Study In Turkey

Turkish higher education system has developed significantly in the last few decades in terms of both quality and quantity. Turkish universities now offer a rich field of choices for international students. The quality of the system is also reflected in international ranking lists. According to The Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2014, there are 7 Turkish universities in the top 100 university list, and 3 of them are in the top 10. In addition, 9 Turkish universities took place among the top 800 world universities ranking by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in the UK and 19 Turkish universities took place among the top 1000 world universities ranking by METU Informatics Institute. Turkish universities offer high quality studies and are an integral part of the European education space. There is an increasing number of universities offering programs taught in English, and these include medicine, engineering, humanities, business, and finance. Turkey is part of Bologna Process since 2001 and also a member of many different international platforms. What this means is that, first all students can continue their education in other countries with ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and second they can get their diplomas recognized by other countries.

Cost of Living & Study

The cost of study and living will be your other consideration in your study abroad decision. Compared to other international student destinations, Turkey offers significantly lower annual tuition fees and much lower living expenses. According to the Mercer’s 2013 global cost of living rankings, Turkey’s metropolitan cities are in the very bottom row of the most expensive cities list.

Education System

The Turkish National Education System consists of 3 stages:

1- Preschool Education

Children in Turkey can attend non-compulsory preschool education before the compulsory primary school education. State and private preschools are available.

2- Primary & Secondary Education

Compulsory education for children starts with the primary education at the age of 5½ and comprises elementary (4 years) and middle school (4 years) education. At the end of the compulsory primary education, students take standardized exams to qualify for various secondary schools. The length of secondary education is also 4 years and divided into two categories; General High School Education and Vocational and Technical High School Education. State and private primary and secondary schools are available.

3- Higher Education System

The higher education system in Turkey is supervised by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE). The CoHE is an autonomous institution which is responsible for the planning, coordination and governance of higher education system in Turkey in accordance with the Turkish Constitution and the Higher Education Laws. Universities decide upon their own academic calendars; however, academic year generally starts in September and ends in June. There are winter and summer breaks. Summer school is also available at some universities. Turkish universities offer:

  • Associate's degree programs
  • Bachelor’s degree programs
  • Graduate programs
  • Post-graduate programs

Associate's Degree Programs:

Associate’s degree programs take 2 years. Vocational high school graduates can qualify for associate’s degree programs without taking any centralized exams.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs:

Bachelor’s degree programs generally take 4 years. Specialized bachelor’s degree programs, such as medicine (6 years), may be longer.

Graduate Programs:

Universities in Turkey offer a wide range of graduate programs. While master’s programs take about 2 years (non-thesis master’s programs generally take 1½ years), doctoral programs take about 4 years.

Post-Graduate Programs:

Post-graduate opportunities are also available in universities in Turkey. Duration depends on the program and university.

The Turkish National Qualifications Framework For Higher Education (TYYÇ):

The National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in Turkey (TYYÇ) developed with reference to the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area and the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning was adopted by the CoHE in 2010. The levels of the TYYÇ with reference to the European overarching qualifications frameworks as well as that to ECTS credits and student workload are shown below.