Erdoğan orders education watchdog to shut down distance education programs for psychology studies

Turkish President Erdoğan has ordered the country’s education watchdog YÖK to shut down the universities' distance education programs for psychology studies. The move came after Istanbul University’s plan to launch such a program received widespread criticism among psychologists.

Duvar English

President Recep TayyipErdoğan has asked the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) to shut down the Turkishuniversities’ psychology programs that are offered through distance education.  

The announcement was made by Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Twitter on Aug. 5.

Erdoğan has “submitted his opinion that ‘the closure of psychology undergraduate programs in open education would be beneficial’ to the Council of Higher Education,” Altun wrote.  

The move came after Istanbul University announced that it was planning to launch a psychology undergraduate program as part of its distance education model. The university's plan faced fierce criticism from the Turkish Psychological Association (TPD).

“Inclusion of pscyology undergraduate program in open and distance learning is not possible and acceptable, as per the science of psychology and universal higher education principles,” the TPD said, adding that this move was a threat for the public health.  

In the face of these reactions, Erdoğan instructed the Presidency’s Education and Teaching Policies Council to prepare a report regarding distance university education issue for psychology studies.  

Altun announced that Presidency’s Education and Teaching Policies Council penned the relevant report indicating that distance learning in psychology degree programs would lead to deterioration in the education’s quality.