Megauniversity/Anadolu University

Map of Turkey with uni.jpg


Anadolu University is one of the national universities in Turkey which locates in Eskişehir. The university has established in November 6, 1958 and started distance education service in 1982. They house 12 faculties, 7 schools, 4 vocational schools, 9 institutes (4 graduate schools, 5 institutes) and 28 research centers and units and hold with approximately 1,075,200 students. Distance Education System of Anadolu University has 3 faculties with 1,050, 000 students. 40 % of students who attend their education are those who attend Anadolu University, Now Anadolu University is considered one of the ten mega-universities of the world which provide the distance education system.

Turkey ProfileEdit

General Background

According to the Survey by OECD (2005), there are 72,064,000 people in Turkey. As ethnic composition, Turkish dominates mainly. In the South-East region, many Kurdish live there and there is also Armenian Greek and Jew, even these numbers are small. Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country (Sunnah). As other religions, Jewish religion, Greek orthodox Church and Armenia orthodox Church are raised.

In spite of an Islamic country, Turkey tries to corporate with European countries and set the goal to be a signatory of EU. Now, Turkey is an accession country of EU, and a signatory of NATO, OECD, OSCE.

GDP in the country is now 7710.832 and GDP Growth is 7.3802 % in 2005(from OECD Survey). Turkey keeps economic growth however, still the labor environment is not fully developed. For example, employment rate for men 68.183% and that for women is 23.6941% (OECD, 2005). As you can see from this data, the gender difference is still serious problems.

(The information from OECD site [1]and the Ministry of Japanese Foreign Affairs(Japanese sites)[2])


Infrastructure of Education is not fully developed even primary school level. Since 1997, establishment of the Basic Education Law, enrollment figures for Primary school are increasing (1,000,000 btw 1991-1996), however the rate is not changed due to the increasing of population itself (10% still, not enroll for primary education). As to the secondary education level, the situation is more serious. In addition, the access for education is differ among gender, social-economic status and locations (70 % who could not enroll primary education is female) Especially, the east and southeast area on which poor people concentrate, the access to education is limited.

with regards to the tertialy education, in academic year 2001-2002, there were 775,132 new enrollment for full-time bachelor’s students, at the same time there were 623,465 new enrollment for Distance education (The Council of Higher Education, 2003). The ratio of the total number of students in tertialy education to age 18-21 population is only 33 % (The Council of Higher Education, 2003). In tertialy education, the demand is significantly over the supply.

The quality of education is not assured. In general, educational level in Turkey is worse than other EU nations (for example only 26 % of 15-years in Turkey have level 3 on OECD’s 6 level proficiency scale for program-solving skills—-in EU,it is 60%). The quality of education is actually incumbent upon where students live. Experienced teachers are not available enough in remote areas.

For becoming a signatory of EU, the education reform is urged. For example, raising complementation rate of primary school and assuring quality of Education like, developing Modern Curriculum so on.

(For more details, visit The World Bank-countries-Turkey [3] and The Council of Higher Education in Turkey [4])

Anadolu University ProfileEdit

History of Distance EducationEdit

1983 Established Year

  • Distance Education System was established to resolve the shortage of higher education. First, it started as providing students with business and economic bachelor degree programs. 29,500 students enrolled at that time.

1983-1992 Widen Programs and Areas

  • Open Education Faculty had become offering a degree completion programs for teachers (Ministry of Education), associate degree programs in midwifery, nursing (Ministry of Health) health technicians, veterinary sciences and agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture). Services were also disseminated for Turkish citizens living in Western Europe and The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

1993 E-certification Programs have been Started

  • The Faculty of Business and Economics were organized and 4 years bachelor’s degree programs were provided.

  • The associated degree programs, certification programs and degree completion programs were provided by Open Education Faculty.

1996 Produce Exam System

  • Exams systems were developed and have started to manage exams by themselves.

1998 Reformation Year

  • setting the goal that all of academic units are available in Distance Education System

  • cultivating new chances for Lifelong learning

  • reforming all three faculties, system, courses and contents ---tring to integrate texts with TV and Internet programs. CD-ROMs were developed.

  • enhancing interaction between students and organization, for example, broadcasting “News form our University.

1999 Collaborate with Outside Institutions

  • Video conference system became the components of DE and collaboration with other universities has begun though this system via terrestrial and satellite networks.

  • providing prepare courses for exams serves for students via internets, taped and live programs on TRT 4 broadcasting.

  • Interactive educational system was offered in various ways.

  • Early childhood and English teaching Programs ware founded by collaborating with the Ministry of Turkish Education

2001-2002 Enhance Flexibility

  • Information management associate degree have been provided via Internet as online courses.

  • Second University as a second educational opportunity have been started.

