TRNC universities should aim for excellence not profit

TRNC universities readily accept fees for student registration without considering international educational standards of admission; this could impact the reputation of those universities, and make them less attractive to more able students, Educational Scientist, President of Cyprus Educational Research Association (KEAB), Salih Sarpten, told Kibris Postasi.

Referring to the results of the 2022 Higher Education Institutions Exam (YKS) placements,  Sarpten said that the number of mainland Turkish students applying for places in North Cyprus had fallen by 21 percent.

Fewer Turkish students are registering at TRNC universities because now there are more university places available  in Turkey, he said.

Another reason for the fall in numbers is because of registration fees, expensive transportation and accommodation, and economic difficulties.

Meanwhile, university applications from young people from African, Arabian Peninsula and Near East countries have increased in line with higher numbers of ‘student brokers’. 

The number of student recruitment agencies in the country is increasing uncontrollably. These agencies are able to bring even those young people who do not have a higher education problem [in their own country] to our country as students, on the condition that they only pay their school registration fees, by making one-to-one contact with students from African, Arabian Peninsula and Near East countries”, Sarpten said.

He noted that TRNC universities had become less attractive because they accepted student registrations irrespective of international education norms.

Local universities should stop viewing students as mere cash cows, he said.

Sarpten emphasised that in order for universities to develop, first of all, clear and understandable admission requirements in accordance with international norms and high school graduation conditions should be introduced for the admission of foreign students. If these norms are complied with for student admissions, “The way for high-level students who aim at higher education to choose our country’s universities will be opened“, he said.

Sarpten pointed to the increasing numbers of foreign students registered with TRNC universities who never turn up for lectures and end up working unofficially or getting into trouble with the law.

LGC News

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