This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 4/5/2018
Overview
 
Turkey's population of 79 million is relatively young when compared with many other countries. Over 30 percent of the population is under the age of eighteen. This young population provides considerable opportunities for international education institutions.
 
As of December 2017, there are 119 public and 67 private foundation universities serving five million students in various academic programs. 2016 figures reveal that 3.32 million students are enrolled in undergraduate programs, 480,000 in master’s programs, 91,000 in PhD, 23,000 in doctors in residency programs and 3.30 million in the Open University. Public universities charge a small fee, whereas private university tuition costs range from $4,000 to $20,000 per year. Many outstanding students of limited means are able to attend private universities on merit scholarships.
 
Entrance into universities is competitive due to the limited capacity of Turkish universities.  Students need to successfully pass two nationwide placement tests that are administered in March and in June every year. Every year an increasing number of students take the university exams. In 2016, 2,256,357 high school graduates took the exams and around 26% of these applicants were enrolled in a 4-year program, 20. in a 2-year program, and 11% to the Open University (distance education in the various subfields). The rest were unable to enter any higher education program. In Turkey, the Ministry of National Education is responsible for administering all educational services in the country, excluding higher education. The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) is a 22-member corporate public body responsible for the planning, coordination and supervision of higher education.
 
The capacity and quality constraints of the Turkish universities spur the demand of Turkish students to study abroad. Many students wishing to study abroad place American universities at the top of the list due to the quality of education and strong career prospects. Over 33,000 Turkish students go abroad for university education. U.S. colleges and universities already attract around one third of these students for undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as specialized training.
 
The Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2017 Statistics show that Turkey, with its
10,586 students, is the fifteenth leading place of origin for students in the U.S. Among European countries, Turkey has the second place after the U.K. with its number of students in the U.S. The enrollment level of the Turkish students is as follows:

 
Enrollment of Turkish Students in U.S.
TypeNumber
Undergraduate3,521
Graduate4,776
Other (Language, Training, OPT Courses)2,289
OPT (Optional Practical Training)1,468
Close to half of the Turkish students in U.S. universities are studying for their graduate degrees.

Leading Sub-Sectors
 
According to the Turkish Fulbright Commission, which is part of the Education USA network of the Department of State, following are the most popular fields of study chosen by Turkish students planning to study abroad: 
  • Engineering, computer science and other technical fields
  • Business administration and economics (especially MBA programs in finance, marketing and international business)
  • English as a second language
  • Short-term certificate programs and/or summer programs (mostly in business ESL)
  • Social sciences, humanities and arts (mainly psychology, political sciences, architecture and law)
  • Mass communications (radio-TV, film & video production)
  • Medicine and other medical fields (for the most part, advanced level residencies) 
Opportunities
 
There are more students interested in quality higher education programs than can be accommodated by the most popular Turkish universities. Thus, good opportunities exist for American universities and colleges to explore a rapidly growing market. The results of the central university placement exam in Turkey are not announced until  beginning of August. Overseas schools that can accept unmatched or dissatisfied students for the second semester/quarter have an advantage.
 
The Ministry of National Education, the Council of Higher Education and many ministries offer scholarships to hundreds of successful students each year wishing to continue their studies abroad. These students usually apply to top "brand name" universities. Cost is not a critical factor in their decision-making process as the scholarship sponsors pay for their entire studies and the scholarship holders are usually bonded to work with their sponsoring organizations for about 4-8 years after they graduate. The student decisions are based mostly on the reputations of institutions, the faculty, and the programs.
 
Due to the competitive nature of the Turkish labor market and the significant level of unemployment, many students feel the necessity to have a post graduate/master’s degree to be able to find better jobs. These programs are even more competitive, so students seek placement at foreign universities. Graduate studies are the most popular level of enrollment for Turkish students; close to 50% of the Turkish students in the U.S. are pursuing graduate degrees.
 
Several Turkish universities have cooperation programs (such as dual diploma, language programs) with American universities, enabling their students to continue their education in the U.S. institutions. Other American universities may wish to pursue such cooperative agreements as well as student exchange programs to attract qualified Turkish students.
 
Many students and professionals opt for supplementary English language education to improve their command of English, as fluency in English provides a competitive advantage in job hunting and career prospects. This opportunity gives U.S. firms a chance to compete in the market by providing private English language courses in Turkey and intensive language programs in the United States. 
 
Web Resources
 
Contact
 
Ms. Perim Akguner
Commercial Specialist
Email: Perim.Akguner@trade.gov
Tel: [90] 212-335 9197
 

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Turkey Education Trade Development and Promotion