Turkish Students Market Report 2016

Turkey has the combined characteristics of the two continents: Europe and Asia. You will not be a foreigner because a mosaic of cultures has been embedded in Turkish culture. In Turkey, students can experience both modernity and tradition. Moreover, in some Turkish Universities instruction language is English and others give opportunities to learn English.

Turkey is a quickly-developing country, with the youngest population ratio in Europe. The country is working towards being in the top 15 economies of the World by 2020; so now, more than ever, there is a large market for a skilled, educated, globally-minded current and future workforce. With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $ 799.54 billion, Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world. In less than a decade, per capita income in the country has nearly tripled and now exceeds $10, 500. 


Turkey’s rising prosperity has been shared. Between 2002 and 2012, the consumption of the bottom 40 percent increased at around the same rate as the national average. Over the same period, extreme poverty fell from 13 to 4.5 percent and moderate poverty fell from 44 to 21 percent, while access to health, education, and municipal services vastly improved for the less well-off. 

Since the global financial crisis, Turkey has created some 6.3 million jobs, although increases in the labor force, including through a rise in the participation of women, has kept unemployment at around 10 percent. Turkey’s achievements and future potential have been a source of inspiration for other emerging markets, and the World Bank has completed a report on Turkey’s Transitions describing the country’s experiences in order to share them with interested developing countries.


The EU accession process has been a significant anchor for reforms in Turkey, but progress has slowed in recent years. The EU is Turkey’s largest economic partner, accounting for around 40 percent of Turkish trade. Turkey has benefited significantly from deepening integration with the EU through the growing sophistication of both exports and imports and access to financing. Turkey became a candidate for full EU membership at the Helsinki summit in 1999. Accession negotiations began in October 2005, but progress has slowed in recent years in the face of a number of political obstacles (including relations with Cyprus). Both sides are making efforts to regain momentum, with a focus on economic cooperation, in particular the modernization of the Customs Union and energy relations.


Since 2012, however, growth has moderated. In 2013–14 and 2015, election-related uncertainties, geopolitical developments, and concerns over the Government’s handling of corruption allegations dampened confidence and weakened private demand. After growing 4.2 percent in 2013, the economy slowed to 2.9 percent in 2014. Moreover, Turkey has been vulnerable to changes in investor sentiment and, together with other emerging markets, has experienced significant currency and financial market volatility since mid-2013. Moderate growth and a weaker lira narrowed the current account deficit (CAD) to 5.7 percent of GDP in 2014 from close to 10 percent in 2011..


November 1 election created much-needed clarity. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) regained the majority in the November 1 parliamentary elections, which mostly resolved political uncertainty. However, attempts to bolster AK Party’s support in parliament and push for constitutional changes could prove a major distraction in the near future.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated on 5 May that he will step down following an extraordinary meeting of the AKP scheduled for 22 May. Davutoglu lost a political struggle against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The leaders had clashed on a series of topics, which included their economic views, the conflict with the Kurds and Davutoglu’s less enthusiastic support regarding shifting the country to a presidential system. The new Turkish government under Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, the stalwart loyalist to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was announced May 24. As expected, the government consists entirely of Erdogan faithful.


 A recovery in imports is likely to slow growth to 3.5 percent in 2016 despite sustained domestic demand momentum. Public spending is expected to contribute positively, albeit at a slower rate. Continued demand pressures are likely to make disinflation a slow process, and inflation is projected to be around 8.5 percent by end-2016. Lira depreciation has strained balance sheets and raised the debt service burdens of the corporate sector, which has large foreign exchange exposures. These weigh heavily on private investment, along with a widespread perception of deteriorating institutional quality and business climate. On the external side, firming activity in the EU is helping exports, but net exports should turn negative as imports recover. Russian sanctions and disappointing global growth are likely to reduce export growth in 2016.  Moreover, low oil prices are expected to stabilize the current account deficit at around 4.6 percent of GDP in 2016.

Turkey’s main assets include a young, dynamic population, a large domestic market, and a strategic location, combined with strong infrastructure and much improved public services.


There is a direct correlation between demand for studying abroad and the economical development of a potential country. Turkey is certainly one of the most rapidly developing economies in the world today. The Turkish economy has made huge progress recently, it has opened its markets to foreign companies and Turkish companies have begun to take advantage of international markets. Turkish companies are very keen on integrating into the global economy and many Turkish business people are looking for new adventures in the global market. The fast developing private sector of Turkey has become one of the biggest potential customers of study abroad programmes. Although it seems that Istanbul is the centre of the Turkish private business world, there is an amazing development and internationalization in some Anatolian cities, the so called Anatolian Tigers. 

According to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism in 2001, around 35 million tourists visited Turkey. Many tourist organizations operating in Turkey find that in order to serve their customers well they have to employ people who are able to communicate effectively. Therefore, those in the tourism industry are very keen on study abroad programs.

By the year 2020 the population of Turkey will have reached 80 million, with almost 60% of this population under 30 years old. 70% of the total 30 million households will be middle class living in urbanized areas, thus, one of their main priorities will be to provide an excellent education for their children. There are around 1.5 million secondary school graduates, 500,000 of which do not have the chance to study at a university in Turkey, therefore they are very enthusiastic about having an overseas education.  

The demand for studying abroad is not only from secondary school students and graduates, but also from 3.7 million university students. The majority of Turkish university students know the role and importance of study abroad  in getting a better job in a competitive business world. There are approximately 6.0 million students studying at Turkish universities which also includes Open University students. Around 3 million of them are studying on a 4 year course. 

There are around 400,000 university students in Istanbul at around 55 universities. Over 200,000 students at  around 20 universities in Ankara. Izmir has 9 universities and 110,000 university students. 

Who are the potential students?

a) Students of private primary and secondary schools
b) Students of private and state universities and higher educational bodies
c) Students of university prep colleges
d) Students of public primary and secondary schools
e) Students of other public schools
f) Employees of private foreign trade, export & import and tourism companies

Which programs are popular with Turkish Students?

University Degree Courses: This segment is very important in Turkey. Because of a shortage of places at public Turkish universities, many students are not able to attend university in Turkey. Due to this lack of opportunity within the country, the Turkish Higher Education Council reached a decision last year which allows students who were unable to enter Turkish universities to seek education abroad on the condition that they pass the Turkish University Placement exam. If they do not pass this exam, their foreign degree will not be recognized in Turkey.

Master Courses: Those programmes are very popular. There are around 400,000 students leaving Turkish Universities and most of them are looking for opportunities to do a Masters degree abroad. According to statistics, there are around 10,000 Turkish Students currently completing their Masters outside of the country. The most popular subjects are; Business, Engineering, Politics, Humanities, and Media Studies. 

There are around 400,000 students that complete their undergraduate education at four year state and private universities each year in Turkey. A significant number of these graduates would like to obtain a postgraduate degree; however, Turkish universities generally have very few places available for postgraduate studies. Thus, Turkish university graduates are very keen on continuing their postgraduate studies abroad. They believe that studying and living abroad will help them to develop both personally and professionally.

Language Courses: The English Language level of the majority of Turkish students is still quite low, this course has the biggest demand. After English, German, Spanish, French, Italian are the most popular languages.

Executive Courses: A demand is seen in Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Bursa, Ankara, Gaziantep, and Denizli from middle and top managers of companies.

University Foundation Courses: There are around 2.3 million secondary school graduates taking university entrance exams, but only 750,000 of them are able to go to university, the rest are looking for some other opportunities such as studying abroad, therefore, UFP is becoming a very popular course in Turkey.

Summer course: very popular for the 7-18 age group. The groups are generally organized by the school management or head of language departments. The main demands are coming from private primary and secondary schools and some reputable state schools.
Examination courses:  TOEFL, TOEIC, Cambridge Exams, OIBEC are in high demand. The students who are planning to study at a university demand these courses at any time of the year. It is quite important for them to prove their level of English with an internationally recognized certificate.

Short Term Certificate and Diploma Courses: The demand is mainly from young university graduates and staff of medium and large companies.
High School; Out of over 87,000 students studying abroad, around 1% are going abroad for High School programs.  


Turkish students have a long history of travelling abroad for higher education. Traditionally, Turkish students have favored Germany for higher education opportunities; however, in recent years, the U.S, U.K and Canada has become the most popular destination for outbound Turkish students. Many students choose to study abroad in order to obtain better educational opportunities including more than 87,000 Turkish students who also prefer to go abroad annually, which amounts to $1.5 billion spent in total. The countries that are favored for education have also changed. People who lived in developed countries preferred underdeveloped countries for their education until 10 years ago. Today, however, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan are among the most preferred countries. Today, however, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan are among the most preferred countries. Turkish students prefer studying abroad for their undergraduate and graduate educations and they mostly travel to the U.S, U.K, Canada Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Malaysia, Hungary, Russia and Poland respectively.

Study in Turkey

There are 2 types of universities in Turkey, both of which are supervised by the CoHE: State and Foundation. State universities are established by the State, while foundation universities are established by non-profit foundations. They offer at least one of the associate’s, bachelor’s, graduate or post-graduate degrees. 

State Universities: The university system in Turkey is governed by the Higher Educational Council (YOK). Turkey has 127 state and 87 private universities (a total of 214 institutions of higher learning), 13 of which are located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Apart from the public and private universities, some 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; students pay only a small basic fee. Students need to pass a nationwide University Entrance Exam to enter a university. The graduates of 4-year programs are awarded with the Bachelor’s Degree.

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. Graduate-level programs consist of master and doctoral programs, coordinated by institutes in universities.

Higher Vocational Schools: 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 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.
Foundation Universities: 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.


Turkey is well on its way to hosting 100,000 students by 2018

Both public and foundation universities in Turkey conform to the Bologna Agreement, which standardizes degree programs across Europe, and many are participants in the Erasmus+ program, which supports international student exchanges. Turkey is emerging as an increasingly attractive study destination and source of students. Because of its newly invigorated economy, its young population, its strategic geographic location, and its growing investment in education, higher education recruiters and experts across the world are beginning to pay serious attention to Turkey. Turkey is well on its way to hosting 100,000 students by 2018– a goal set by the government earlier this year– as statistics show 72,000 international students studied in Turkey, in 2015, up from 2014’s 54,000.

There are 214 universities in Turkey, around 127 of them belong to state and the rest of 87 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 5,7 million students, 72,000 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. Both public and foundation universities in Turkey conform to the Bologna Agreement, which standardizes degree programs across Europe, and many are participants in the Erasmus+ program, which supports international student exchanges. 



TOP Turkish Universities

Ten Turkish universities are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, while 16 Turkish universities are featured in the QS University Rankings: EECA, a ranking of the leading universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia. The majority of these top universities in Turkey are located in either Ankara or Istanbul, Turkey’s two largest cities. In Ankara, you’ll find Bilkent University, Middle East Technical University and Hacettepe University, while Istanbul boasts Sabanci University, Istanbul University, Koç University, Bogaziçi Üniversitesi and Istanbul Technical University.




For the last 10 years, Erasmus has made significant contributions to Turkish students’ academic and professional progress, read the statement, adding that the program had also helped in overcoming the European Union’s prejudices, given publicity to Turkey and had enhance cultural proximity. 

Studying abroad is an extremely rewarding experience in general; studying in Turkey brings with it considerable opportunities for personal and academic growth. Experiences gained living in Turkey provide unique and invaluable insights into its culture and language. Turkish higher education institutes are strongly committed to helping both inbound and outbound exchange students make the most out of the opportunities offered by this exceptionally beneficial program. Germany tops the list as the most desirable destination for Turkish students. It is followed by Poland, the Netherlands, France and Italy. Not surprisingly, Turkish universities also host more German students than any other nationality. Poland, the Netherlands and France follow Germany for the top nationalities of incoming students. 


In contrast to other G20 countries, Turkey has focused on quantity in recent years by significantly expanding the number and size of its universities. While there has also been an improvement in quality, with a number of universities performing well in the Times Higher Education Supplement global university rankings, there are 100 Turkish universities that fall outside the world’s top 2,000 universities according to Turkey’s own URAP rankings. Turkey’s ‘English deficit’ is a major factor affecting the quality of higher education, restricting access to academic resources, international research publication and the mobility of staff and students. Even if the number of the universities in the country has increased from 80 to 215 in few years, Turkey still needs to add new universities in its education system and increase the capacity of the existing ones. 

Kurs Tipi


Amenities Style 01

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  • WI_FI
  • swimming pool
  • television
  • coffee
  • air conditioning
  • fitness facility
  • fridge
  • wine bar
  • smoking allowed
  • entertainment
  • secure vault
  • pick and drop
  • room service
  • pets allowed
  • play place
  • complimentary breakfast
  • Free parking
  • conference room
  • fire place
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Doorman
  • Hot Tub
  • Elevator in Building
  • Suitable for Events

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