Serkan Alan/ DUVAR
According to a study conducted by Dr. Engin Karadağ of the University Research Laboratory, 68 of Turkey's 196 university presidents have never published an article in an international journal, while 71 have never been cited.
The study indicates that of these 68 presidents, 44 are the at the top position of state universities, while 24 are the presidents of private foundation universities. Of the 71 university presidents who have never been cited, 46 were from state universities while 25 were from private foundation universities.
Among the top ten presidents with the most publications and citations included those from Istanbul's Sabancı, Koç and Yıldız Teknik Universities, as well as Ankara's Bilikent University, all of which are among the country's most prestigious institutions of higher education.
Karadağ said that the prestige of Turkey's universities are declining in the global sphere, noting that in 2011 two Turkish universities were ranked among the top 200 in the world, while today there is not a single one in the top 200, and according some some rankings, there are none in the top 500 universities worldwide.
“Generally in eastern societies there is a concentration on leaders, and a leader can change an institution. I occupied myself with the issue of whether university presidents were changing [their universities.] I wondered if there was a relationship between the qualifications of the presidents and the rankings of the universities. And sure enough, how ever qualified a president is in the academic arena, their university's performance increases accordingly,” Karadağ said.
“We are going to look at the profiles of all the presidents. At the moment we have just brought to light their academic profiles, but their complete profiles will be released together with an article. Within this article it will include what discipline they came from, and what positive and negative changes they have made to their universities,” Karadağ added.