Türkiye has become a center of attraction for foreign students and efforts to increase global cooperation through travel, employment, education and internship opportunities will be accelerated to further increase the diversity of students and researchers.
Council of Higher Education (YÖK) President Erol Özvar announced that more than 300,000 international students from 198 countries are in Türkiye, noting that the country hosts 2.9% of the world’s international students.
Many students say that the focus on education in Turkey is reflected in its quality. Among such students is Tetiana Rudkowska who studied public relations and publicity at Ankara University and came to Turkey from Ukraine to pursue her higher education. Rudkowska, who joined Turkey’s scholarship program, will meet all her basic needs with the initiative. After being provided with health insurance, she also received a one-year training from the Turkish Learning Research and Application Center (TÖMER) during her first year. Expressing her love for Türkiye, she said: “I made a really good choice. After my graduation I want to work in the private sector in Türkiye and gain experience.”
Adelisa Salaji from Kosovo came to attend the university in 2017 thanks to Turkey’s scholarships program. She studied journalism at Ankara Hasi Bayram Veli University and is now pursuing her career. “I was very happy with the education I received in Türkiye. I completed my education in my school with different activities because education in Türkiye is better than education in Kosovo,” said Salaji. “I thought it would be easy to adapt because our culture, customs and religion are similar. I chose to study in Turkey because the education system offers multiple social activities in addition to formal education.”
Turkey To overtake Europe
Feruza Lamayeva came to Turkey from Kazakhstan to pursue a master’s degree in child development at Ankara University. Lamayeva said that Turkey pays a lot of attention to education and will surpass European countries in the future, adding that “Turkey has an advantage in terms of student exchange programs compared to European countries.” Lamayeva wants to stay in Turkey after her graduation.
Speaking at the workshop “Internationalization in Higher Education and the International Visibility of Universities in Turkey” organized by YÖK, Turkey has an international academic and student community that is growing day by day. Giving information about the Turkey Scholarships Program launched to increase the number of eligible international students, Özvar said, “According to the 2022 statistics of the Presidency for Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), about 165,000 applications have been received from around 165,000 countries. In addition to scholarships, students will receive accommodation, health insurance, Turkish language education and training are offered. Support continues through many channels, such as transportation. The scholarships, state scholarships and different foundations offered by YÖK, the willingness and diversity to provide financial opportunities to our international students is amazing.”
Based on data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Özvar notes that 20 years ago, only 83 out of 1,000 international students studying worldwide studied in Turkey, but now it is home to 2.9% of the world’s international students. Emphasizing that Turkey is one of the main target countries for international students, Özvar said, “We are proud to have achieved such a feat, even though our country had about 18,000 international students enrolled in 2000.”
“UNESCO data will be updated next year and Türkiye will be one of the top 10 countries with the most international students in the world,” Özvar said. “The growth rate of the number of international students in our country is higher than the growth rate of countries like America and the United Kingdom. It is 1.7 times in the US, 2.5 times in the UK and 10 times in Turkey.”