Turkey hosts over 70,000 international students

11 August, 2015

Turkey hosted 72,128 international students on vocational or higher education programmes in 2014/15, according to figures released by the Council of Higher Education (YÖK), an increase of almost 50 per cent compared with the previous year.


The annual higher education statistic release by YÖK shows a substantial rise over the 48,183 recorded in 2013/14. The number of new admissions in the 2014/15 academic year increased by 68 per cent to 22,222, suggesting the growth trajectory is set to continue.

The increase was partly attributed to an expansion of the government’s scholarship in 2014, which funded around 5,000 places in the last year, according to government reports. The funding, which provides for free tuition as well as a monthly stipend for living costs, constitutes part of a development plan to reach 200,000 international students by 2023.

Suggesting that Turkey is becoming a regional hub for higher education, the majority of the country’s international students were neighbouring or nearby source markets. Azerbaijan was the biggest sender with 10,638 – an increase of almost 4,000 – followed by Turkmenistan (9,092), Syria (5,560), Iran (5,302), Afghanistan (3,672) and Iraq (3,033).

Other markets that provided over 1,000 students were Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo and China.

Istanbul University was the largest host institution with 3,051 international students, followed by Gazi University (2,018) and Atatürk University (1,424). The 2014/15 YÖK report captured international student data from more than 170 institutions, with around 15 more engaging in overseas recruitment than in the previous year.

In terms of educational level, the undergraduate sector accounted for the largest cohort of international students at 50,080, followed by master’s (12,690), doctorate level (5,068) and vocational training (4,340).

In 2013 article in StudyTravel Magazine focussed on recruitment trends and methods, including the growing use of agents, at Turkish higher education institutions.

Matthew Knott
News Editor



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