According to the ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’, which was conducted by the OECD, Malaysia was ranked as number 52, out of the 65 nations that were assessed (Leisyte, 634). Malaysia is not the only ASEAN nation that was ranked so lowly. Indonesia was ranked as 64th, out of the 65 assessed nations (Kirkpatrick, 17). ASEAN nations such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore basically have the same educational systems as Malaysia (Kittisowan, Piboonthanakiat, and Orutsahakij, 34). One of the reasons for this low score may be because of the teaching methods that are used in tertiary institutions in most of the ASEAN countries (Eser and Birkan, 78). In Indonesia, the test scores of students are stressed over understanding the basic subject matter (Guglar and Chaisse, 55).For instance, in Indonesia, students can only proceed to institutions of higher learning when they attain certain test scores (Cong, 339). In the educational systems in universities in nations such as Britain and the United States, which most Turkish universities have emulated, there is more emphasis on reflection, analyzing, and solving problems rather than on getting certain test scores (Bumen, 275). These latter methods stimulate creativity as well as a deeper understanding of the subject (Liu and Szabo, 9). The Turkish educational culture tends to emphasize more on the subject matter, and is therefore favored by students from the ASEAN nations (Hatakenaka, 17).Another reason why Turkey has become so popular with students from the ASEAN nations is due to its efforts to build a knowledge-based economy (Beycioglu, 202). Globalization has inspired the emergence of a situation in which investments, skilled labor, and products are expected to be more mobile (Dayioglu and Turut- Asik, 276). Turkey has, in the recent past, redesigned its regional activities to be centered around the factors that make up a knowledge economy (Keyman and Koyuncu, 106). This means that knowledge in Turkey tends to be internalized and disseminated in the nation’s economy (Bilge and Akman, 227).
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