Higher Education System in Turkey
The Council of Higher Education (CoHE-YÖK in Turkish) was established with the Law No. 2547 dated 6 November 1981. With this law, it has commenced in a restructuring process of academic, institutional and administrative aspects in higher education. With this law, all higher education institutions in Turkey have gathered under the roof of CoHE; academies, universities, educational institutions have been transformed into the faculties of education, and conservatories and vocational higher schools (VHS) have been affiliated to universities (http://www.yok.gov.tr/en/web/cohe/history, 2017).
Turkish universities offer Associate’s degree programs, Bachelor’s degree programs, Graduate programs, and Post-graduate programs. Associate’s degree programs take 2 years. Vocational high school graduates can qualify for associate’s degree programs without taking any centralized exams. Bachelor’s degree programs generally take 4 years. Specialized bachelor’s degree programs, such as medicine (6 years), may be longer. Graduate Programs in Universities in Turkey offer a wide range of graduate programs. While master’s programs take about 2 years (non-thesis master’s programs generally take 1½ years), doctoral programs take about 4 years. Post-graduate opportunities are also available in universities in Turkey. Duration depends on the program and university. (http://www.yok.gov.tr/en/web/cohe/higher-education-system, 2017)
There are two types of universities in Turkey, namely State and Non-profit Foundation Universities and the units in the universities are as follows:
- Faculty (College): A division conducting highereducation, scholarly research and publication. Various departments and programs may be connected to it. It carries out an educational program of at least four years duration that culminates with the award of a Bachelor’s degree.
- Graduate School: An institution in universities concerned with graduate education, scholarly research and applications. Graduate Schools award MA, MSc or PhD degrees.
- Post-secondary School: An institution of higher education which is mainly concerned with providing instruction for a specific profession. It carries out eight-semester education.
- Conservatory: An institution of higher education in which artists are trained for music and the performing arts. It carries out eight-semester education.
- Post-secondary Vocational School: An institution of higher education that is aimed at training human capacity in specific professions and provides instruction lasting four semesters.
- Research and Application Center: An institution of higher education carrying out research and applied studies to meet the applied study needs of various areas and to provide preparatory and support activities for various professional areas, with the aim of supporting education in institutions of higher education (The Council of Higher Education, 2014).
Music Teacher Training
In 1982, with the establishment of CoHE, the Turkish constitution was changed to include new provisions for higher education. As a result of this restructuring, teacher education programs, previously had been associated with education institutions affiliated with the Milli Eğitim
Bakanlığı (Ministry of National Education), were transferred to the CoHE. Since then, classroom and subject teachers at all levels of schools affiliated with the Ministry of National Education are trained under the faculties of education of the universities. Up to date (2017), there are 25 universities’ faculties of education offer music teacher education programs in their structure train music teachers to the nation (http://www.muzikegitimcileri.net/, 2017).
CoHE remodeled education faculties’ curriculum in 1998 (Please see the following link for 1998 Teacher Education curricula including music teacher education -in Turkish: http://www.yok.gov.tr/documents/10279/30217/Egitim_fakultesi_ogretmen_yetistirme_lisans_programlari_mart_98.pdf/5e166018-b806-48d5-ae13-6afd5dac511c). As a result, the nation’s music teacher education programs were reconstructed and combined under one central curriculum. In 2006, there was another change on the curriculum of teacher education programs and music teacher education programs had no exception (Please see the following link for 2006 Teacher Education Curricula including music teacher education -in Turkish: http://www.yok.gov.tr/documents/10279/30217/E%C4%9E%C4%B0T%C4%B0M+FAK%C3%9CLTES%C4%B0%20%C3%96%C4%9ERETMEN+YET%C4%B0%C5%9ET%C4%B0RME+L%C4%B0SANS+PROGRAMLARI.pdf/054dfc9e-a753-42e6-a8ad-674180d6e382). Currently, music teacher education is conducted in these 25 universities’ faculties of education music education departments using the same central curriculum structured by the CoHE. State conservatory and Fine Arts Faculty graduates are also given an opportunity to become music teachers after the completion of their pedagogy courses.
http://www.muzikegitimcileri.net/, Ret.: 29.05.2017.
http://www.yok.gov.tr/en/web/cohe/history, Ret.: 29.05.2017.
http://www.yok.gov.tr/en/web/cohe/higher-education-system, Ret.: 29.05.2017.
The Council of Higher Education (COHE) (2014). Higher Education System in Turkey. Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey.