Çukurova, Boğaziçi, Uludağ and METU.

Machinery and electrical equipment: Yıldız Technical, Gazi, ITU, Çukurova, METU, Selçuk, İstanbul Cerrahpaşa, Erciyes, Boğaziçi.

Food supply safety: Ankara, Erciyes, Çukurova, Ege, Uludağ, Hacettepe, Selçuk, İstanbul.

 “Our universities will be encouraged to establish institutes, centers and departments related to the determined specialization areas”

Noting that these matchings, made according to the Eleventh Development Plan, will be forwarded to the Presidency of Strategy and Budget, Saraç stated that this will ensure that universities' areas of expertise will be taken into account in the decision-making processes in the investment programs to be made in the coming years.

Regarding the Research-Oriented Specialization Project, Prof. Dr. Saraç said, “CoHE will encourage our research and candidate research universities to establish institutes, joint research centers, centers and departments related to the determined specialization areas. This report will be taken into account in the universities’ growth route and staff demands. Universities in the same specialization area will be encouraged to work together. An indirect result of this study is that the 'research university' concept that the new CoHE brought to Turkish higher education is becoming more and more established with time, and becoming a criterion taken into account in development plans. This, of course, lays even more diverse missions and responsibilities on our universities. The system is now developing in a success-oriented way.”

Presentations were made after Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç’s speech. CoHE Exectuive Board Member Prof. Dr. Naci Gündoğan made a presentation titled “Matching Research and Candidate Research Universities with Priority Sectors and Sub-Areas in the Eleventh Development Plan”. CoHE Member and TÜBİTAK President Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal made a presentation titled “The Method Followed in Matching Universities and Areas”. The program concluded with ITU Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Lütfiye Durak Ata’s presentation titled “How Can We Increase the Visibility of Our Universities in International Rankings? ITU Experience”.

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