EUA Board Member Replaced Under Turkish Emergency Decrees
Following two emergency decrees issued at the end of November, a European University Association (EUA) board member has become the first rector to lose their job under Turkey’s state of emergency. The decrees come as part of an ongoing crackdown and power grab in the country following a failed military coup attempt against the president, Recep Erdogan, on the 15th of July.
The board member in question, Gülay Barbarosoglu, was removed from her position as president of Bogaziçi University in Istanbul. This was despite being appointed to the position on the 12th of July by way of an election, in which she received 86% of the university vote.
Erdogan has appointed one of Barbarosoglu’s vice-rectors to take over the university’s presidency. The decrees (number 675 & 676) state that university rectors in Turkey will no longer be elected. Instead, they will be appointed by the President of the Republic.
In a statement, the EUA said it “once more emphasises its solidarity with the Turkish academic community, and in particular with its board member Gülay Barbarosoglu, and underlines the importance of standing up for university values and remaining committed to the internationally recognised principles of university autonomy and academic freedom which are under ever greater pressure in Turkey”.
More than One Million International Students study in US Each Year
The number of international students enrolled in colleges and universities across the United States has surpassed one million, according to an annual report by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The report also found that US students earning credits abroad has increased, although at a much slower rate.
Entitled ‘Open Doors’, the report highlights that US higher education institutions had an intake of 1,043,839 international students last year, and that there were 313,415 US students who studied abroad in the same year. The report was released in conjunction with the start of International Education week, a joint venture between US state and education departments. The event is designed to promote the importance of international education exchange.
In addition to the IIE report, NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, released their own annual report on the financial benefits of international students coming to the US for their exchange. According to the NAFSA report, international students came from more than 200 countries and contributed about $32.8 billion into the US economy in 2015/16, supporting more than 400,000 jobs.
Students in US Call for Protection of Undocumented Peers
Demonstrations were held by students throughout the United States in a bid to pressure their universities to protect their undocumented peers. Thousands of students, professors and others at elite schools including Harvard, Yale and Brown have signed petitions following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, in which the president elect promised to deport over 11 million undocumented persons living and working in the US.
Students, faculty and others at many colleges last week called on administrators to designate their schools “sanctuary campuses”, in some cases by way of walkouts or other demonstrations, and in others, meeting with administrators to discuss the idea.
At Harvard, faculty members wrote a letter published in the Harvard Crimson, asking the administration to take certain steps. These included denouncing hate speech, responding concretely to a student petition asking for more support for undocumented students, protecting student privacy by refusing to release information about citizenship status, and making it “clear that Harvard will use all legal and practical means at our disposal to protect all members of our community in the months and years to come.”