The number of international students choosing to study in Turkey has more than doubled since 2006, signaling the country’s growing importance as a higher education destination.
In the 2011-12 academic years there were almost 25,545 foreign students in Turkey – an increase of more than 9,000 compared to 2006-7.
Motivations for study in Turkey include an inexpensive and good quality education, and opportunities for scholarships that also pay a monthly allowance, covering accommodation and tuition fees, health insurance and travel expenses.
Turkey is already a firmly established tourist destination, with over 30 million tourists from all over the world in the period from January to November 2012. And statistics from the United Nations World Tourism Organization say it is the sixth most popular holiday destination.
However, the Turkish government has much greater ambitions, having set a target of 100,000 international students in the country by 2015.
Universities in Turkey
The number of universities in Turkey reached 175 in 2013: 104 states and 71 private. This is an increase of 99 compared to 2002, when the breakdown was 53 states and 23 private. Most of these institutions are relatively young; as recently as 1970, there were only eight state institutions, and the first private university (Bilkent University), was not established until 1985.
Among the youngest of all is Antalya International University (AIU), which welcomed its first students in the 2012/13 academic year, and aims to recruit more than half of its students from outside Turkey.
This target sounds ambitious, but may well be achievable. Turkey participates in the Erasmus Program, which facilitates student exchange between 33 EU countries. Additional enticements to study in Turkey include the appearance of nine Turkish universities in the QS World University Rankings® 2013/14, of which all but one are based either in capital Ankara, or in largest city Istanbul.
Facts about Turkey
- Capital is Ankara, but largest city is Istanbul
- Official language is Turkish; also spoken are Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian and Greek
- Main religion is Islam
- Currency is the Turkish lira
- International dialing code is +90 and internet domain is .tr
- Borders with eight countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Azerbaijani exclave Nakhchivan
- In talks to join the EU, having become a candidate country in 1999
- About 5% of landmass on the European continent, 95% in Asia
- Major industrial sectors include petrol, steel, mining, vehicle manufacture, textiles and food production
- Traditional Turkish cuisine is probably best known for kebab (meat cooked on a skewer), meze(assorted small dishes), and baklava (very sweet filo pastry-based dessert)
Additional information about Turkey
The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Black Sea have a temperate Oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters.