The conference, “Beyond The Glass Ceiling: Women Rectors Across Europe, Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities,” was held at the İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) on Monday with the attendance of Minister Şahin along with many foreign and domestic female academics and rectors as well as Higher Education Board (YÖK) President Gökhan Çetinsaya and İTÜ Rector Muhammed Şahin.
Speaking at the conference, Minister Şahin noted that as Turkey, like the rest of the world, has come from being an agricultural or industrial society and to being more of a knowledge-based society, the role of female academics has gained more importance. “If [academics] are the ones who are going to lead the century we are in, then we have to carefully analyze the point at which we stand today. Today, the fact that only nine out of 160 university rectors are women proves it is indeed difficult to overcome the issue of equal opportunity in education,” Şahin said.
Supporting Şahin’s view, Çetinsaya said the obstacles before women should be removed no matter what it takes. “The number of female academics in our country is higher than that of many other European countries. Almost half of the academics in Turkey -- of which there are more than 100,000 -- are women; 31 percent of associate professors in Turkey are women and 30 percent of professors are women,” he said. İTÜ Rector Şahin presented a plaque to Çetinsaya and Minister Şahin to recognize their achievements.