Challenges of higher education institutions against COVID-19: The case of Turkey
Abdulhamit Karademir 1 * , Fatih Yaman 2, Özkan Saatçioğlu 2
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1 Muş Alparslan University, Faculty of Education, Turkey
2 Muş Alparslan University, Faculty of Education, Turkey
* Corresponding Author


The global COVID-19 outbreak has caused an anxious situation in every part of society and forced many countries to implement distance education programs without even knowing the fundamental components involved in the processes and the consequences of their decisions.  Likewise, in Turkey, it is still uncertain as to what will be taught, what instructional technologies will be employed, how infrastructural inequalities will be addressed, and how assessment and evaluation activities will be conducted.  In this context, the purpose of this study was (a) to examine the experiences and opinions of academics, Distance Education Center managers, students, and parents and (b) offer solutions to emerging issues. In doing so, a qualitative research approach was employed, and the study was designed as a phenomenology. The data were collected from 175 individuals from 20 universities through Google Forms. The second cycle coding methods were employed in the analysis. The results indicated that COVID-19 had mostly psychological effects on individuals, and it affected every level of education at varying degrees. The pandemic reminded us how hopelessly we are dependent on traditional means of instruction by rendering us unable to use them. Since the beginning of the outbreak, many higher education institutions have been trying to implement distance education; however, the quality of instruction is rather questionable. This situation threatens the quality of learning outcomes and if not approached with due diligence, results could be catastrophic. Also, this mandatory transition to distance education has made the difference between the experienced and inexperienced academics more apparent. In light of the results, recommendations were provided for national and international policymakers. As long as the recommendations were implemented, all higher education stakeholders could attain the required knowledge and skills, and, in return, the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could be alleviated. 



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