  • Transitions application have been started by collaborating with Turkish Education board

2003-2004 Sratrt E-TV Service

  • e-television services were started; students can see the broadcasting TV programs on the web and serve them on their computer. There are now 1196 TV programs for the 163 courses on the Internet

2005-2006 Start degree completion programs via Distance Education

  • Open education faculty gain the right to offer the degree completion programs via distance education

(For more details, visit Anadolu University-open education at a glance-Open Eduation System [5])

In this way, with overlooking the history of distance education in Anadolu University, it is concludes that 1) Anadolu continues to peruse the flexibleness in education 2) Anadolu actively tries to integrate new technology into the existing system 3) Anadolu is influenced by educational demands of national ministries and develops the programs with them.


Anadolu University possesses 2 campuses in Eskişehir and 81 bureaus throughout 83 provinces in Turkey.

Anadolu University Distance Education System has 3 facilities, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Open Education.

The Faculty of Economics

  • 4 years bachelor programs

The Faculty of Business

  • 4 years bachelor programs

The Faculty of Open Education

  • associated degree programs

  • e-certificate programs(no entrance examination is required.)

  • degree completion programs

  • West Europe Programs(Some of courses are available for those students who live in outside Turkey, West Europe.)

Collaborating with other faculty & institutions

  • blended degree programs in information management and English language teaching.

  • Web-based MBA is provided in conjunction with the faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences and Graduate Studies Programs in Empire State College, State University in New York.

  • Online Master Problems in Hospitality management and teaching developmentally disabled children.

Student DemographyEdit

Now, there are 1,050, 000 Distance Education students. According to Simon et al (2003), the vast majority of the students enrolled in distance education system are working adults with full- or part-time jobs.

Even though Anadolu University offers the WEP for other nations in West Europe, it is guessed that international students are relatively few. From the survey by The Council of Higher Education (2003), the total number of higher education students in 2001 is 1,568,384 and among those, only 16,328 students are international ones. It means that only 1.04 % of students in Turkey are from outsides country. Since current data is not available yet, the exact thing could not be said, but now 2008, it is expected that students from International are slightly increasing in Anadolu University because 1) the impact of becoming an accession country enhances the circulation of students, 2) Online degree programs are provided with institutions outside Turkey.


Instruction Deliverly


Even though Anadolu University actively incorporates new technology into the Distance Education System, the Textbook is a core media to bring instructions to students. Anadolu has the special teams for textbook developments which are composed by contents experts, editors, instructional designers, TV editors, art directors, language experts and measurement and evaluation experts. After the reformation of the Distance Education System and courses in 1999, textbooks have been also reformed to accord with TV and online programs and new teams were organized. Now, they have 281 different textbooks for distance education courses which has been developed by these experts.

TV and Radio programs

TV and Radio Programs are broadcasted respectively on TRT4 and on TRT Radio 1. These programs have been developed with help by educational technology and technical experts, and now have reached to the number of 5200 for TV and 400 for radio which were produced. TV programs are broadcasted 24 weeks per year, 37 hours per week.

Surpport Service

Video Conference System

It is used for collaborating with other organizations and for students’ counseling. By now, Anadolu University collaborated with Ahmet Yesevi International Turk-Kazak University, Open University in UK, CNED France, NIME in Japan, Germany (Colonge) and Istanbul (Aksaray). These video conferences are facilitated via terrestrial line and satellite.

Academic Counseling Services

Students are given chance to interact with other students and instructors. They can gain academic advises from instructors. These services are available in 10 countries in evenings and weekends.

E-learning services

Students are given the right to access e-contents for free and able to gain those options –e-books, e-television, e-exam, e-drill and practices, and e-audio books.

Exam preparations service

Since 1999, taped TV and Live TV programs have been produced and provided for students to prepare the final examinations. Each format is broadcasted for one week. Students also have chances to ask the question as to programs by phone. Calling an 800 number which is free is available as an option.

Virtual Classroom

In 2003, a virtual class room for undergraduate program in English language teaching has been started to create an interactive leaning environment.

"News from our university”

It is 10 minutes broadcasting programs for making the relationship between students and the university. Information about events on the campus, the university, courses and programs are provided. This service is implemented though the academic year and the program will be updated every other week.

Analysis of Distance Education System in Anadolu University; from a theoretical aspect

It is said that from the aspect of course production, the theory “Industrialized Educational System” by Peters (1967) well describe the Distance Sysytem of Anadolu University. It was easily expected that Anadolu University, Turkey in general had started Distance Education System with limited technology at that time. Even Peters claimed industrialized theory in 1967, this theory could be well applied in 1982, starting year, of Anadolu University. Infrastructures were not well-developed at that time and text were main instructional delivery. In addition, the aim of establishment was bringing education for the increasing number of prospective students. Thus, these backgrounds have accelerated to produce the mass instruction with keeping a certain level of quality by instructional design system. Now, technological availability enables to use more sophisticated mediums such as Internet, however text is still main core materials, thus Peters’ theory is still applied.

