A person who knows what he wants in life is always after something that will bring him closer to his objective. This may be money, academic career or fame, depending on the person. We have always been after better education. We have always wanted education with more productivity and creativity and more of it, not only for our selves but also for Turkey.
Yılmaz Argüden, the chairman of KalDer, Turkish Quality Association, is among those people who knows what he wants in life. He has chosen the word “quality” to describe his mission in life just like we have chosen the word “education” to describe ours.
He has become identified with the word “quality”. His main job is “quality”. Whatever position he takes, in KalDer, in Education Volunteers Foundation, in TESEV (First Independent Turkish Think Tank), in Turkish-American Business Council, or in the activities of the other volunteer organizations he is always representing “quality”. He is always insisting on for more quality. He is giving lectures in the universities. He is writing articles in the newspapers and in the magazines. He is giving conferences throughout Turkey. In KalDer he is doing what Hayrettin Karaca is doing in TEMA…
He has added the Ministry of Education among the areas of interest for KalDer. Bener Cordan, the Under-secretary of the Ministry has become a member of the management in KalDer. Even though starting as a small movement, a movement of a search for quality in education has began.
The main difference between Turkey and the west is about the quality of life. In order to catch up with the west in the sense of life quality, there must be quality in the world views about production, sharing, education, thinking, criticism.
Even though we are making the first moves regarding “quality” in these fields, it is certain that, with the efforts of Argüden and his colleagues, we will make a significant progress…
In spite of his young age Argüden is an enterpreneur in various fields. Before KalDer he was the chairman of BÜMED (Bosphorus University Alumni Organization). He had the chance to learn more about the University from the aspect of administration. He learned that it was very difficult to carry on things in a university where the financial support provided only by the State is insufficient, as the number of universities supported by foundations were increasing. He had concluded that universities like Bosphorus University needed strong economic flow from sources other than the sources of the State.
He had developed a project by looking at the applications practised throughout the world. He presented this project to administration of the University. But apparently it was forgotten on the shelf. It has never become a subject on the agenda of the university.
Yesterday he explained the project to us in detail. Since we have always put forward similar arguments regarding the same issues, on the basis of rationality, during the discussions we came to an agreement on many points…
Summary: In order to stop professors’ leaving for other universities and thus, the quality of the education going down, he wants an economic flow from new resources for the university. His project allows an increase up to approximately 5000 dollars in the salaries of professors as the size of the budget may become 3 or 4 times bigger. Naturally, at this point the question comes to mind, “From where the new resources will flow?” This question might start a hot debate, but after examining the project in detail, there isn’t any reason not to support it. Argüden proposes four different practices. First, to form a board of trustees . Secondly, to increase tuitions to colllege tuitions level and take it only from the students who can afford it, providing every kind of scholarship to the students who cannot afford it. Thirdly, to give start to academic evaluation. Fourthly, to encourage more donations.
In fact, the project has more details. But he admits he was not able to put it in practice yet.
In conclusion, even the best projects cannot find support if it doesn’t have the chance to be introduced well. Seeing the state universities become weaker and weaker next to the private universities, we know that something has to be done about it, but we still do not hesitate to refuse the projects offering solutions, even without discussing them. This is our greatest problem …