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Critical voices against the Bologna Process in Turkey: Neo-liberal governance in higher education

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2015

Ayhan Kaya*
Department of International Relations, Jean Monnet Chair of European Politics of Interculturalism, İstanbul Bilgi University, Eski Silahtarağa Elektrik Santralı, 34060 Eyüp, İstanbul,


This article analyzes critical voices raised against the Bologna Process by various stake-holders of higher education in Turkey, such as rectors, professors, international office staff, students, and civil society organizations. The data collected through in-depth interviews were analyzed using the discourse analysis method on the basis of the interlocutors’ reflections on the Bologna Process. It is claimed in the article that most universities in Turkey have attempted a process of internationalization and institutionalization, but that there have been several impediments during the implementation of the Bologna Process. Rising Euroskepticism in Turkey has also changed the process of Europeanization in the universities. It is revealed that the structural changes made in line with the Bologna Process are perceived by several different stake-holders as neo-liberal acts, and are presented as activities of internationalization, but not of Europeanization.

© New Perspectives on Turkey and Cambridge University Press 2015 

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Author’s Note: I would like to express my gratitude to Ayşe Tecmen for her invaluable support as my research assistant during the course of the field research for the FP7 Project entitled “Identities and Modernities in Europe.” I am also grateful to Bianca Kaiser, Atsuko Ichijo, and Senem Aydın for their remarks and suggestions on the manuscript as well as to the reviewers of the journal for their very constructive criticisms and suggestions.


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