By Selma Kasap
ANKARA (AA) - Students studying at undergraduate and graduate programs will be able to defer their registrations in the spring semester of 2019-2020 academic year, said Turkish Council of Higher Education on Wednesday.
Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Turkish authorities decided to close all schools and universities to avert the spread of the virus as of March 16.
Last Wednesday, head of the Council of Higher Education Yekta Sarac announced the universities will be closed for the spring term, except for digital and remote education, due to the pandemic.
Today, the council said university students will be able to postpone or defer their registrations in the spring semester of 2019-2020 academic year if they apply.
The council also said thesis or dissertation defenses and proficiency exams of graduate students can be held in digital media, such as video conference, on the condition that they can be inspected and recorded.
In determining the dates of exams and defenses, the effects of COVID-19 and the conditions of the student will be taken into consideration, it added.
Lastly, the council said the decisions will be valid only for the spring semester of 2019-2020 academic year, and the students will not lose any rights.
Death toll in Turkey from the virus rose to 214, after 46 more people died of the disease in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The total number of confirmed cases surged to 13,531, according to the ministry data.
A total of 243 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals since the beginning of the outbreak.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 180 countries and territories, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Over 874,000 cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 43,200, and more than 185,000 recoveries.
* Writing by Fahri Aksut