ABOUT TURKEY

Turkey is one of the most attractive country to study for the students in the region. According to official body OSYM- (Turkish Universities Examination and Placement Board) statistics. Turkmenia is the number one country to send students to Turkey. Turkmen students number is 6.861 , followed by Azerbaijan 6,703 and then Iran 4,266.

 

Turkey had around 31,000 international students in 2002, after 12 years it reached to 54,000. The Turkish government is targeting to reach 200,000 international student by 2020. Turkey is very keen on to be in the top 15 countries by 2020, when the international students mobilty reach over 8 million by 2020 according to UNESCO reports. 
 

 

There are 184 universities in Turkey, around 110 of them belong to state and the rest of 74 are private foundation universities. Only 10 years ago Turkey had 25 private foundation, and less than 70 state universities. 
 

 

Turkish universities have a total of 5,439,300 students, 54,000 of them are international students which is only 1% of total. While this percentage reaches almost 10% in many OECD countries such as USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and France.

 

The largest universities in Turkey  in terms of total students numbers; 
 

İstanbul Üniversity;  102, 704

Gazi Üniversity;  76,442

Marmara Üniversity  74, 711

 

Turkish universities have 54,000 international student from 93 different countries. Istanbul University has around 4,519 international student, followed by Ankara University (2,439),and Marmara University (2,439) .

After Turkmenia, Iran and Azerbaijan, the following countries sending students to Turkish Universities;

Northern Cyprus:  3,800
Germany:  1,417
Greece:  1,340
Bulgaria: 1,231
Mongolia: 1.000
Russia:  800
Syria:  500 =  %1,2 (However there is a big increase  after the war in Syria. Turkish government decided to allow Syrian students to register at Turkish universities without any exam or any fee )
Iraq:  400 =  %1
Nigeria: 250

Source; Anatolian News Agency  March 2014

                                                          EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM 

Turkish education system is under the supervision and control of the state, namely the Ministry of National Education. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, everyone has the right to receive education. Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 14 and free in state schools. The country's primary schools currently have a 98 percent participation rate. 
The academic year in Turkish education institutions generally begins in the mid-September or early October and continues to May or early June. There is also a two-week winter break in February. 

Stages of the Education System

Pre-School Education: Optional kindergarten education, up to 6 years of age.
Primary Education: Compulsory and free basic education for eight years (5 years elementary + 3 years secondary), 6-14 years of age.
Secondary Education: 4 years of High School (Lise), or Vocational High School education, 15-17/18 years of age. Some schools might have an additional year of language study. High schools are mostly owned by the government and provide free education. 
Higher Education: 4 years of University, or 2 years at Higher Vocational Schools. Some schools have an additional year of language study. Under normal circumstances, Master's study lasts 2 years; PhD 3-5 years. This category includes all educational institutions which will provide post-secondary education. They are under the supervision of Higher Educational Council (YOK).

Types of High Schools

Public High Schools (“Normal Liseler” or “Duz Liseler”): Any student who successfully completes 8 years of basic education can go onto these schools. Graduates of public high schools, if successful in the nationwide University Entrance Examination (ÖSS), can go onto higher education institutions. Graduates are awarded with the Lise Diploması.
Vocational High Schools (Meslek Liseleri): Some of these schools may take an additional year to complete. Graduates can automatically go on to higher vocational schools (Meslek Yüksek Okulları - 2 Year Vocational Colleges) in their respective fields of study if they wish. Alternatively, if successful in the university entrance examination, they can go onto 4-year schools in their respective fields.
Anatolian High Schools (Anadolu Liseleri): One year of English study followed by 3 years of regular high school education, additional hours for English. Math and Science lessons at these schools are sometimes taught in English. Lessons at some Anatolian high schools are taught in either German or French.
Super High Schools (Super Liseler): The difference between these and normal high schools is one extra year of English study. They differ from Anatolian high schools in that the language of instruction for math and science courses is always Turkish and less hours are given to English lessons.
Science High Schools (Fen Liseleri): These are special public schools for students who have exceptional aptitude in the sciences. These very competitive high schools train students specifically for higher education in the sciences, technical and medical fields. There is also Anatolian Science High Schools (Anadolu Fen Liseleri), where the medium of instruction for math and sciences is sometimes in English.
Private High Schools (Ozel Liseler): Most private high schools charge very high tuition fees and are very competitive.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

