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    Watchdog tackles inflated cafe prices

    04.07.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ANKARA - A letter asking all universities to provide a list of prices of beverages and sandwiches sold at faculty snack shops from the Higher Education Board, or YÖK, the university watchdog, has raised questions about the priorities of the body.

    The letter sent in June by YÖK’s inspection department asked all universities to provide the lists in Excel format within 10 days on a disk and noted that the information would be assessed at an inventory meeting of the board.

    While most universities have sent the lists, the University Academics’ Association chairman, Professor Tahsin Yeşildere, said the request was surprising. "One is forced to ask whether all our problems are solved and now only price of a beverage is left," he said. "At a time when all universities face serious problems, we find it shocking that YÖK is focusing its time and effort on such matters," he said.

    It was sad to see that an inventory of beverage prices at university snack bars was what YÖK deemed urgent while problems faced by academics, lack of equipment and funding and academic independence were being ignored, said Yeşildere.

    The former head of the Foundation Universities Association, Ali Doğan Ünlü, said YÖK was making a mistake, noting that foundation universities were financially and administratively autonomous.

    Officials from the YÖK Inspection Department, who did not want to divulge their names, said information on the number of students per academic was also asked.
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