A Turkish university has announced that it will not to be printing textbooks for the 2018-2019 academic year amid an ongoing paper crisis triggered by the loss in value of the Turkish lira, according to a report by online news outlet Artı Gerçek.
The announcement by Anadolu University’s faculty of distance studies came after 300 local newspapers and printing houses shut down in Turkey, which is dependent on imported paper, due to increases in the price of paper resulting from the fall in value of the lira against the dollar this year.
Hundreds of thousands of students, whose tuition includes book fees, did not receive their books, with students being directed to websites to purchase them, Artı Gerçek said.
“In order to protect our students from the increase in prices caused by a spike in cost of paper and printing materials, and in order to use public resources more effectively, we are opting for digital books in the 2018-2019 academic year,’’ the university said in an official statement while stressing that print books are becoming less relevant.
Anadolu University students protested the decision online, saying they are being wronged by the faculty administration. “We’re paying a registration fee and then having to pay for each book individually. And then we’re told we can only download them online for a fee. How can I study for a course without a book?’’ one student wrote on Twitter.
Between January and June 2018, the price of pulp, the raw material in paper production, in Turkey surged from $600 to $940 a ton. (SCF with Ahval)