Higher education, researcher number, research assistant problems and suggestions to their solutions


YUKSEKOGRETIM DERGISI, vol.5, no.2, pp.57-64, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Title of Journal : YUKSEKOGRETIM DERGISI
  • Page Numbers: pp.57-64


In our country, the rapid increase in the number of universities and students in higher education, started in 1990s doubled the total number in last 10 years. As of 2015, the number of universities and students has reached 193 (including some private vocational schools) and 6 million (including open education faculty and distance learning), respectively. However, as the ratio of the graduate students to undergraduate students being only 11% our country is still far behind developed countries. While some developed countries achieved the goal in terms of number of researchers many years ago such as Finland, South Korea, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the total number of researchers is 5,933 (2,407-11,000) per million people (TUBITAK, 2010), in our country this number is 1,688 (Cetinsaya, 2014). Similarly, countries with a degree of sophistication in terms of the average number of researchers in these countries is 87 (38-162) per ten thousand employees, while 70 in OECD countries, this number is 33 in Turkey (TUBITAK, 2010). In Turkey, the number of students per faculty member is 51 (Ozer, 2011; YOK, 2015) and 16 in OECD countries (URAP, 2015). The number of researchers planned as Turkey Vision 2023 is 300 thousand (Cetiner, 2012, Cetinsaya, 2014). To this aim, special precautions in increasing the number of graduate students in particular PhD are strongly needed. Because the number of students completing their PhDs is only around 5,000 per year (to achieve 2023 vision target 20,000 per year is needed starting today); according to the latest data in 2012-2013 education year the ratio of number of PhDs to the number of PhD students was 7.5% and to newely registered ones was 33.5% (YOK, 2015). The similar ratios are observed in other years checked for.