Just two Turkish universities among world’s top 500 - Times

Çankaya University in Ankara and Sabancı University in Istanbul are the only two Turkish institutions among the world’s top 500 universities, according to the 2020 edition of the Times Higher Education Rankings released Wednesday.

Bilkent University, Hacettepe University, and Koç University are ranked between 500 and 600, while Turkey’s three most well-known state universities, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul Technical University, and Middle East Technical University, made it into the top 800. 

In 2017 and 2018, five Turkish universities ranked among the top 500 universities in the Times rankings. In 2019, only Koç University and Sabancı University were listed in the top 500 universities. 

The changes in the rankings of Turkish universities indicate a serious decline in higher education. Following a coup attempt in 2016, more than 23,400 academics lost their jobs, with thousands dismissed by government decree during a two-year emergency rule.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has increased his control over universities, issuing a decree last year that stripped much of the supervisory powers of the country’s education watchdog and gave the president sole authority to appoint university rectors.