The current courses provided by Anadolu also apply to “Guided Didactic Conversation” by Holmberg (1995). Anadolu University clarifies “student’s center, making much of interactivity”. It seems like to apply those theories which focus on “Interaction and communication” by such as Moore (2005). However 1) their interactivity is limited as an optional service (for example, not used as a main curriculum), 2) interactivity technology are used a limited way (for example, internet, computers are used as publishing contents, teleconferencing system is used to bringing instruction for outside institutions). From these aspects, these limited interactivities could not be fully matched to the theories related to “Interaction and communication”, rather, their enhanced ideology “students-center” “enhancing rich support services” with old type medium “text”, “TV”, are applied to the theory by Homberg, which make much of discourse , interactivity with contents.

(For more details, visit Anadolu University-open education at a glance-learning environment[6] & see Anadolu University sites in general)

The Purpose of Distance EducationEdit

Anadolu University which has started the distance educational services since 1982, first started for providing an alternative chance for higher education. The Distance Education Service of Anadolu University has begun to fill the gap between increasing demands for higher education and the shortage of supply. Their purpose of distance education was to solve educational problem in Turkey and raise educational levels of Turkish citizen. This vision is passed down to now and will be passed in the future. Thus, the distance education system of Anadolu University targets to those people who could not continue their educations by the traditional way.

Now, their purpose of Distance education is expanding as facing the life-long learning society. The Council of Higher Education in Turkey shows the clear direction and vision for higher education and distance education. It defines Distance Education as providing all people with chances to keep learning through the lifetime. Behind this vision of life-long learning society, one can see the contemplation of Turkey--- for being the member country of EU. It appears that Turkey is now making efforts to go along with EU, in the ideological level.

Since the Council of Higher education governs all of the national universities, Anadolu University, with no exception, pose their Distance Education System along this line. Anadolu University raise the Distance Education as the means for providing all people with educational chances----for self-development, self-actualization, vocational developments throughout the lifetime.

The Impact of Distance EducationEdit

The Impact on Education in TurkeyEdit

Anadolu University declares the clear visions and its roles as a higher educational institution. These visions and roles are strictly in correspondence with the vision declared by The Council of Higher Education which governs all of the national universities in Turkey.

As in the previous sections, only 33% of youths receive higher education. In addition, those who can earn a higher education might be regionally decided. The map on the top of this chapter plots the number of universities along the region. From this plotting, one can soon find out that higher education institutions are disproportionately located in west part of the country where are a quite more wealth parts in Turkey. People living in geographically disadvantaged places are in general in low social economic status. Thus, economical reasons, when provided chances to enrollment, they could not continue their learning without working for money. Thus, with respects to providing those people with educational chance, distance education system which is free from time and space constrains is strongly needed.

Among courses offered by Distance Education System in Anadolu University, courses for teacher preparation is significantly important. After establishing the Basic Education Law (Law No. 4360), it is the national goal to enhance the access to primly education, updating curriculum and teachers training. As seen in the report by the World Bank (2007), the disproportional availability of skilled teachers causes serious problems in Turkey primarily and second Education. Anadolu University has opened courses for the purpose of teacher training in response to this national demand. Distance Education System, which covers throughout nations with 73 bureaus and advanced technology, provides many teachers in disadvantaged regions with opportunities to pursue higher knowledge and skills. Anadolu University also opened many courses at the past time for Turkey Army, Polices and Teachers in response to demands by Ministries. Thus, Anadolu University has the significant role of Education in Turkey, both for citizens and the nation.

Even though other universities also provide some distance educational programs, Anadolu university is posed as the center of Distance Education and is expected to lead distance and open education filed. Anadolu University is only an university which has fully autonomy to implement the distance education and collaboration with other universities. As to other universities, in general, the Council of Higher Education decides the course exchanges between two institutions. On the other hand, Anadolu University is assigned as the providers of any courses as the form of distance education and other institutions are freely to negotiate with Anadolu to utilize the courses provided by Anadolu.

(For more details, visit Ministry of National Education in Turkey[7],The Council of Higher Education in Turkey [8]and The World Bank-country report-Turkey[9])

The Impact on Distance Education FieldEdit

Now, Anadolu leads the distance education filed in the Western Europe and Middle East Area as higher education institution and research organization. They publish the referee journal “TOJDE” (The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education) for the purpose of enhancing the implementation of Distance Education among Middle East area and communications among institutions in the area through the research. The impact on the world level is a quite not sure, but it is said that Anadolu University takes an initiative for Distance Education in Middle East Area.

(For more details, visit the TOJDE sites, [10]. You can read some articles.)

Areas of ImprovementEdit

Completion rate

In the most recent figures in year 2000, 34% of students earned degrees in 2 years programs and 23 % in 4 years programs with the minimum terms (MacWilliams, 2000). This figure shows lots of distance learners face the difficulty to go though their programs. In 2006, just fewer than 50 % completed 2 years programs, whereas only 25 % completed 4 years bachelor programs (Aydin et al, 2006 qtd by Akbulut et al, 2007). Thus, as to 2 years programs, the situation has improved; however, still in 4 years bachelor programs, no improvement can be seen. In addition, earlier drop-out rate is a quite high. About 45 % students will drop out in the first 2 years (Aydin et al, 2006 qtd by Akbulut et al, 2007).

The background of this issue is that most of the students work as full or part-time, and time management is a quite difficult. What is more, “the distance” between other learners and instructors causes the feeling of isolation and students gradually loose their motivation. Even though, Anadolu university provides 58 academic counseling centers throughout the nation (MacWilliam, 2000), it seems like not working well. Further supports, especially earlier support is needed to prevent from earlier drop-out.

Since only 8 % can access in Internet in their daily life (MacWilliam, 2000), just-in-time feedbacks or emotional supports are difficult in the current situations. Providing more supports centers or rising the level of living in citizens is required.

Quality assurance

The issues about quality assurance are raised in 2 levels: one is the quality assurance for students’ learning outcomes; the other is the quality assurance for Anadolu University, itself.

Achievements are mainly evaluated by multiple questions (MacWilliam, 2000; Akbulut et al, 2007). The reliability of assessments is of doubt.

The quality assurance of Anadolu, itself is not enough. Given Anadolu accounts for the disproportionably high distance learners-99% in Turkey, Anadolu is of monopoly in Distance Education filed. The lack of competitor in general keeps the monopoly from further development. There is no standard assessment system of higher education, of course of Distance Education in Turkey. The quality of enrollment figures is also of problem. Because legally required for open acceptance, Anadolu faces difficulty in upgrading its standard (MacWilliam, 2000).

These issues related to quality assurance actually results in the distrust toward Distance degrees. Anadolu do not indicate that degrees were eared by distance education, apparently reflecting employers’’ distastes for distance degrees (MackWilliam, 2000).

Take an initiative for faculty development

Staff upgrading is one of the priorities Anadolu have to embark on. Akbulut et al (2007) claimed from their survey for instructors, they found that relatively few instructors involve in in-service training even though most of instructors have motivation to upgrade their instructions. Aydin(2003) pointed out that in Turkey in general, there are no tradition of professional development for university teaching (qtd by Akbulut et al, 2007). It is prospected that technological advancement and diversification of student’s demography and needs are accelerated in future in Distance Education. For meeting these initial demands of professional development, the system of professional development has to be developed. It appears that a faculty or a division is required to take an initiative as organizing instructors.

The role as a research institution

As Latchem (2007) suggested, in Asian Distance Education field, there are lack of the culture for research. Anadolu university, even publishing an original journal and holding symposiums, it appears that the research culture is not well mature. Further development is also needed as a research institution.


Akbulut, Yavuz. Kuzu, Abdullah. Latchem, Colin & Odabasi, Ferhan “Change Readiness among teaching Staff at Anadolu University, Turkey” Distance Education, Vol 28, No.3 November, 2007 pp335-350.

Anadolu University Sites (access to 2007/12/24-2008/01/05) [11]

Higher education council[12] “Regulations on Inter-University Distance Higher Education Based On Communication And Information Technology" “The Turkish Higher Education System (Part 2 Governance) 2003“The Turkish Higher Education System (Part3-Current Status) 2003

MacWilliams, Bryon “Turkey’s Old-Fashioned distance education Draws the Largest student Body on Earth” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sep, 22, 2000

Ministry of education in Turkey Sites [13]

Moore, M.G., & Kearsley, G. Distance Education: A Systems View-2nd edition- Wadsworth Publishing.2005

Latchem, Colin. “A Framework for Researching Asian Open and Distance Learning” Distance Education, Vol.28, No.2, August, 2007 pp.133-147

OECD “Country Statistical Profile 2007-Turkey” 2007 [14]

Simonson, M. Smaldino, S.E., Albright, M.J., & Zvacek, S. “Teaching and Learning at a Distance: Foundations of Distance Education Prentice Hal.” 2005

The World Bank “Turkey: Education Sector Study (2006) Sustainable Pathways to an Effective, Equitable, and Efficient Education System for Preschool through Secondary School Education”[15]