The way to encourage students toward higher education is to introduce them to the “university” at an early age. Especially, the situation becomes more important for the students who are disadvantaged in terms of socio-economic and cultural aspects. In fact, according to a survey conducted by SIS Catalyst, 8 out of 10 children attend a higher education in a socio-economically good region, while only 8 out of 100 children can continue their education in a non-socio-economically good region. When we look at the reasons for this situation, it is possible to list many reasons such as the place of residence, family income, gender, and parental education level. But from a psychological point of view, we can show the "Attitude" as the fact that all of these reasons actually form. If we cannot create a healthy attitude towards the lessons, science and university in individuals up to the age of 11, the motivation we try to create with external factors unfortunately either has little effect or does not go beyond creating an external oriented attitude. Perhaps for this reason, Nobel prizes and the world's most elite concepts are nothing more than a utopia for us. The survey which has been done by Independent Educators Union in order to find answers to the questions of "Are we able to understand the young population well and prepare them well for the future?" showed us that the young people feel that their self-confidence is heavily related to "financial power", 19.1 percent of the youth said "material power", 15.15 percent said "knowledge", 12.94 percent said "strong family", and 12.06 percent said "leadership" to the question of "What does a person need the most to have a strong self-confidence?".

As it can be understood from here, individuals in our country put external resources such as material power and capital in the first place at every stage of life and keep the importance of their internal and individual development less than financial power. This and many other studies reveal that the life goals of young people are mostly associated with material characteristics.

Because of all these, "science and knowledge" should find a more place in the society. Regarding the subject, Peter Gray (2014) from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology emphasizes that science should not be perceived as only Mathematics and Science, it should proceed based on more research, and that universities should no longer educate science aristocrats, but real scientists. It underlines the need to create a capacity and find innovative ways to bring science and society together. However, by advancing in science, industrial and social difficulties can be overcome.

"Children Universities" are the most important mechanisms in this matter. The color and sound of each child is special in children's universities that introduce children to science and art at an early age to help them gain a positive attitude towards science, to make them embody the concept of university, to contribute to their thinking more effectively and creatively and raise them as individuals not only know how to learn how to do but also practice what they know in life. Academicians can guide their children in the most fun way, and they arouse curiosity against science and art in children. When we look at the state of this structuring in the world, it is seen that the first school established under the title of children's university was in Birmingham in the 1990s by two educators, Sir Tim Brighouse and Sir David Winkley, with the name of "Saturday Schools". During 2011, children's universities were established in 70 regions in the UK as well as in Scotland, Wales, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Canada, Cyprus and Turkey.

When we look at the situation in our country, it is possible to talk about the existence of 20 Children's Universities. Our children's universities, all of which boast of being the first in one aspect, differ from each other in terms of structure and operation. While some of them open 5-day programs with periodic periods and project contributions, some of them continue their activities only during the summer and fifteen holidays, and some continue their activities throughout the year. Unfortunately, some of them has not been sustained and they have been closed after a few cycles. While the conditions for participation in each program are different, everyone who volunteers in general can participate in these trainings. These trainings can be paid and free of charge, which may vary depending on project support. Some of the Children's universities, which are generally supported by project support, have difficulties in ensuring sustainability, so most of the time, they are seeking sponsors. Apart from these, the most remarkable event in our country is to include special programs for gifted and talented children. The reason why gifted and special children are assigned a special place is the strategic plan and the project support given to the gifted students, although the main reason is that these students usually need different learning environments and mentally challenging activities. University academics can be a natural mentor for them, that is, an experienced guide in their areas of interest, as well as university environments provide these students with different and satisfying environments and effective areas for them to reveal their creativity. Although the concept of children's university is not used especially in America, the USA started such education much earlier in the 1980s with gifted children in the form of Talented Child Education Centers or Enrichment Schools, Saturday Schools, and continues to this day. When we look at the differences between children's universities and such events and activities aforementioned, we see that the models in USA are more systematically and academically prepared with longer periods of education plans and based more on knowledge and skill; On the other hand, we can mention that the children's universities are structures that focus more on forming an attitude, aim to reach more children and encourage more science and higher education.

When we consider the structures in our country, it is possible to talk about the existence of mixed structures that include both the US model and the European model, although all of them are named as Children's University. As a matter of fact, this also varies according to the structure, facilities and needs of the local region. Regardless of its structure and model, children's universities, whose aim is to "make science love and popularize science activities in the society", will develop and become stronger in the coming years by creating common mind platforms.

In this context, our vision as a Child Education Application and Research Center is;

1- To ensure that all students reach the university by removing the boundaries on a voluntary basis,

2- To include disadvantaged groups and enable them to benefit from universities,

3-To provide students with a respectful atmosphere without pressure and to provide performance.

güncelleme: 22.1.2021 15:01