Letter Organisation of BAU
Dear Principal of Bahcesehir University,
We, as students of Bahcesehir University, are taking an unusual step of writing you a letter about the way the university we’re studying at is organised. The reason we are doing this is because we feel not taken seriously enough and we aim to make this university as good as it’s represented before and while we did our application.
First of all, we are sure you will agree about the fact that, the professors, teachers, other staff and above all the Turkish and international students are the most crucial asset of this university. At this university and in this country we give value to education and people of all ages who develop theirselves. Which is a beautiful thing. We appreciate the opportunities this university gives to students in Turkey and all over the world to follow a passion and get a degree for it.
After saying this, we, as students still feel that we can get more out of our study and educational system. What disturbs our the most is that there is a lack of organisation in general at Bahcesehir University. This is an unfortunate fact and we believe that being prepared is half of the victory and so also the key to success. There are various aspects which concern the students (and perhaps the professors as well) we represent:
- First, we would like to start with the weeks of application when we all come to school to apply for a study. This was a total chaos. The International office, financial office, the faculties and all other administration offices were experienced as a total disorganisation. The way the university represents itself perfectly on social media directly gave a feeling that it was not as what it seems like. The first impression definitely wasn’t love on first sight. To do it next school-year better, we found a great plan to do it different so people are not allowed to come over and create a crowd area inside and around the university.
- After the application it would be nice if the school schedule, English proficiency exam, Turkish proficiency exam, History of Ataturk Lessons, Turkish Language lessons etc. would be announced well and clearly. After calling and going to all offices 10 times students still don’t know what they have to do. This could be done much easier. We found a plan for this too.
- Giving history exams without history lessons is also not a good idea. If the university would give a productive course to study at home it wouldn’t be an issue at all. But instead of this, students are taking answers of each other because they don’t know where the topic is about. Some students even pay each other to receive answers. This is not the way we should learn our history of this country by paying each other to do our homework. There are students who come from all over the world learning the history of the Ottoman Empire, Atatürk and the interesting historical background of this country. There are students who hear about these topics for the first time, this would be a great opportunity to give a point of view of our Turkish culture. Instead of taking this opportunity the university is doing it the simple way. Only giving it because it’s obligated. Well out of this experience, we as students can say that this is not the way we prefer to learn.
- English courses are indicated as “Professional English and communicating skills”. Principal, while having English we do everything expect communicating. This whole Turkish system is based on memorising. While coming to this university students had big ideas about how all the classes would be. Not memorising a paragraph for English to get an A+ without even understanding what you’re actually doing. I truly hope that you understand that we as students don’t want to do it the unorganised “easy” way, we want to learn. We want to learn English as how they learn it at European high schools and universities. We want to talk English the same way an Englishman, a German or any other citizen does. We are students and we have the right to learn, develop and change ourselves to become meaningful people who want to make a better country of Turkey. We want to invest in this country, not only by spending money but by using our brain and our language, our tong and our ideas.
- Then there is the fact that we most of the time only have plus minus one hour the time to make our exams, while on the paper is written that we have 2 sometimes even 3 hours to take for the exam. This is against the law and we can’t accept this. Students have the right to have 2 hours of taking an exams if it’s written so on the exam.
- As our 6th aspect, we don’t feel taken seriously if it comes to the announcements of the exams. When the university chooses a day to announce. Than please announce it the same day on the same time you have promised. Don’t tell students that the university is going to announce on 9th of January on 18:00 o’clock and thereafter send a message on 19:00 o’clock that the university will announce it a day, 2 days or 3 days later. Without giving an exact time. This is not the way a university should work. It’s not professional and students feel disappointed by this.
- The way students are receiving their exam grades is not a very professional way neither. Exams of midterms are announced in the “WhatsApp groups” (which is a weird thing) and all the students can see each-others grade results. There is called something as privacy. This is not something every students would like to receive their grades. We as students think that the university is actually giving value to the privacy of all teacher and students but only in theory. At 05/04/13 Bahcesehir University gave an interesting conference about the privacy law. Which is in Turkish “kişiler verilerin korunması” where the university stated the following: “Ancak Türkiye’de kişisel verilerin korunmasına ilişkin hukuksal düzenlemeler, henüz arzu edilen düzeyde değildir. Ne yazık ki Türkiye, Avrupa Birliği nezdinde bu konuda “güvenilmez” ülke statüsünde yer almaktadır.” The university explains the situation in Turkey and gives student a good education about that there is a long way to go to make this country as good as other western well doing countries. The university wrote also: “Kişisel verilerin korunmasının sağlanması, çerçeve nitelikte bir yasanın kabul edilmesi yanında, konuya ilişkin farkındalığın arttırılmasına da bağlıdır. Kamu kurumlarından, özel sektörden ve akademiden uluslararası ve ulusal düzeyde yetkin uzmanların katılımıyla yapılacak bu konferansın amacı, Avrupa Birliği’ndeki güncel tartışmalar ışığında, Türkiye’deki gelişmeleri değerlendirmek ve farkındalık yaratmaktır.” Here again the university let the students and teacher know that they give value and understand that there is still a lot to do but that the university wants to create awareness. Again, this is a beautiful thing. But what does the university actually do if it comes to the privacy law of our students? We should all ask if announcing student grades to the whole university is maybe also against the privacy law of these students? Why is it so that European students don’t receive their grades openly exposed? Why don’t we already have this system in Turkey?
- To create a healthier area of the university it would be nice if the smoking area would be banned as how it’s written. Smoking in some areas is against the law but students are still smoking without even thinking about this. At some places it’s written very nice that it costs a person 70 liras if you smoke. Well it’s even hard to find these posters because of all the smoke. This is absolutely not healthy. The university should be a healthy area and an example for the people who are passing by. Not a big smoke with cigarets everywhere.
- As last but not least, the Barbaros library has a few rules which aren’t followed by the students which means the rules aren’t maintain strict enough. Two of the following rules are: 1. Kütüphane önünde bulunan açık alanda yemek yenmesi ve sigara içilmesi yasaktır. 2. Kütüphanede bulunan masaların yerleri değiştirilemez. These both rules aren’t followed by students. When coming in and at the open area of the university there is again, a huge smoke of cigarettes. And as the second rule says it’s not allowed to change the tables. In a university with thousands of students it’s not a smart idea to only give a few tables and chairs where students can study at. In the midterms and finals week students don’t know where to study and nobody can find a place to sit in the library. Not because there is a lack of space, but because of it’s not furnished efficient. Than there is also the problem that because of this situation, students sometimes come in the very early morning to let their stuff on a table and “reserve” it the whole day so they have a seat for the evening. Which means that there are students for hours searching for a table to sit on while the student who has reserved the table is out of the library half a day. As you can see this system created by students self isn’t something you should want as a university.
We hope that you, like us, believe that we should all aim to make this university even better than it already is. The written aspects aren’t very hard to achieve. Accordingly, we call upon you to ensure that, students aren’t mad or won’t leave this university. We are satisfied with the university but still think it would be all perfect if these aspects would be maintain in real life.
Again, Bahcesehir University gives great opportunities and we are lucky to be your students.
We hope to have the possibility to explain this and our solution plans in a conversation.
We look forward to hearing your response.
Latife & Merve Ozdemir (Faculty of Law) and all students who feel concerned about this subject.