The Regulation to Amend the Regulation on Private Higher Education Institutions ("Amendment Regulation") was published in Official Gazette number 29537 on 19 November 2015, entering into effect the same date. The Amendment Regulation expands the scope of measures that can be applied for non-compliance and removes certain financial benefits provided to private higher education institutions.

Article 3 of the Amendment Regulation changes Article 24 of the Regulation on Private Higher Education Institutions ("Former Regulation"). Private higher education institutions are subject to supervision and inspection of the Council of Higher Education with regard to educational, administrative, financial and economic matters. Under the Amendment Regulation, this role is now undertaken pursuant to the laws on higher education and the related legislation. The Council is entitled to inspect accounts, operations and activities, as well as properties of private higher education institutions. However, although private higher education institutions were previously also subject to supervision and inspection by the Council, the old article regulated that inspection and evaluations were subject to procedures and principles determined by the Council. Under the amendment, private higher education institutions must present an activity report to the Council at the end of each academic year and these institutions will be subject to general inspection and evaluation of the Higher Education Auditing Board. Private higher education institutions must now also send their budgets to the Council.

Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Amendment Regulation respectively amend Articles 25, 26 and 27 of the Regulation, regarding sanctions for non-compliance. Accordingly, if non-compliance occurs, measures of instructive, reparative, restrictive and revoking nature can be applied. These measures include warnings, correction demands, suspension of new academic units or opening new programs, quota limits and suspension of student admissions. The Amendment Regulation also introduces suspension or revocation of activity licenses as possible sanctions for non-compliance, along with outlining the effects of such a revocation.

Article 7 of the Amendment Regulation amends Article 28 of the Regulation. Accordingly, foundations cannot establish private higher education institutions for the purpose of profit. All types of revenue earned must be used for the private higher education institution. The Regulation previously allowed private higher education institutions received financial benefits, exemptions and exceptions outlined under Article 56 of Law number 2547 and they were also exempt from property tax. However, the Amended Regulation prohibits private higher education institutions from transferring funds, specifically outlining prohibited transactions.

Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven

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