Ezgi CEVHER, Hasan YÜKSEL*
*Asst. Prof. Dr. Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta Vocational School, Department of Management and Organization, Isparta, Turkey.
**Asst. Prof. Dr. Cankiri Karatekin University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, Cankiri, Turkey.
Problem Statement: With the increasing importance of information and research, the importance of education and training has also increased. Especially in higher education institutions, educators have started to instruct students in accordance with the requirements of the modern era, and universities have influenced the international and national competitive powers in the educational domain. Nowadays, universities in developed countries are not only the organizations that execute education and training services, but they are also the institutions that produce more academic studies to enhance their environments, contribute to society through their projects, and integrate with business and industry organizations. In connection with these goals the higher education sector can improve the performances of many universities and reconstruct them by changing and improving conditions. These changes can only be possible with appropriate strategies.
Purpose of the Study: This study reveals the present situation regarding education in public universities and aims to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Within the framework of Turkey’s higher-education strategy, the current state of the universities is discussed and certain suggestions were made.
Method: Considering that the main field of activity in universities is “training and education”, the public universities in Turkey have been evaluated in this study via a content analysis of the strategic plans of “training and education activities”. In total, the plans of 90 out of 103 state universities were analyzed according to a qualitative analysis. The dataset obtained was converted into numbers by means of the SPSS 15.0 program using frequency analysis.
Results and Findings: Assessing the dataset obtained, one third of the universities stated that “maintaining a diversity of programs, enhancing social activities, achieving a close interaction between the students and academicians, and increasing quality and accreditation” were among their strengths. As for their weaknesses, “inadequacy of interaction with graduates; inadequacy of social fields; inadequacy of health, culture, and sport facilities; inadequacy of foreign language education; inadequacy of library opportunities; scarcity of graduate programs; inadequacy of psychological counseling and guidance services; inadequacy of scholarship support; scarcity of application-oriented studies; and inadequacy of educational material” were listed. Nearly half of the universities regard “exchange programs” as opportunities, and they focus on the “Bologna Process and Exchange”. On the other hand, “increasing the number of public and private universities” is seen as a threat.
Conclusions and recommendations: As a result of the study, the categories for strengths in the higher education strategy include “education field, social activity, life culture, and communication”. The weaknesses mentioned by the universities, as stated in the higher-education plan, can be strengthened with the strategies involving “physical opportunities, communication, social activities, life culture, scholarship and part-time work opportunities, student satisfaction, and educational implementations”. For the eradication of the threats, one of which is the increasing number of public and private universities, educational strategies can be implemented at the correct times within the framework of the Bologna Process”.
Key Words: Instruction, Organization, Strategic Planning, University SWOT Analysis.