Author(s):Verda Gizem Ogul (presenting)

Conference:ECER 2016, Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers

Network:02. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)


Session Information

02 SES 14 A, Diverse Perspectives on VET

Paper Session


Room:Vet-Theatre 116

Chair:Margaret Eleanor Malloch


Tendency of Higher Vocational Education Students to Make Their Own Job

The students entering higher vocational schools in Turkey are distinctly different. Higher vocational school students have their own university entrance procedure and their own characteristics. Before that, when the VET students graduate from Vocational Schools they pass the Higher Vocational school without entering any exam. In 2015 school entrance laws of Vocational Schools were changed. According to the new regulations, % 60 of Higher Vocational Schools students were entered the program with their high school cumulative and their choices. %40 of the Higher Vocational Schools students were started the program by entering Higher Education entrance Exam, than got a score and chose one of the programs that they wanted to study. Before that only VET students can continue the Higher Vocational Schools.

Turkish government has attached greater importance, and has provided more support to higher vocational education in the last decade. At the beginning of this year, in 2016 Prime Minister of Turkey Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu announced that Turkish Government encourages the vocational high school students and university students to do internships. In addition, he also noticed that Turkish government is going to support the projects of students with the unrequited cash money which is approximately 15500 Euro. Turkish Government has also provided income tax exemption to the young people for 3 years during the establishment of a new business and their investments.

In Turkey, higher education has been the most attractive education option for Turkish students. However, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of unemployed university graduates rates. Therefore, students have begun to enroll more vocational schools and vocational high schools (Barabasch & Petrick, 2012). According to the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) statistics, the number of students in higher vocational schools was increased by more than % 13.4 compared to students in four-year departments from the academic year 2013-2014 to 2014-2015 (

In recent years, unemployment has become Turkey’s one of the most important problem. According to statistics of Turkish Statistics Institute, unemployment rate was increased %10,5 at the end of 2015.  Unfortunately, unemployed rate of young population is very high (  The aim of vocational school programs was to train high qualified workforce and to develop professional skills and technologies of Turkish business world. Vocational and technical education has the power to influence the industrial and economical growth of the country. As a result of this knowledge, developed countries put special emphasis on vocational and technical education at the secondary and higher education level within their education system. In addition, developing countries spend great efforts to improve vocational and technical education for the purpose of increasing the quality of the workforce which is necessary for the development of the society and for a more powerful economy (Adiguzel and Cardak, 2009). The importance of higher vocational schools is increasing; the interests about their future plans are increasing day by day.


This study aims to investigate the tendency of higher Vocational education students to make their own job. To this aim answers to the following research questions are explored: Why are they study in this program? Why don’t they start to work at a job after graduation from Vocational School? What are their future plans? Do they want to enter transition exam to change 2-year higher vocational school to 4- year bachelor degree programs? Do they want to be an entrepreneur related with their major? Do they know any law about being an entrepreneur? Do they know the opportunities of being an entrepreneur? . The study was a mixed method design in which both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through a questionnaire. Students enrolled in the Tourism Management, Tourist guide, Tourism Travel programs of Higher Vocational Schools.Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques is used in the study. Each open-ended question in the questionnaire is analyzed separately and a thematic content analysis will be conducted for each of them. To get quantitative data descriptive statistics and the other statistical methods will be used demonstrate the scores of the research.

Expected Outcomes

The interviews and the applications of questionnaire to the students haven’t finished yet.


Adiguzel and Cardak, 2009.An Evaluation of the "Computer Technology and Programming" Curriculum in the Vocational Higher Education System in Turkey. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education.Vol:45 No:3, pp.61-83

Barabasch, A. & Petrick, S., (2012). Multi-level policy transfer in Turkey and its impact on the development of the vocational education and training (VET) sector. Globalisation, Societies and Education,Vol. 10, No. 1, March 2012, p. 119-143.
Kursun, D.U., (2011). Vocational Higher Education in Turkey: The Urgent Need for Privatization. International Journal of Vocational Education and Training Vol. 19 No:1, pp.98-109.

Author Information

Verda Gizem Ogul (presenting)
Marmara University