Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY: A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION OR EARLY SPECIALIZATION? SABANCI UNIVERSITY SHOWS US HOW



Various well known universities in the U.S. like Yale, Harvard and MIT provide a liberal arts education to freshman students allowing them to postpone the difficult task of selecting a department and field of specialization; a practice they have continued successfully since they were founded. In Turkey, it is Sabancı University that has provided students with such an education for the last ten years. Here is how the system works: students who wish to enter Sabancı only select one of three faculties – Engineering and Natural Sciences, Art and Social Sciences and Administrative Sciences – when making their choices on entering the university entrance exam. On entering Sabancı, all the students take the same courses – science, social sciences, Turkish, twentieth century Turkish history and the like – in their freshman year to fill the gaps in their secondary school education and thus prepare them for university in the real sense. At the end of their first year, some decide that they are more successful and happier in a faculty other than the one they entered and are allowed to change. In their second year, students take courses from their departments and should they continue to feel this is the right choice, they go on, in their third and fourth years, to specialize. It is possible that they find, at the end of their second year that their choice of department was wrong; if this is the case, they are given a second chance to change on the condition that they lose a year to complete the sophomore courses in their new department. 48% of students at Sabancı have so far decided that their original choices were wrong and have changed departments becoming successful and happy in their chosen fields rather than having to study in and later work in a field they don’t like. Despite agreeing that the system at Sabancı is good, YÖK would like to put an end to this popular system. Should they do so or should Sabancı be allowed to continue as it is?

 An argumentative Essay The system at Sabancı University should be ended.For 
1.     In this system, students can, if they wish, transfer to a department which requires higher points on the university entrance exam at the end of their first year, which is unfair when other universities are considered.
2.     The system in Turkish universities should be uniform.
3.     The earlier specialization starts the better in terms of quality of education.

Against

1.     Many students don’t know their own minds or are coerced into entering a department they come to dislike. They should be given a second chance.
2.     Variety can be a good thing ;
3.     All the universities in Turkey can apply the system at Sabancı, thus providing uniformity.
4.     Specialization is much more effective if it is preceded by a good grounding in general culture – which a liberal arts education provides. 

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