State Universities (Devlet Universiteleri): The university system in Turkey is governed by the Higher Educational Council (YOK). Turkey has 104 state and 62 private universities (a total of 166 institutions of higher learning), 5 of which are located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Apart from the public and private universities, 8 foundation higher vocational schools serve the job market.

Generally, undergraduate education takes 4 years at universities, but some fields such as medicine (6 years), dentistry (5 years), and veterinary science (5 years) take longer. Turkish high school graduates go directly into fields of study such as medicine, law, dentistry and so on. No tuition fee is charged at public schools (devlet universitesi); students pay only a small basic fee. Students need to pass a nationwide University Entrance Exam (OSS) to enter a university. The graduates of 4-year programs are awarded with the Bachelor’s Degree (Lisans Diplomasi).

The medium of instruction at some state universities is English, German or French. Therefore, all correspondence with the university staff and applications to the faculties can be done in English, German or French. However, instruction language at state universities is mostly Turkish. When entering the exam of the university, the knowledge of Turkish is not necessary. Those who pass the exams, and have only a little knowledge of Turkish, are considered to take one year of language foundation to gain proficiency in the Turkish language. 

Graduate-level programs consist of master and doctoral programs, coordinated by institutes in universities. Medical specialty programs are carried out within the faculties of medicine and the training hospitals owned by the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Institute (SGK).

Higher Vocational Schools (Meslek Yuksek Okulları): They offer 2 years of undergraduate study after high school and are very much like the community colleges in the USA. The only difference is that students cannot easily transfer to 4-year schools in the USA due to fewer places at the 4-year schools. Two year graduates must take the national Vertical Transfer Test (Dikey Gecis Sinavi) and have a high GPA to be able to apply to 4-year schools. The graduates of 2-year programs are awarded with the Associate’s or Pre-Bachelor’s Degree (On Lisans Diplomasi).

Private or Foundation Universities (Ozel / Vakif Universiteleri): In Turkey, private foundations obtained the right in 1984 to establish and develop universities. They were established with the fundamental aim of creating a centre of excellence in higher education and research. Private universities take more active initiatives to form and to select international and global educational and research networks.

The medium of instruction in most private universities is English. Almost all have one year of English study for those whose level of English is not found to be proficient upon entrance.

Private universities charge tuition fee ranging from USD 6,000-20,000. Although private institutions, they offer considerable financial aid; more than 40% of all students receive some sort of financial aid.

                                   

                                                                                          TUITION FEES

Tuition fees vary according to whether the university is private or publicly funded, its location and the course chosen. At state universities, semester fees may be as little as around 300 USD, while at private universities tuition fees can reach thousands. Information about tuition fees is best sought directly from the institution to which you wish to apply. Private universities’ fees are more expensive than state institutions’ and postgraduate study is more expensive than undergraduate study.

Tuition fees for higher educational degree programs are set by the government at the beginning of each academic year. The tuition fees for international students vary depending on the nature of the program. Approximate annual tuition fees are as follows:

For UNDERGRADUATE Programs

1. State Universities:

a) Universities where the medium of instruction is TURKISH:

Turkish nationals: 80 – 250 USD
Foreign nationals: 240 – 750 USD
b) Universities where the medium of instruction is ENGLISH:
Turkish nationals: USD 150 – 500 USD 
Foreign nationals: USD 450 – 1500 USD

2. Foundation Universities:

5.000 – 20.000 USD

For GRADUATE Programs

1. State Universities:

a) Universities where the medium of instruction is TURKISH:

Turkish nationals: 100 – 200 USD
Foreign nationals: 300 – 600 USD
b) Universities where the medium of instruction is ENGLISH:
Turkish nationals: 200 – 300 USD
Foreign nationals: 600 – 900 USD 

2. Foundation Universities:

5.000 – 20.000 USD

Students from Turkic republics and countries (Azerbaijan, Bashkortostan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Nakhchivan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Tatarstan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine) pay their tuition fees as Turkish nationals at state run universities.

