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Distance Education in Turkey

Distance Education in Turkey
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Author(s): Petek Askar (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch095


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Distance education is the educational process in which the instructor and learner are physically separated, and interaction between them is conducted through technology. Distance education is neither a recent nor a new phenomenon. It has a long tradition. However, the development and adoption of sophisticated communication technologies often creates that impression (McGorry, 2003). Distance education has a strong background in Turkey and is recognized as a method of learning for all levels of education except primary (years one to five). On the other hand, distance education has been centralized and controlled by the state. The Ministry of National Education (MONE) is responsible for all distance learning activities from kindergarten to the secondary level. The Higher Education Council is responsible for distance learning implementation in universities. Recent statistics show that the demand for postsecondary education in Turkey is rising. Admission to higher education is centralized and based on nationwide examinations administered by the Student Selection and Placement Centre every year. Every year, approximately 1.5 million students enter the examination and nearly 420,000 of these students are placed into a higher education program (including the Open Education Faculty, OEF). In fact, in the 2001 to 2002 education year, the number of students at the secondary school level reached 2.24 million. This shows that the demand for postsecondary education will rise in the near future. However, it is not possible to double the capacity of the universities in a traditional sense. Therefore, it is expected that distance education will be thought of as one of the solutions to redress the balance. However, awareness about distance education based on the Internet is limited.

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