A Turkish government-funded scholarship program for international students has received over 165,000 applications in 2022, according to the country’s culture and tourism minister.
The applications have come from over 170 different countries, and come in line with the growth of international students in the country after the last 10 years.
“Turkey has increased its international student numbers from 40,000 to more than 250,000 in the last 10 years,” Ayşe Deniz Özkan, vice director for Global Education and Partnerships and the Istanbul Aydin University, told The PIE News.
“We have a huge higher education sector with more than 200 universities (public and endowment) and 60,000 academic programs at all levels.
“Internationalisation and quality assurance have been high on the agenda of the sector during this period,” she continued.
The surge will undoubtedly create a long waiting list as only 4,000 students are awarded scholarships each year under the program, with 2,000 enrolled in the graduate stream.
Nuri Ersoy, the culture and tourism minister, also commented on the number of students continuing to study in Turkey.
“When we consider that the number of UN member states is 209, the fact that 15,000 international students are continuing their education from 145 different countries [here] the clearest indicator of how wide a geography the program has reached around the world,” said culture and tourism minister Nuri Ersoy at a graduation ceremony for international students.
“There has been a good synergy among different stakeholders and their activities of international student recruitment”
Abdullah Eren, head of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, said that the scholarships strategy incorporates the needs of the country. It also takes into account those of the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Culture and Tourism sector.
The news comes after renewed pushes to welcome more international students by joining Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ in 2021, and announcing that the country will begin to accept high school certificates to admit African students in 2023.
“While endowment universities have been at the forefront of international marketing efforts with academic programs taught in English, affordable fees, and international student services; public universities have attracted international students with their wide range of academic programs and low fees, and Türkiye government scholarships have attracted the best talent from around the world with fully funded studies,” Özkan explained.
“There has been a good synergy among these different stakeholders and their activities of international student recruitment. Turkey has been a welcoming country; safe and affordable for many international students coming from the regions around Turkey,” she added.