                                                                                         FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS

The Turkish government, in accordance with its current foreign policy, actively seeks to promote and increase the number of foreign students studying at Turkish higher education institutes, targeting nationals from countries in Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe in particular. This is, in part, a consequence of the government’s intent and efforts at sustaining Turkey’s leading regional and global position. Thus, the government appreciates the important role that education and exchange plays in supporting its regional foreign policy objectives. The Turkish government is therefore committed to providing more scholarships and assist in finding other funding opportunities to increase the number of international students in the country. Furthermore, as the number of state and foundation universities increases, the number of international students increases accordingly. Since 1992, the number of international students who have received some sort of financial aid has risen to 15,000. In the 2011-2012 academic year alone, a new target of 3,600 scholarships for international students has been set. 

 

Scholarships are awarded to successful applicants based on their highest scores achieved in international or national examinations and their high school or undergraduate grades. Full or partial scholarships are applied towards tuition fees for education. Therefore, students themselves are mainly responsible for providing for their accommodation, living and travel expenses.

 

There are a number of scholarships available in Turkey. The first two, the Ministry of Education’s State Scholarship and Government Scholarship, are only open to Turkish nationals or students from Turkic countries. 

 

The Islamic Development Bank (IBD) is also a major source of scholarships.  These are however currently open only to students from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Maldives, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. 

 

It is rather difficult for students from other countries to obtain a scholarship at a Turkish university unless they find one being offered by an individual institution and meet that institution’s criteria.

 

Country specific scholarship notifications are announced through diplomatic channels. Candidates should consult and apply to the authorized bodies of their own countries or the Turkish embassy or consulates in their respective home countries. Here you will find the contact details of Turkish embassies and consulates abroad, sorted by countries: www.mfa.gov.tr/turkish-representations.en.mfa

 

Turkish universities have increasingly been receiving financial support from large corporations, allowing them to award more scholarships according to students’ needs and merit. The amount and application procedures for these scholarships vary considerably.  

 

Merit Scholarships

 

Many foundation and some state universities offer merit scholarships to those who have outstanding academic backgrounds. Scholarships are granted for the program the student is enrolled in and are continued throughout the regular duration of the student’s education (extensions are prohibited). The normal duration of the scholarship is five years for those who must join an English language preparatory program and four years for those who start directly as a freshman. At foundation universities, students are not at risk of losing their scholarships despite academic difficulties as long as they adhere to mandatory class attendance rates. 

 

Students are placed in a merit scholarship program according to their grades, scores and ranking.  Merit scholarships usually cover (a) tuition fees; (b) living costs through a ten-month stipend; and (c) dormitory accommodation fees. 

 

Other Scholarships

 

Independent of the merit-based scholarship quota, universities provide additional sources of funding. For example, partial scholarships, such as the Academic Success Scholarship, go towards paying for a certain percentage of the total tuition (anywhere between 30% to 50% in the case of the Academic Success Scholarship). Almost all foundation universities offer partial scholarships, which depend on the academic merits of the applicant and cover between 20% and 70% of the total tuition fees. 

Country specific scholarships are announced through diplomatic channels. Candidates should contact and apply to the authorized bodies of their own countries or to the Turkish embassy or consulates in their respective countries.

 

Applications for scholarships granted by foundation universities will also be considered according to the approved international student quotas in place. Decisions are made by the relevant Faculty Executive Board. If necessary, candidates may be interviewed via phone or e-mail.

 

Successful candidates will be sent an acceptance letter by the university. However, they will need to produce any documents submitted as part of their application in original when physically enrolling at the university. 

 

International students are required to obtain a student visa before entering Turkey. You will not qualify for a student residence permit if you enter the country without a student visa. CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS