The Turkish Student Market

The Turkish Student Market

Discover your potential in the Turkish market, and meet your future students 

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.

This translates into a strong need for education, but the education system in Turkey is lacking space for all of the enthusiastic students seeking to advance academically. Because of this, families and prospective students are looking outside of Turkey for viable study options, to plan for the future.

As you know 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 have 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 2.5 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 3.5 million students studying at Turkish universities which also includes Open University students. Around 2 million of them are studying on a 4 year course. 
There are around 350,000 university students in Istanbul at around 50 universities. Over 200, 000 students at  around 20 universities in Ankara. Izmir has 9 universities and 110,000 university students. 

At IEFT, we believe that although there is a huge need to support and strengthen the education system within Turkey, our mission is to assist Turkish students and business people in broadening their horizons by travelling and studying abroad.

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.

Postgraduate 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, therefore 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 1.5 million secondary school graduates taking university entrance exams, but only 600,000 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 80,000 students studying abroad, around 1% are going abroad for High School programs.